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More AWP Shit

Sorry to dominate the blog today — but I finished paging through the AWP schedule and making little marks in the margins, and I’m hoping y’all can help me out a little. I do want to attend some stuff and not just be one of those people who sleeps in, hangs around the bookfair and gets wasted. Below, I’ve pasted what panel conversations I’m planning to attend should I attend one in every timeslot (highly, highly, highly unlikely). In several cases, I’ve noted where two interesting things conflict and/or where I’d like to know more about the folks presenting. I’m hoping y’all can help me out with information and/or opinions.


9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

R118. The In Sound from Way Out: Submission to Publication. (M. Bartley Seigel, Margaret Bashaar, Aaron Burch, James Grinwis, Jennifer Pieroni, Roxane Gay) Editors from five eclectic little magazines—Bateau, Hobart, PANK, Quick Fiction, and Weave—unpack their editorial projects and processes, quirks and anomalies, across genres, and invite questions to initiate dialogue among panel and audience members.

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM

R145. Ellipsis as Art: Crafting Omission of Information in a Text. (Yuriy Tarnawsky, Steve Tomasula, Debra Di Blasi, Davis Schneiderman) Typically, texts are made up of explicit information vital to the story. But texts can also be constructed with vital information left out that the reader must provide. Such information—negative text—must be crafted as carefully as explicit information. Works of this type rely on the reader’s imagination to be effective. The panel will discuss various types of techniques for crafting negative texts and genres that employ them.

Noon – 1:15 PM


R156. A Pen Behind Your Ear: Gathering, Editing, Publishing, Marketing, and Promoting an Anthology. (Andrea Hollander Budy, Laure‐Anne Bosselaar, Kurt Brown, Camille Dungy, Michael Martone) Five editors of recent anthologies will discuss all aspects of creating an anthology, including making selections, locating and working with a publisher, obtaining permissions to reprint previously published material, working with designers, and attracting readers. As the panelists are also writers themselves, they will also discuss the pleasures and challenges of editing an anthology while trying to maintain their writing lives.

R165. Shifting Grounds of Copyright: A How‐to. (Snezana Zabic, Tasha Fouts‐Marren, Davis Schneiderman, J. Alex Schwartz) At some point in their careers, most writers are asked to surrender their copyrights. This panel investigates both the long and short‐term implications of the current copyright regime on contemporary literary arts and authorship. The panel offers the perspective of writers who also serve as editors of journals and/or university presses. In addition, the panel looks at how copyright pertains to various genres, including print and electronic media, as well as to authors working with found and/or appropriated text.

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM


R191. The Soundtrack of the Poem. (Tim Kahl, Forrest Gander, Kristin Prevallet, Brandon Cesmat, Rodrigo Toscano) This panel will discuss the juxtaposition of music with text to elucidate the sonic qualities of work on the page. Exploring how music is foregrounded in a text, we will investigate emphasizing melody, pitch, pacing, rhythm, and counterpoint to instrumentation, and connect those qualities to the creation of meaning and emotion. Does music and language produce modes of consciousness that are therapeutic? Has multimedia’s emphasis on musical qualities reasserted the primacy of music in literature?

3:00 PM – 4:15 PM


R209. Goodbye Blue Monday: Remembering the Life and Work of Kurt Vonnegut. (Todd Davis, Michael Martone, Dan Wakefield, Susan Neville) With Kurt Vonnegut’s death on April 11, 2007, the world of arts and letters lost a literary raconteur who stressed the moral nature of fiction, as well as a man who mentored and inspired many aspiring writers. Author of more than twenty volumes of fiction and nonfiction, Vonnegut pushed and often subverted the boundaries within the literary establishment, as well as within the broader culture. The panel will consider the ongoing importance of Vonnegut’s writing and celebrate his life and legacy.

