AWP Readings and Bookfair

Those were the two events I most enjoyed, and wish there had been more of, less overlapping times, and more time to enjoy. The Bookfair especially was a kick -- a carnival of rickety tables and hopeful staffers with displays that made me wish for a UPS packing station and drop box right there on the premises (idea for the future, guys!). I met Joyce Jenkins of Poetry Flash. She's not twenty minutes away from where I live, and we've been on the phone several times, but we only met in Denver. I met  Facebook friend Susan Schultz of Tinfish Press, Stephan Reichert of the marvelous Smartish Pace (which has published my work), the good people at New Pages, Tupelo Press, Copper Canyon, the outgoing staff of defunct Triquarterly,  and many more (forgive me for forgetting to mention you, and/or please remind me). 

The Bookfair brought a lot of my literary life alive for me. I suppose that's the best reason to have a conference: to create a forum where those of us who only can correspond (unless we skype) can meet in person. The literary arts community is a fragile backwater of contemporary culture; it's good to become real people to each other, especially those of us who don't toil in academe and have few opportunities to meet and talk.