Lobbies full of voices and shawls. Rooms where we sit hip to hip, where our applied and natural scents mix in a fog of not-quite pleasant but familiar air. Bars where people laugh too loud and some stand to the side, eyes hopeful with waiting. Elevators where we cram to make the next room and to maybe, just maybe ride next to that writer who saved our lives.
This is AWP* for me.
I’m not sure when I first attended – maybe during my MFA, but I’ve been going for years now, and sometimes, it feels like the energy from those few days carries me through many, many more where I speak to no other writers and feel like I am the only one on the earth’s surface.
This year, I will be bolder with proposals in hand and business cards in my backpocket. I will introduce myself and listen long. This year, I will try to connect more.
But this year, I will also take what I always take from this place and these people – confidence that what I do matters, awareness that I do not do it alone, knowledge that will help me grow, and an overwhelming fatigue brought on by the gluttony of words, community, and coffee.
I will be blogging from Boston, so please stay tuned. And I”ll be tweeting as well. You can follow me @andilit on Twitter. . . I’m going to try to capture some great photos of writers I love and writers who I’ve just met. Because sometimes, we need faces to remind us what is behind the words.
So, I’ll see you on the other side, where I’ll glow and try to come down off the high. And when I get back, I’m going to share some of what I glean, quite literally. I’ll be doing giveaways of AWP goodies through my newsletter, so be sure to sign up at the right.
Have you ever been to the AWP Conference? What was it like for you?
*Associated Writers and Writing Programs