Just got back from a week in Chicago / Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Although I didn’t sign up for the actual AWP conference (procrastinator extraordinaire), I did bum around town getting drinks, perusing the book fair, and meeting some great people. Saw a copy of BJ Hollars’ Monsters : A Collection of Literary Sightings, right off the press. Also met one of its hilarious/amazing contributors, Alissa Nutting. BJ introduced me to another friend of his, Stacy Gnall, with a pretty haunting book out (Heart First into the Forest) from Alice James, which is one of my all-time favorite presses. Got to meet some of the people at Ninth Letter and Nano Fiction and picked up some shirts/subscriptions. Also ran into this pretty cool postcard litmag called Hoot, which publishes a poem or piece of short prose on a postcard monthly. That struck a chord with me since one of my first published poems was essentially a postcard mailed to my girlfriend/now wife, so I HAD to subscribe to that.
After the conference, I spent some time in Eau Claire chilling with BJ and taking in some creative writing classes. UW-Eau Claire, apparently, has a pretty kick ass planetarium, which he treated his fiction class to. I had the privilege of reading some pretty great undergrad poems and flubbing my way through a class on form. Teaching = hard. Props to all of you who do it well.