THE 2013 AWP CONFERENCE
★★★★★ (2 out of 5)
Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of everything in the world. Today I am reviewing the 2013 AWP Conference.
The Association of Writers & Writing Programs has a conference every year for people involved in the literary world. I love the written word, as well as the spoken word, and also the implied word. I love all words. Even new ones that I don’t understand. There are a few words I don’t like, such as “crotch” and the name “Rory,” but for the most part I like anything and everything that has to do with words.
So, you can imagine my excitement when this year’s AWP conference was held right here in Boston! I was literally counting down the days until the conference. Each morning when I woke up I would say, “Ten more days!” or, “Six more days!” depending on how many more days remained.
I planned to meet as many people as I could, even if that meant walking away from someone in mid-sentence. Fortunately, my experience has been that writers are very confident and emotionally strong people, so I felt certain no one would take it personally.
Disappointingly, they decided to hold the conference at an address that was very easy to misread. Instead of having it at, say, 666 William Cardinal O’Connell Way, they chose 900 Boylston St., which is very easy to mistake for 900 Boynton St.
Walking down Boynton St., I noticed the numbers didn’t go nearly that high, so I stopped when I got to the end of the street where there was a small park there. I thought perhaps it was an outdoor conference, so I sat and waited.
The only people in the park were a pair of gentlemen, one asleep, and the other drinking something from a brown paper bag. “Writers,” I thought. As I neared them, I waved and asked, “read any good books lately?” (That’s the opening line I had been practicing because I thought it would be a good icebreaker.) The conscious one threw something at me. Excitedly, I ran to catch it, hoping it was an AWP conference shirt, but it turned out to be a horrible-smelling, stained shirt that gave my hands a rash.
I walked to a payphone to call my friend Isaac Fitzgerald who I was supposed to meet at the conference where he would be manning the Rumpus booth. When he answered he was laughing and I could hear a lot of noise in the background. “I’m selling mugs!” Isaac exclaimed. “I’m selling mugs!” I could hear the glee in his voice. He was in the right place, exactly where he should be, but I was lost and wandering.
Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing malt liquor.