AWP recap, and heading into spring.

AWP Tampa was warm and sunny and went way too fast. We were worried about weather heading out, but ended up with smooth travels. We sold a slew of University of Akron Press books and had a magnificent offsite, even if we got stuck in hockey traffic on the way there. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the table, or the event, to say hello!

In unrelated news, I have a new blog post up at The Word Cage regarding that “what’s next” feeling in the writing life.

I am on day one of spring break, and hoping that it’s a productive week.

Behold: a glimpse at AWP 2018, Tampa.

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Here’s the University of Akron Press table looking fancy. I had to give serious thought to the best way to display five new books at once. Challenge accepted!

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It was a delight hanging out at the UA Press table with assistant poetry editor Noor Hindi. We can’t wait to read your poetry manuscript for this year’s Akron Poetry Prize competition.

 

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One of the coolest parts of this conference was reconnecting with friends from my time at UIC. Thanks to Jet Fuel Review for this photo!

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Leaving Tampa was less sad because I got to fly to Charlotte with dear friend Erika Meitner. She has a new book coming out very soon. Can’t wait to read it! 

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Because I was a tourist on this trip, I need to include a touristy photo. Whenever possible, I looked out at the water, especially those nights in my hotel room grading papers and reading thesis manuscripts. I made sure to spend a bit of time in the sun, too. I think it helped. 

AWP 2018: Dispatches from Flyover Country

Room 11, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Friday, March 9, 2018
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

It’s easy to find a literary community in places like New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco—but what about the rest of us? In this panel, five writers and active literary citizens from small towns and mid-size cities in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Alabama will talk about their communities (both inside and outside of academia): what’s working, what isn’t, and how you might jumpstart a community if you live off the beaten path.

Moderator:

Silas Hansen teaches creative writing at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. His essays have appeared in SlateColorado ReviewThe Normal School, Hayden’s Ferry ReviewRedividerPuerto del Sol, and elsewhere.

Allison Joseph is part of the creative writing faculty at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She is the author of several books and chapbooks of poems, the director of the SIUC MFA Program, and she serves as editor and poetry edtior for Crab Orchard Review.

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic. His first collection of poems, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, was released by Button Poetry in 2016. His first collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, is forthcoming.

Brian Oliu is an instructor at the University of Alabama. He is the author of four books of nonfiction and two chapbooks, ranging from Craigslist Missed Connections, to computer viruses, to 8-bit video games, to NBA basketball. Works in progress deal with pro wrestling and long-distance running.

Mary Biddinger’s most recent collection of poems is Small Enterprise. She is Professor of English at the University of Akron and NEOMFA program, and edits the Akron Series in Poetry at the University of Akron Press. Biddinger is the recipient of a 2015 poetry fellowship from the NEA.

AWP-going friends, we would love to see you at this panel on Friday afternoon. Please join us for a conversation on creating literary community in unexpected places.

 

Three new prose poems in Tinderbox Poetry Journal

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I love a fresh, new month. I know it’s silly, but I don’t care. January is over! We’re a step closer to spring, even if the weather is bouncing between temperate and frigid. Next week I’ll be reading new work at the Lakewood Public Library with Caryl Pagel and Michelle R. Smith as part of the Coast Line Reading Series. I am also thrilled to have three prose poems in the new issue of Tinderbox Poetry Journal:

The Haunted Minute
Hard Living
Breakout Session

Many thanks to the editors for giving these poems such a fine home. I wanted to record audio for these, but could never find a place quiet enough, which should tell you something about my life (loud animals, loud colleagues).

I know it’s over a month away, but I’m getting rather excited for AWP Tampa. We just made the order for this year’s University of Akron Press Poetry Lives button, and I can’t wait to hand them out and catch up with so many friends. Also, this reading is sure to be a blast.

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We will have five new poetry books at the University of Akron Press table at AWP, and we are co-hosting an offsite reading with Gold Wake Press. We would love to see you!

I’ve been blogging again over at The Word Cage, my old haunt. So far, 2018 is behaving itself.

AWP 2017 Dance Card

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#poetrylives

Dear friends, I hope to see you at AWP this week! Here’s where you’ll be able to find me.

Book signing at the Black Lawrence Press booth (393) on Friday, February 10, 2017, 10:00-11:00 a.m. Come say hello and get a signed copy of The Czar, or Small Enterprise, or both.

Exhibiting at the University of Akron Press table (T-620) where we’ll have our newest Poetry Lives button + a slew of gorgeous books.

Don’t Stop the Presses: On the Enduring Value of the University Press: featuring Rebecca Hazelton, Claire Kirch, Ned Stuckey-French, Mary Biddinger, and Peter Berkery. Thursday, February 9, 2017 12:00-1:15 p.m.

Stars to Steer By: Rethinking Creative Writing Curriculum for the 21st Century: featuring Cathy Day, Porter Shreve, Mary Biddinger, and Terry L. Kennedy. Friday, February 10, 2017 4:30-5:45 p.m.

Safe and happy travels to all!