Monday, February 16, 2009


I’m back from an exciting and exhausting time at the AWP in Chicago. My head’s still reeling, and my poor body’s trying to recuperate.

Some quick highlights:

A wonderful selection of panels dealing with Latino and Native American themes and issues, especially “Diverging Lines” (new directions for Latino poetry), “Something to Declare?” (America’s internal borders and writers’ experiences in crossing them), “Las Mocosas Gritan” (wonderful reading by a group of Macondistas), “After Magic Realism” (new directions in Latino writing), “Speaking Of and To Others” (Indigenous Poetics).

Con Tinta. WOW! Great pachanga of Latino writers in a great venue with delicious food.

Palabra Pura: Special Edition “One Poem Reading.” Fabulous venue, great crowd, wonderful and wonderfully diverse poems by poets from all over the country.

Getting to meet writers I’ve admired for years—Linda Hogan, Simon Ortiz, Lorraine Lopez, Cornelius Eady. Getting to meet new writers I’ve just started reading and admiring in the last year or so—Lisa Alvarado, Carlos Cumpian, Daniel Olivas, Paul Martinez Pompa—and new writers I’d not been aware of—Aaron Michael Morales, Johanny Vasquez Paz, Juan Manuel Sanchez. Making new friendships with some of them that I hope to continue.

Getting to see old friends, such as Diane Glancy, Robin Becker, Marilyn Kallett.

Coming away with editors who want to see my next manuscript, with promises to review my book, with promises to adopt the Collective’s anthology in courses, and more.

More later.

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