I didn't really walk or run up the path today so much as lurch. There were some very uneven tracks and they were icy and crunchy. But the cardinals were overjoyed at the sun--they climbed to the highest branches and sang their love songs and it was beautiful. Their red bodies lit up by the sun--just gorgeous.
Yesterday I was in the best mood ever for some reason. I think it was because I was back from AWP and that I'm on Spring Break from work and got my other part-time job stuff done as well.
AWP. Well, that was an adventure. Thursday I did go into work, my son did have school, and because it was snowy and snowy and snowy, most of my students either no-showed or canceled. So, early in the afternoon, I went over to Boston and checked into my very small, very warm hotel room after lugging my luggage down through the parking garage and into the wrong building at first. I changed and walked out into the snow and wind and found Copley Mall and walked through that to the Hynes Convention Center to register. Then I decided to tour the bookfair and find out where I was supposed to be for Friday. Wow. The book fair was totally overwhelming: so many booths of journals and MFA programs and book publishers. I talked to the people at Missouri Review and tried to remember to approach the editors as a fan and not a submitter. I got thirsty and tired very quickly and so left. Went back to the hotel, then went to Legal Seafood for an early dinner of spicy fish and chips, back to the hotel and in bed and snoozing by 9:00 p.m. Then woke up at 12:00 to loud drunken writers trying to figure out where their room was apparently.
Then I slept till 7:30. I can't believe how much I slept!!!
Friday I woke up early and went to some panels. The first panel was Women and The Anxiety of Influence wherein four women poets talk back to Harold Bloom's idea of how the strong (very male) poet is supposed to overthrow or kill, a la Oedipus, their "fathers" in order to write good poetry. The women were great speakers and talked about who influenced their writing etc. I discovered some writers whose books I wanted to purchase.
Then I went into another panel--but didn't stay. Sometimes the panels were too full and claustrophobic feeling and I had to leave. This happened a few times. I ate lunch and then went to sit at the Stonecoast table, ostensibly to talk to people interested in the program, but mostly got to catch up with Gen Creedon, fellow poet from Stonecoast, which was great. Then I got to meet Sandy Longhorn and had a great time laughing and learning tips about how to negotiate AWP and it's 323 page conference program.
I went to a translation panel, with a male poet who wrote bluesy love poems and who, at the end of his speech, sang his poem which really took a lot of guts and luckily he did a very good job. The last panel of the day was on persona poetry and that room was packed. I escaped.
Saturday I really didn't want to do much, except get some AWP swag. I purchased the new editions of Barn Owl Review, Fairy Tale Review, Court Green, got the latest edition of Poetry for free, a back issue of South Dakota Review, picked up a free Permafrost (which I've never heard of ), bought the book To Embroider the Ground with Prayer by fellow Stonecoaster Teresa J. Scollon, got free notebooks and pens and stickers. Then lunch with Ruth Foley and her boss from Cider Press Review. Then home!!!
There are a million other things I could mention, about seeing all my favorite poets walk right past me, walking blocks in the snow and wind and thinking surely I'm lost or going the wrong way, and the noise and the people. I'm glad I went, but boy am I glad to be back home.