RJ Gibson recaps AWP 2011

My 10 Favorite Moments of AWP

This was the first time in the last couple years that I wasn’t working on grad school assignments while at AWP. With those requirements gone the whole thing is an entirely different beast.

I think my answer this year is pretty much like last year’s (so forgive me if I’m too thematically consistent), but I really do enjoy the sense of community and connection I get at the conference. So here are 10 personal highlights in no particular order:

1. Getting to see old friends and deepening those connections and finally meeting people I’ve only known through their work and as email, Facebook, and Twitter presences (Hi, Eduardo! Hi, Ed!).

2. Getting to spend time with so many of my favorite fellows from the 2008 Emerging Voices Writers’ Retreat.

3. Dinner with David Groff—there’s no better company in this hemisphere.

4. Eduardo Corral reading William Dickey, Randall Mann reading Reginald Shepherd, and Miguel Murphy reading James Merrill as part of the Persistent Voices (Alyson) reading at Bloombars.

Jason Scheiderman
Click To Browse "3 Dollar Bill" Photo Slideshow

5. Seeing Jason Schneiderman read at 3 Dollar Bill: Queer AWP Reading @ HRC Equality Forum. The poem rocked. And so did his shoes.

6. Seeing Ely Shipley read at Three Dollar Bill. He’s a fantastic poet. And I covet his monkey toboggan.

7. Getting a copy of Stacey Waite’s new chapbook The Lake Has No Saint (Tupelo Press).

8. Bloom: the After-Party. Followed by the impromptu, unofficial, Bloom: the After-Party after-party at Cobalt.

9. Closing Cobalt. Madre de dios!

10. Lounging in the lobby Friday night with Aaron Smith, Matthew Hittinger, Eduardo Corral, Saeed Jones, Christian Gullette and Manuel Muñoz, being silly and laughing.

Photo: Saeed Jones