The literary highlight of AWP was definitely Raúl Zurita's reading/panel. It was the only onsite event I attended besides the book fair. It was amazing. I wish someone had a recording of it because it was so awesome. His reading was beautiful and tragic. The really amazing part to me was the Q&A session afterward where Zurita answered the questions with aphorisms. Here are the quotes that I feel comfortable attributing to him (there were others that I was only able to write the gist of):
"In writing, my body is occupied by other bodies. I'm neither male or female; I am whatever the writing dictates."
"When one writes, you suspend death. You also suspend life. When you write, everyone is writing."
"Absolute pain dissolves the difference between man and woman."
I made the ignorant mistake of asking him about Distant Star, which is apparently an inditement of Zurita by Bolaño... I had no idea and was super embarrassed afterward... just wanted to stab myself.
Buy his book now from Action Books.