I’m going to be there.
And for once, I’m not going to be working a table, which is one of the most difficult tasks ever assigned to a writer: trying to get other writers not to ignore you.
What I will be doing, aside from fawning over writers I admire–Tim Seibles, M. Evelina Galang, Matt Bell, Steve Yarbrough, John Dufresne, Michael Griffith, Dave Housley, Steve Kistulentz, Amber Sparks, Molly Gaudry, Amelia Gray, Micah Ling . . . the list goes on (Ben Tanzer, James Greer, Jesus Angel Garcia, Lindsay Hunter)–is signing books at the Main Street Rag table (F12 on your scorecard) on Thursday and Friday afternoon (roughly). And reading, for certain, at eight pm, Friday, March 2, at The Book Cellar (4736 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL), and reading, perhaps, on Thursday, March 1, at Brando’s Speakeasy, late, late, late.
I will also be griping about AWP, I’m sure: how it’s gotten too big, how it’s too self congratulatory, how it’s not the same without Jim Ruland and Roy Kesey present, and how it’s scheduled in a great city at a lousy time of the year.
But perhaps the most exciting thing of all about AWP is that I know, if my past record proves anything, I will meet somebody there whom I have only known through their work, somebody who will be, at this time next year, a trusted confidant on matters most meaningful. To wit, last year at this time, I didn’t know much about Alan Heathcock, other than he and I would be reading at the aforementioned Mr. Ruland’s Vermin on the Mount East. Since, not only has Al demonstrated to me he is a writer of incomparable gifts, he also renewed my faith in the the value of hats, and I showed him the merits of the bowtie. We two he will be crowding our Palmer House room with steamer trunks filled with more changes of clothes than James Brown had on a six month tour.
Watch out, Chicago.
And apologies to any gifted writer or editor I didn’t mention. If you need fawning over, I’ll be around.