so, awp 2012 chicago

One thing I know for sure: I do not like large groups. Socializing sucks my brain cells and replaces them with that noise that used to come on TVs after a station had gone off the air. But talking to one or two or even three people at the edge of the bar, our feet on a giant round ottoman/coffee table, I do enjoy (with thanks to Guillermo).

AWP is the only time I see some of these people–Adam Braver, for example, whom I met in 2006 at the New York State Summer Writers Workshop. And this year, Adam hosted a panel on Cross-Country Collaboration, featuring Tin House and the Normal School–two literary publications “with far-flung editors.” And these days, who isn’t far-flung?

AWP allows me to put real people in place of their Facebook photos. It enables face-to-face moments that add meaning to all these far-flung relationships. Sure, it’s crazy and rushed, but it’s real bodies that are crazy and rushed. It’s meeting new people. It’s meeting people I’ve communicated with by email for years. It’s seeing real lines in real faces and real tangles in real hair. Real coats and scarves and shoes. Feeling real handshakes and hugs. Looking into tired and sparkling eyes.

Some of my favorite non-AWP things about the trip: a visit to Ragdale with a camp friend of mine I hadn’t seen since I was 15 and who drove 30 miles into Chicago to pick me up [a post coming on this cool visit],  running along Lake Michigan, a visit to The Art Institute of Chicago.

Until March 6th, 2013 in Boston…


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10 thoughts on “so, awp 2012 chicago

  1. Dear Cynthia, how are you? I have been meaning to comment here for quite a few days ( and inadvertently started this comment as though I was writing you a letter!) I wanted to say thanks so very much for featuring my blog on Catching Days. I only spotted the Featured Blog section last week and was very thrilled.
    I enjoyed reading this post about awp and meeting “real people with real tangles in real hair”. It’s always lovely to put skin and bones where only computer screens have walked. All best to you and thanks again,


  2. Wish I could have seen the “real lines in real faces and real tangles in real hair.” But I enjoyed your post and pics and hope to be there next year.


  3. I’m with you on large groups. I’ve heard some say that an extrovert is one who is energized by large gatherings and an introvert is one who is tired by that. I much prefer people one on one too. I liked your TV metaphor: so true! Cool slide show.


  4. Dear Susanna, it’s great to hear from you. I love your blog posts and hope to send some readers your way. And yes, there’s something to skin and bones. Perhaps we will meet one day. Thanks for your letter. ~c


  5. So behind, so behind. Not sure how I got everything done and packets too. Hope your edits are going well. And yes, Boston 2013–put it on your calendar. But hope to see your real face before then : )


  6. Thanks, Sarah. Yes, I’ve heard the same thing re extroverts and introverts. No question where I fall. No wonder I love writing and reading so much.


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