Monday, April 5, 2010
AWP Prep Work
70 ~ gray and humid, the red-bellied woodpecker has spent the last 3 days creating a nest in the tree outside my window
I seem to have fallen away from being able to read much poetry these last few weeks. For those of you who might be missing my Monday "What I'm Reading" posts, rest assured that they shall return in May. May...the month when recovery from April may be possible.
I've spent the weekend and the morning trying to take care of as much prep work as possible with AWP festivities on the horizon. Saturday and Sunday were devoted to school work: grading, quiz creation, and commenting on student poems/stories. This morning, though, that's another story. I have spent 2 and a half hours going over the AWP conference schedule and off-site events list. I now have 3 and a half days worth of panels and readings and signings carefully plotted out on my embarrassingly geeky Excel calendar.
Here are some things I know:
1. I both love AWP and experience great anxiety about it. What is it, like 8,000 writers all crammed into one place? That's a lot of ego and who's who?, especially when the elevators get piled full during the break between panels. Lots of nametag gazing going on there.
2. When I feel anxious about an upcoming event, organizing soothes me.
3. While I've painstakingly ranked panels and events, I do realize that I will probably change my mind a dozen times between now and then.
4. Every year the AWP planners seem to double and triple book me, scheduling panels with writers I want to see at the same time. Then, there's always one day when I have a gaping hole in the middle of my calendar where nothing seems to fit. Feast or Famine, AWP style.
5. I am vowed to be more brave this year by introducing myself to people I've only worked with or met online. If you notice me fumbling and socially awkward, please be kind.