Sunday, February 6, 2011

Finding Happiness at 2011 AWP DC

If anyone mentioned that he or she had never seen the Steiny Road Poet happier than the four days she spent at the Associate Writing Programs (AWP) Convention & Bookfair, this would be absolutely true. She has found that passing The Word Works scepter to Nancy White, a former winner of the Washington Prize, has made this literary organization suddenly leap into the future -- we are now taking manuscripts for the Washington Prize electronically. We have a gorgeous new logo. We updated our Internet name to We are sending electronic newsletters. We are saving money with print on demand production of our books. And we bought an expensive piece of real estate at AWP -- a booth with two big tables -- and covered all the costs by selling lots of of our beautiful books!

One particular high point was the celebration reading of selected Washington Prize winners as a scheduled event of the AWP catalogue. There were around 60 people in the audience to hear Nathalie Anderson, Peter Blair, Fred Marchant, Brad Richard, Jay Rogoff, and Enid Shomer. Fred moderated and created a warm community feeling for the program that included more than the usual nods to Nancy and the Steiny Road Poet. And it was February 3, 2011, Gertrude Stein's 137 birthday! Fred chose to read poems by both Nancy & S.R. Poet, including Karren Alenier's "Stein Writes It All Down."

The last day of AWP, the Steiny Road Poet paused for photos with friends Deborah Ager and Reb Livingston, with whom she also had photo opps at the 2009 AWP Conference in Chicago.  How things come full circle.

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