Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Back from Atlanta

This blog is officially turning into "the complain about weather blog." If you wanted me to say interesting things about other topics, you'll have to email or call me. It's 16 degrees today. Gray. A flake about every five minutes but each flake threatens more. While we were gone, it snowed 18 inches or so. My father-in-law had to shovel every day. His back hurts but he got to go home.
The whole thing just depresses me. I'm not used to being depressed by weather but this is getting a bit suffocating. It adds to the feeling of isolation now that the in-laws have gone home and we've left our friends to go back to their regular homes. Even our friends here are out of town and promising more leave. It's a bit like a hard stone in my chest all the time.

AWP itself was OK. It was different than usual because a) I didn't have to sit at the bookfair table all day every day and b) I had a presentation on Saturday. On the one hand, it was nice to have only one real obligation. On the other, I missed having a place to go and meet strangers and Saturday loomed the whole time. Somewhat like the clouds right now (see how this is weather blogging still?).
I saw many great blog people--Dr W and Lisa B and Strange Polkas and Terrible Mother(although not enough of the last one. Maybe next year). I saw great friends who now live in Texas and do good work making us feel better that we live at least in a city with several nice restaurants. They are much jealous of our tapas here. Tapas eaten in the cold but tapas nonetheless. I saw my great friend Steve whose book came out and who got a tiny sliver of the moon of attention he deserves (See Dr. Write on Steve's book).
(Flake a minute now).
I saw Margot and Felicia and Steve T--friends that are closer now than they ever were in Salt City. I met a couple of people for a few hours that I would like to remember next year--Brian, Liz, Dave, John, Christine (the last two from Texas friends' U).
I saw U of U profs Jackie and Donald and Kate and Paisley and Karen. Got to have a drink with Karen. Got to want more from Donald and Jackie as usual.
And, for the real namedropping, I got to hang out with David Shields and Nick Flynn and Michael Martone and Rebecca Woolf and David Hamilton and Kim Barnes and the guy from Poets and Writers.
And of course folks from Grand U including students who were good and bad alternately but in the end quite fun (although they thought I ditched them for a party. I didn't. I would have but I didn't).
(The snow is falling harder now. A flake a second.)
Thoughts: As usual, I hate the schmoozing and the fakery and the hopelessness of AWP right at first but then by Saturday, I'm steeled against hope and fakes and just kind of like the people and the people watching. Really a generally good group. All 5,000. I like to make summary judgements. Large ones. But still, by the end, itis mostly true. The panel went well--a number of people have emailed me or Margot to tell us it was their favorite panel. That was much niceness. And, considering it was of the last panels, it was still pretty well attended. Yeah! Maybe I'll do it again one day.
OK. Snow falling for real now. Must go hunker down and buck up and batten down the hatches. Or find my gloves. To wear. Indoors. So I can type more.


Lisa B. said...

AWP regret--didn't get to hear your panel.

About this time, winter just seems insufferable. Hope you don't have too many more big blasts of snow.

Dr. Write said...

Yes. Sorry we missed your panel. It was spring-ish today. Maybe 80 this weekend? And we are partly recovering (me and the fam). Hope you all are well, with your gloves on inside and the mounds of snow. I am thinking warm thoughts for you.

Earnest English said...

Love your descriptions of AWP. Almost as if I were there -- and weren't too shy to hang out with all those cool peeps!

Many very late congrats on the NEA! That's just awesome! (How do you manage to get into the mood to write poetry surrounded by all those poems you have to comment on? I found that when I taught poetry, it sapped by poetry energy. Any tips would be much appreciated!)