By Caleb J. Ross.
I won’t be your humble messenger in April. Unfortunately (for me, not you, I assure you) my stint here at 3:AM is a short one. So, I’ll use a portion of my remaining time to mention/brag about my annual trek to the Association of Writers and Writing Projects conference, this year taking place in Denver, CO USA. The AWP conference, in all honestly, is a bit of a hi-brow, academia-heavy schmooze fest that would normally not be all that enticing for me. But on my first voyage, a few years ago as an undergrad, I got hooked. I credit the students who came with; they knew how to drink.
Yes, there are a lot of professor types with patched suit jackets and plenty of MFAers who exude undeserved self-satisfaction on the ruse of horn-rimmed glasses and New Age philosophy jargon (NOTE: not all MFA students are like this…let me make that clear). But, beyond that initially off-putting description is the unique opportunity to meet, talk with, and even have a couple beers with some well-established writers. And bonus if you are actually fans of theirs (I’ve met Brian Evenson a few times – he’s like Oprah to me. And Stephen Graham Jones, he’s honestly one of the coolest, most down-to-Earth geniuses alive).
I’ll be attending this year, along with a full list of some of my closest writing compadres (Richard Thomas, Gordon Highland, Christopher Dwyer, Nik Korpon to name just a few; many more friends of mine will be there to ensure I come back with a regrettable tattoo). And this year I won’t be a simple voyeur, I’ll be an annoying, question-asking-for-the-sake-of-you-guys voyeur. I’ve set up a blog at www.calebjross.com/awpblog/ that will act as a near real-time hub of information about the panels, the writers, and the events of AWP. There will be a Twitter stream, a Twitter Pic stream, a YouTube channel, and, if I can find a plug-in for it, a drunk-o-meter. Essentially, I want people who aren’t in attendance to be really, really jealous of me.
If you are going, and want to be a contributor, let me know. The more eyes and ears, the better. If you aren’t going, and want to be a contributor, sorry. But visit the blog during the days of April 7th–10th to feel like you were there.
First posted: Saturday, January 16th, 2010.