I went to AWP and loved it. I was very nervous about meeting Elizabeth and Robert from Ig--they're the ones who are going to put out the novel, now titled Death Wishing, in October. But christ they are great people and christ they love the book. Plus, they seem to know more about it than I do, like what the ending means. We're going to be genuine partners on this trip. We had two great conversations about the book, and one great conversation about hotel detectives, awp murder mysteries, and carl bernstein. Erin Fitzgerald was privy to that one because all parties were in transit, and it was a clog-the-aisle encounter. Afterward Erin said, "what a perfect fit." She's a genius.
I was not nervous about meeting Mike Meginnis, 1/2 of the Uncanny Valley editorial team, mainly because Curio is out the door, yeah. He's a great guy, very cool. Send them your stuff!
Everyone is exactly like they are online except Roxane Gay, Ben Loory, xTx . . . they're just a little different. (Ben said, "I almost knocked over Joyce Carol Oates. Luckily I had the presence of mind to say, 'AAAaaagh!'") Lauren Becker is more like herself than I could have imagined. Mel Bosworth smiles like he knows a secret all the time. Steve Himmer and John Minichillo smile like there are no secrets any more. I feel like I've met Donna D. V and Robert Swartwood before. I have met David Erlewine, but he has new eyeballs. I'm curious to know what everyone expected of Scott Garson. He came home with us Saturday night because he wanted to make an early night of it, but we stayed up late bullshitting. An unexpected delight--meeting award winning poet Marilyn Kallet at dinner with D & L. She gets it, she gets all of it, even though she doesn't have to.
Thanks again to Erin and Ryan Bradley, without whom I would still be hopelessly lost. Ryan stood in one spot for 72 hours, and Erin never lost patience: She sent one particularly helpful text, In goatee alley. Thanks to Art & Tara for carting my ass around. Thanks Beth for being so painfully funny. So far no signs of Brandon's cold. Thanks to Dean for missing me. We don't do stuff apart.