Sketches of AWP 2013

Strangest encounter in Boston: a gentleman stops by the booth and commences speaking at about a thousand RPM while waving a book he’s written, making claims of various famous friends including the Dalai Lama. One of those soliloquies about which you think to yourself, This could all be exactly true as spoken, entirely made up, delusional, etc. or anyplace in between. Later, V looks him up. Lo and behold, first link in the search engine: a photo of this very writer with none other than the Dalai Lama.

Most relaxed moment of the week: leaving the book fair booth to venture out [into sunshine!] across the street, for the Lavender Ink anthhology reading at Lir. Editor Vincent Celluci in fine feather emceeing, as are the many authors who splice their readings from Fuck Poems with (what else?) bawdy humor.

Funniest moment: Nin Andrews’ story over dinner (there’s wine involved, names are named) of her first encounter with a writer who became her mentor. An aha moment for me: this is Nin’s genius, how she enters the room [the writing] disguised as an unassuming, plain vanilla person and then out of nowhere, that devilish sense of humor.

Most confusing moment: why is that guy walking through the book fair in tights and a weird hat with horns on it (not a Viking hat but an awful lot like a Viking hat)?

Best hair: the skinny guy with one turquoise lock peeking from under his watchcap.

Fashion trend noted: The year of Wild Leggings at AWP. Mostly on women.

Best hat: Cornelius Eady, covered with snow, Thursday morning.

Weirdest meal that turned out great: Vincent orders the chicken wrap at the salad place in the mall but has them switch out the chicken for–no, I’m not making this up–avocado. Did I mention that V makes pasta sauce from avocados?

Worst dinner item I got talked into: a glass of wine at the Indian restaurant. Indian Syrah. Still tasted like cough syrup fifteen minutes later.

Best excuse to stop at the hotel bar: Get the taste of the Indian Syrah off my tongue. (Did you know that some people drink their shots with a cola back, instead of beer? This does not seem like a good swap.)

Authors I purchase: Henning Mankell, Randall Horton, Lucille Clifton, Li-Young Li.

Authors whose books I receive as gifts: Randall Horton, Andrei Guruianu, Adrienne Rich.

Sunday pop  quiz: why aren’t we driving back with a much more empty car? We sold a load o’books at this joint but we’re still wrangling boxes and valises and backpacks to leave some visibility out the back windshield.  Answer: No, we didn’t buy that many new books! But we’ve taken on odds and ends like the leftover bottles of wine from the Cambridge off-site, and sundry swag, and we’re pretty much brain-bled by this point in the weekend so let’s face it, we’re just not packing all that intelligently.

About an hour west of Boston: sunshine. All the way home: flocks of migratory birds overhead, winging back northward. On the north coast ten hours later we roll in to shirtsleeve weather. Spring, as Toad assured Frog (thank you, Arnold Lobel) would seem to be just around the corner.
with love,