Ten thousand writers, teachers, and editors recently gathered in Chicago for the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). Here’s a little Blog recap of EIL at AWP.

Escape Into Life literary editors Jason Reynolds and Matt Dye participated in a panel on electronic publishing, along with editors of Carve, Cellphones, and Cortland Review. They got to post, live, the finalists in the EIL fiction contest, to be judged by Robert Olen Butler, with winners to be announced April 2.

As EIL editors are scattered around the country and around the world, this was my first chance to meet Matt and Jason! I also bumped into a variety of EIL-related poets and editors, or saw their work represented in the bookfair. Here’s a random sampling of my EIL sightings and near-sightings:

Mary Biddinger participated in various panels and readings, on and off site, and her journal Barn Owl Review was available at the bookfair, alongside books from The University of Akron Press.

I heard poet Sandy Longhorn at an off-site reading and on-site reading, and she is as delightful in person as she is online!  Bertha Rogers read poems for The Comstock Review, and she still has colorful hair!

Patricia Clark participated in an off-site reading, one of the many held all over the city. I ran into Richard Jones at one of the many university-hosted receptions!

Jannett Highfill arrived for a session on Emily Dickinson, walked through the bookfair and was handed a copy of Thin Air, in which she has a poem, and her chapbook Light Blessings Drifting Together just came out from Finishing Line Press.

I saw Susan Slaviero’s newest chapbook at the Hyacinth Girl Press table (along with my own!!), and HCP will also publish a chapbook by Sarah J. Sloat in 2012. Jessy Randall and Daniel M. Shapiro stopped by the Hyacinth Girl Press table, too, but I never happened to meet them. It’s just fun knowing they were there! Together, as they are here! And here!

By the time I found Lake Effect, edited by George Looney, the new issue was sold out! So they didn’t have to repack and carry those books home! That is, they had room in their suitcases for the rest of the AWP haul!!

Next year the conference is in Boston and after that, Seattle, so we’ll hope to see another batch of EIL poets at those events, and we have a bunch of wonderful poets in the Northeast and the Northwest.

If you attended AWP, let us know with a comment here, especially if you had an EIL sighting of your own!! If you were there, and I missed you, alas! But let me know by saying hello here!

–Kathleen Kirk, Poetry Editor

P.S.  I came home on the train.

Trains, by Mario Sughi, is available in the EIL Store!

One response to “EIL at AWP”

  1. Simone says:

    Absolutely kicking myself for missing you there!

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