4:30 PM – 5:45 PM


R222. Queering Desire: Queer Poets’ Aesthetic Libidos. (Jim Elledge, Jericho Brown, David Groff, Ely Shipley, Maureen Seaton, Stacey Waite) Radical, transgressive desire energizes queer poetry as often as it ghettoizes it. Yet, as queer voices grow more complex and contradictory, sweaty questions arise. If queer desire is central to earlier LBGT lit, how does it work now for an ever more diverse queer poetry? Now that queers swim in the mainstream, is it avant‐garde or passe? Is queer poetry’s desire over, over the top, or just right? In this panel, LBGT poets of different ages and aesthetics wrestle with the queer poetic libido.


9:00 AM – 10:15 AM


F111. Hybrid Aesthetics and Its Discontents. (Mark Wallace, Arielle Greenberg, Craig Santos Perez, Michael Theune, Megan Volpert) Recently, numerous writers and anthologists have tried to move beyond distinctions between mainstream and avant‐garde poetry that from the 1950s well into the 1990s often dominated discussions about new directions in poetry. This panel considers if and how this work has changed the aesthetic, cultural, and ideological implications of the mainstream/avant‐garde distinction, looking at the extent to which boundary‐crossing hybrid aesthetics have or have not been truly transformative.

F113. Writing Sex: Implicit Censorship in Contemporary Poetry. (Jan Beatty, Dorianne Laux, Aaron Smith, Wanda Coleman, Sharon Doubiago, Bruce Weigl) Four poets read their work and respond to the wasteland of sexuality represented in contemporary American poetry. Their reading and discussion sandblasts the implicit and explicit censorship on the page, in the presses, and in the academy. What is the continued cultural attachment to a lack of courage, vision, and articulation when it comes to sexuality?

F122. Poetry in the Public Sphere. (Kevin Vaughan‐Brubaker, Karla Elling, Liam Callanan, Sean Nevin) Which words do we etch on sculptures, libraries, and sidewalks? Are they different from words we choose for temporary public art projects that exist for a year, a month or even a day? How do these texts appear differently from infrastructure and advertising? Poets and public art administrators will speak to the process of creating and managing public poetry projects including: selection process, lessons learned, and what poets should know when submitting poetry for placement in the public sphere.

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM

F138. The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, & Writers in the Field. (Abby Beckel, Randall Brown, Kim Chinquee, Sherrie Flick, Robert Shapard, Lex Williford) Join five of the twenty‐five contributors to this ground‐breaking anthology for a roundtable discussion on the history, cross‐cultural influences, reemergence, and current practices in the field of flash. These authors also will offer exercises and read examples of stories that will be of use and interest to anyone who writes, teaches, edits, or just generally enjoys the short short form.

NOON – 1:15 PM

F166. How Words Matter. (Lance Olsen, R.M. Berry, Lidia Yuknavitch, Vanessa Place) This panel discusses fictions from the Russian Futurists to hypermedia that explore their physical basis. Their ambition is to transpose vehicle and message, making the extraneous central. Cataloguing‐in‐publication data, blurbs, and bar codes cease to lie outside. Page number and headers control reading. Margins, fonts, and justification all act. The parts of texts which, to an eye fixed on the action, appear least material, become what matter most.

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

This struck me as one of the more boring time slots – picked this one b/c I like Bonnie Jo Campbell

F189. The Southern Review 75th Anniversary Reading. (Jeanne Leiby, David Kirby, Sydney Lea, Steve Almond, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Beth Ann Fennelly) Founded in 1935 by Robert Penn Warren at Louisiana State University, the Southern Review celebrates seventy‐five years of publishing the best contemporary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by the world’s most accomplished writers.

3:00 PM – 4:15 PM

Major conflict – this was the time slot that made my head hurt – David Trinidad talking abt his favorite divas vs. Kathleen Rooney talking abt sex. And I’m not even including a panel w/ a reading by Rikki Ducornet, one of my favorites.

