Thursday, March 1
Panels we like:
1:30pm: Beyond Pulp: The Futuristic and Fantastic as Literary Fiction
Subtitle: Someday They'll Believe Us.
Basically every year we try to go to one of the panels where Brian Evenson talks about genre fiction as it relates to literary fiction. Usually we don't hear anything we don't already know -- that there is great genre fiction being written every year, that literary writers would benefit from opening themselves to it, and etc. -- but sometimes we like to indulge in nodding our heads to things we already believed.
Turns out we got in late and couldn't make it to this one. But know that Uncanny Valley shall continue to stand a beacon in the genre fight, until it is no longer a fight.
Readings and Events:
7:00pm: Mud Luscious/Annalemma/PANK Present: Convocation in Chicago
Where we hope to run into contributors Laura Ellen Scott, Brian Oliu, and Roxane Gay, among other wonderful people.
9:00pm: AWP 2012 Karaoke Idol
Sorry we missed these as well. Hope to catch many of you somewhere today.
10:00pm: Action Books/Birds of Lace/Kate Durbin Present: An Evening of Intimate Readings in the Bathroom of a Goth Club
One of us in each bathroom, I suppose. Contributor and pal Carrie Murphy will be reading in the ladies' room, where Mike will not be able to see or hear her. Maybe this is political commentary. (Mike says he really wants someone to use the toilet while they read -- not because it would be a good idea, at all, but because why else are we in a bathroom?)
This was eventful. Four people crammed into a bathroom, doing call and response poetry to the sound of others at the club angrily peeing. Eventually, from what I'm told, they got kicked out of the bathroom and the cops said no more readings in the alley. But they persevered! I didn't get to hear many of the readings, but Mike and I danced to fun music with writers and goths who I think, by the end, came to accept us as kindred spirits.
Friday, March 2
Panels we like:
9:00am: Literature and the Internet in 2012
Contributors Blake Butler and Roxane Gay will be here talking about online publishing, as well as Stephen Elliott and James Yeh. Seeing these folks share their enthusiasm is always encouraging.
This was a really great panel in that everyone came to the topic with slightly different online lit experiences and priorities, so there was a lot of productive disagreement and discussion. It also had the serendipitous effect of correcting a lot of audience members' bad online behaviors.
4:30pm: The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House: Organizations Supporting Women in the Literary Arts
We are big fans of VIDA and their work drawing attention to gender disparities in publishing.
But it turned out the numbers were all we needed to know this year. And, it turned out we were tired.
11:00am: SECRET BRUNCH at the Artifice table.
What is SECRET BRUNCH? We're not sure. But their blog advertises it, so apparently it's not a very closely guarded secret. The Artifice folks are obviously great pals to us, and we buy their magazine every year at AWP. It is a Tradition.
A tradition with, apparently, orange juice! It was good to meet the editors and share some high fives over Exits Are.
7:00pm: A reading. We don't know which one. We will probably decide based on the number of postcards we are handed. SO EVERYONE GIVE US ALL YOUR POSTCARDS OKAY.
We received VERY FEW postcards and so went to no readings. Your own fault. No. I lie. We are just really, really lame. We are sorry for how lame and bad at partying we are. We had a great time, though, having Thai food with Gabe Blackwell.
10:00pm: Somewhere else. Drag us by the arm to somewhere where we can dance. Or back to a hotel, where we will give you horsey rides around the pool.
I said, "Return to the hotel room and watch Downton Abbey," didn't I?
Saturday, March 3
Panels we like:
12:00pm: Making Room for the Graphic Narrative
Comics! These panels never work out as well as you'd hope, but we'll keep trying.
Ohhh, noon! I couldn't find this panel in my schedule. Wandered the bookfair instead, where I got to chat with Kate Bernheimer of Fairy Tale Review and Danielle Dutton of the Dorothy Project about the growing number of homes for fairy tale and speculative writing, especially writing by women. And I filled my sack with books.
Tortas, caldos, and Mexican hot chocolate TBD at XOCO. Meal companions are very welcome!
Deep dish pizza at Pizano's. The walk and probable forty-minute wait at XOCO did not seem workable since Mike needed to get back to the Noemi table, where he spent the afternoon. I spent the afternoon having crowd-induced panic attacks and hiding on the fifth floor. :( Seriously. I have never had that happen before and it makes me question my fortitude for future AWPs. I've got to work on this. Gathered masses of writers are not mortal threats. They're not. Right?
6:00pm: Silver Tongue and Orange Alert Present the Unstuck Group Reading at AWP
Contributor and Noemi Press author Gabriel Blackwell will be reading here, along with lots of other cool folks. We'll stay as late as we can manage, but we have to drive home after this!
We stayed the WHOLE TIME. It was a great group of readers, all of whom are doing really fun work. Unstuck is a magazine I am very excited about, a new favorite to be sure. Love their work, love their editorial philosophies. I would like us to be sisters someday. Or cousins. Family.
Did you know that this part of Chicago shuts down most of its carry-out places at 8:00 on Saturdays? We didn't. Burger King in EmptyTown, Illinois it was. We arrived home around 1:30 to a cat so needy and buzzed she didn't remember that humans pass out for prolonged periods every night and aren't available for play. This is a picture of our cat, for A.D. Jameson, who asked:
Thank you all for your company, your high fives and hugs and smiles, and your conversation. It was so good to see (meet) so many people we care about. Till next time!