Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Post-AWP Return to Normalcy

This was my third year attending AWP, and I finally feel like I might understand what I need out of the conference and how to get it. Maybe.

I do feel like traveling to AWP is traveling to another planet. Once I set foot in the hotel lobby my mind zeroes in on all things poetry and I get a bit fuzzy about everything else. I tend to overdose a bit on panels and readings at the conference. I learned more this year about pacing myself, and still, every time I went back to my room to take a timeout, I knew that I was missing another chance encounter at the bookfair or another opportunity to hear someone fabulous read. So be it.

Coincidence: I picked up a little book of poems, Souvenirs of a Shrunken World by Holly Iglesias, which is all about the World's Fair of 1904. Several of the poems hint at that slightly anxious feeling of not being able to see all of the wonders contained within the gates. Very AWP!

It was wonderful to see old friends and put faces to names from internet connections, and I did get re-energized about poetry and writing, as I had hoped. (I shipped home 17 lbs. of books/journals and brought another 10 lbs. back in my suitcase! Woo hoo!) Now, I'm settling back into my regular teaching pace, reconnecting with my students, and continually glancing at my stack of "to-read" material. Hopefully, I'll be able to write some "What I'm Reading" posts as the semester cruises onward full-speed.

I have more impressions jotted down in my notebook but am out of time for the day. Perhaps more soon.

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