F199. Diva Complex: Gay Men Explore the Diversity and Meaning of Diva Worship. (Michael Montlack, David Trinidad, Paul Lisicky, Christopher Hennessy, Jeff Oaks) Inspired by their participation in the nonfiction anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them, the panelists will discuss the relationships between their personal divas and the gay male urge toward diva celebration. They will discuss what that means for writers and readers, as well as for the gay community and feminism. Divas to be discussed include Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Stevie Nicks, Princess Leia, Wendy Waldman, and Wonder Woman.

F204. Exploitation, Empowerment, and Everything In Between: Women on Writing Sex. (Ashley Emmert, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Rosemary Daniell, Jacklyn Marceau, Kathleen Rooney) In the past, women writers struggled to express their sexuality, whether fictionally or nonfictionally, in the face of societal pressure to keep the subject locked up and secret. But what happens when the door is thrown wide open? Has a new generation of women missed out on a deeper exploration of self? Is there more pressure for younger women to write about sex before understanding fully their own sexuality? Women writers of different generations describe their experiences in writing about sex.

4:30 PM – 5:45 PM

F221. Censorship and its Aftermath: Self Censorship, Legitimacy, and the Dream of Artistic Freedom. (Brighde Mullins, Holly Hughes, Sapphire, Aram Saroyan, Veronica Gonzalez, Kyoko Mori) Seamus Heaney writes that “I became a writer when my roots crossed with my reading.” All writers inherit a cultural and political climate. Our panelists, of diverse ethnic, aesthetic, and genre stances, have had grants revoked, their work vetted, and found subversive. We have all faced issues around the fact that writing a home truth often means crossing boundaries. What are the legacies of these experiences?


9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

S115. Crime, Horror, Sci‐Fi, and Fantasy… Seriously. (Anthony Smith, Brian Evenson, Stephen Graham Jones, Tod Goldberg, Mark Smith, Seth Harwood) Six writers of genre fiction who also teach and/or have graduated from university creative writing programs dicuss how they approach genre fiction as a serious literary pursuit rather than as a lesser form of fiction. In addition, they discuss attitudes towards genre fiction in the university and how those attitudes have changed over the years.

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM

S122. Body as Landscape. Place as Blood. (Barrie Jean Borich, Achy Obejas, Ann Pancake, Brian Teare, Harrison Candelaria Fletcher, Ira Sukrungruang) From mountaintop to desert, city to bedroom, old countries to new—our departures from, arrivals to, and deep immersion into particular places make and remake our bodies, just as the living presence of our bodies and their stories changes the very nature of places. This panel of poets, novelists, and essayists, writing from and about diverse locations, will grapple with ways to represent the symbiotic relationship between geography and identity, memory, sexuality, movement, and change.


S127. Nebraskans‐in‐Exile Take Plain out of the Plains. (Terese Svoboda, Ron Hansen, Dan Chaon, Ladette Randolph, Erin Belieu, Eric Konigsberg) So what if the writing’s not all moss‐draped magnolias or the rattling of slave chains—Nebraskan writers‐in‐exile can take the paint off any region. From Ron Hansen’s charged, mysterious eloquence, Dan Chaon’s aching depictions of lost boyhood, Ladette Randolph’s potent revelations, Eric Konigsberg’s noir journalism, Erin Belieu’s poetry of erotic innuendo, and Terese Svoboda’s lyrical prose and poetry, Nebraskan writers challenge Southerners—even Californians—with a Midplain’s high style.

NOON – 1:15 PM

S152. Harper Perennial Presents: A Reading by Kevin Sampsell and Justin Taylor.Harper Perennial presents Justin Taylor and Kevin Sampsell reading from their newly published books. Justin Taylor reads from his debut story collection, Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever, a collection of prophetic, provocative, and dazzlingly written stories that explore the ways our everyday delusions invite pain, disappointment, and even joy into our lives. In A Common Pornography, a memoir told in vignettes, Kevin Sampsell intertwines recollections of small‐town youth with darker threads of family history and reveals how incest, madness, betrayal, and death can somehow seem normal.

