So often humans seem the least sensible creatures. We are speechless at the latest violence perpetrated by humans, against other humans; at the continuing agony of misery, of civilians fleeing violence, caught again in the literal and metaphorical crossfire. We gape as the primary campaigns unfold into real life cartoons. The rebound of fear-fueled responses to social progress of every stripe is enough to knock the wind right out of you. The news, every morning without fail, makes us want to find a nice, quiet, solitary cave where we can hide away with some sandwiches and a big bag of books.

How are we to make meaning of all this mess?

I can’t say AWP is anything remotely like an antidote. But it does one very important thing: offers us a time and place to gather in celebration of the book, and of writers. So yes, the wompus will be there at AWP-16 in LA next week, with proverbial bells on, Booth 1419 of the book fair. Come see us, and come see our beautiful new books. We can’t fix very many of the vast ailments of the world, but we can give homage to literary art and artists. Come to LA and raise a glass of whatever you favor.

Ours will be espresso–and we’re gonna need it, for this annual clusterbook.

with love,

image, "Win-win relationship," courtesy Alex Brolio