The Monday Tape (on Wednesday): AWP Review Edition

Not really much to add here re: AWP 2011 since I'm coming to the review/wrap-up game a few days late. I was under the weather for the first couple days and that stunted my enjoyment some, and limited what I was able to do with friends in the evening, but I was able to get around the Book Fair and meet some publishers and editors, check in with journals where my work appears, and see the books of many of the presses that currently have my manuscript.

Top 5 Highlights of AWP 2011 (non-ranked):
5. Transforming virtual/Facebook friends into 3D: Sandy Longhorn, Keith Montesano, Brian Brodeur, Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, George David Clark, and Luke Johnson, among many other wonderful people there. Also hearing T.R. Hummer eloquently talk seemingly extemporaneously and without notes  about this phenomenon: inspiring and enthralling. 
4. Delivering the Pedagogy Forum Keynote: always surprising when people seem to genuinely be interested in what it is you have to say. I also may have made a fruitful connection because of one member in the audience, but I don't want to discuss it now so as not to jinx it. 
3. Grist / 32 Poems table at Book Fair: Thanks to Deborah Ager, John Poch, Georgie David Clark and the other editors for sharing the expense and for the good times, and the wine! 
2. Claudia Rankine / Charles Wright Reading -- looking forward to reading the reviews of this event, especially of Rankine's "performance." 
1. Carnegie Mellon Reading / Tribute to Gerald Costanzo: Readers were John Hoppenthaler, Cornelius Eady, James Harms, Dzvinia Orlowsky, Jerry Williams, Michael Waters. All very impressive.

But I spent most of my time walking around the Book Fair and chatting with folks. Made sure to visit all the presses that have my manuscript. Not necessarily to promote it, though. At the presses where I've been a finalist, I stopped by to put a face on my name. And made sure to stop by the tables of places where I'm considering sending, and those presses from where I've already sent the manuscript and am waiting to hear back. Picked up the following books along the way:

Megan Harlan - Mapmaking (BkMk Press)

Kevin Prufer - National Anthem (Four Way Books)

Rachel Richardson - Copperhead (Carnegie Mellon UP)

Bettsy Sholl - Late Psalm (U of Wisconsin P)

I also got copies of a few journals: Copper Nickel, American Poetry Review, and the new issue of Willow Springs, which I've been enjoying, especially poems by friends Matthew Nienow and Laurie Lamon.

Here are two of Laurie's poems that appear in the issue:

Leave us alone, the dead might say,
hearing another poem or prayer.
We’re tired of memory’s book, tired
of insomnia’s TV. To remember us,
dump the drawer that holds the box,
the envelope, the baby curls of hair.
They’re better off with birds. Forget
the sun and then forget the moon.
At sunrise, say nothing of the work
of trees, impossible nests, water’s
reach from first to last. Leave us
alone, the dead might say. We’re over
the moon. We’re floating on air.
It’s wordlessness that loves us here.
This Poem Doesn’t Care That It Isn’t a Sonnet 
This poem doesn’t care about the movie Avatar,
doesn’t care about iPods or Notebooks or
the divorce of reality from reality; it isn’t
thinking of animal shelters, three million plus
deaths per year; this poem isn’t thinking
of oil or children or ice melting with climate
that is here or not here; this poem has nothing
to do with the bodies of women which have
ceased to move on cots or sidewalks; this poem
doesn’t know the legal age of marriage for
girls in Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia etc.;
it has stopped looking for the name of the one
killed in a bus by a bomb, in a car by a sniper,
on the path by a tripwire, in a house, in a crib.
This poem isn’t waiting for pain’s reprieve,
for grief to pack up its tools for another heart’s
pale. It is hungry for milk, for the messages
of pillow and sheet; it wants the drowse
of the egg in the open nest, a plain thing, in-
effable brim of shade, yellow apples ripening.

Laurie Lamon
from Willow Springs #67