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM


S170. Writing Intimacy, Writing Sex. (Mary Cappello, Alexander Chee, Barrie Jean Borich, Peter Covino, James Morrison) What’s at stake for the contemporary queer writer in the mainstream culture’s equation of sex with gay identity? What is the difference between crafting a literal sex scene and cultivating a queer aesthetic? What is meant by an erotics of writing or of reading for writers of any sexuality? Five accomplished queer writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry discuss and offer examples from their work.

S172. Weirding It Up: How and Why to Deploy Unusual Points of View. (Kyle Minor, Benjamin Percy, Christopher Coake, Lauren Groff, Holly Goddard Jones) Most craft discussions of point of view are heavy on the basics: single and double voiced first person narration, the central consciousness and the close third, omniscience and the free indirect style. But what happens to point of view when, say, a story demands the writer tell it backwards from end to beginning, or shift the point of view at a story’s beginning or end, or enter into the mind of a monster?

3:00 PM – 4:15 PM

I know Molly Gaudry loves Selah Saterstrom – need to find out more about these others

S198. A Chorus of Hauntings: Giving Breath to Ghosts. (Deborah Poe, Cole Swensen, Jake Adam York, Brandon Shimoda, Selah Saterstrom, Claudia Smith) This panel consists of fiction, poetry, and hybrid‐genre writers whose literary work is deeply invested in meditations on ghosts and hauntings. The panel considers how writers negotiate history and human experience, illuminating what traces of violence, fragmented identity, collective guilt, memory, grief, and memorial mean for writing. This chorus of hauntings embodies the persistent presence of history as it asks difficult questions about lessons the “spirit world” might attempt to pass on.

4:30 PM – 5:45 PM

I didn’t circle anything in this time slot.

17 thoughts on “More AWP Shit

  1. Well my panel is going to be kickass. We’re just going to have a crazy conversation with the audience and rap about little magazines.

    The real question is this. How did you get your program already?

      1. Slash I saw you were reading at one (and yours was one of the names I circled in my initial go-round)– which one are you talking abt small magazines at — I think I missed that?

            1. Oh duh, it’s an interview with him. Plus I totally knew MTU was Mich Tech. Wake up, Timothy.

              Yes, I think beginning my experience by hanging w/ y’all who I already know I like will be delightful. Hopefully I can get up early enough. MoGa, AD & I are staying abt a mile’s walk from the convention center & Hilton.

    1. That’s what I was thinking.

      I am interested in anthologies (and Michael Martone), but I think there is a ton of information about anthologies out there, and I can easily email friends like Roxane and Molly to ask how they made theirs happen.

      Of course Davis is also accessible to me here in Chicago, but I bet that will be a much cracklier and more provocative panel. The anthology shit is rote. Property and sharing is more a moving target, yeah?

    2. Yes, I agree that’s the one to go to. Don’t know the others, but Davis always brings a lot of energy, smarts, and humor to his panels/presentations.

  2. tim – i believe that nath (nathanael) stephens is doing the queering desire panel, even though she’s not listed (she wasn’t going, but now she is). she’s one of our authors at nightboat, her work deals with transgendered, transgenre, she also translates herself from french to english, she’s extraordinarily erudite and interesting.

  3. Re: F113. Writing Sex: Implicit Censorship in Contemporary Poetry. (Jan Beatty, Dorianne Laux, Aaron Smith, Wanda Coleman, Sharon Doubiago, Bruce Weigl)

    I would definitely recommend Coleman. She was a favorite of mine in the 90s when she was with Black Sparrow. She has quieted down a bit lately – maybe only 1-2 books over the last 5-7 years.

    Still, she was something back then.

  4. Dorianne is amazing! Don’t miss her. She’s also reading at the WILLA event I believe. And Bonnie Jo! (not to mention Steve Almond) those will definitely be worth it. (also, I may be biased).

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