Overwhelmed by all the event choices at AWP? Here’s your guide to best events. I asked Veteran AWP attendees, “What’s the top event at AWP 2019 that you’d recommend to others?” Check out their recommendations!
First, two of my recommendations:
Joy Ladin (pictured) is a spectacular poet, an amazing speaker, and an incredible person. (Learn more about her
At last year’s AWP, I attended a panel on plays that included my pals from Goddard College’s MFA in
Creative Writing program, Craig Thornton and Andy Pederson, as well as two other playwrights, Deborah
Jordan and Jayme McGhan. They spoke well and shared a variety of interesting information, but what I
remember most is that during the Q&A people kept asking, “How can I write a play?” The audience members
said that they’d never written one and really wanted to learn. The panelists really listened: This year they are
Here are their other great suggestions:
~ Erika T. Wurth, Fiction Writer & Professor
“Minority caucus meetings/events (shoutout to the LGBTQ Caucus!)” ~ Sassafrass Lowrey, Author of Fiction and Nonfiction
“‘Come Celebrate With Me: Women of Color Writers and Literary Lineage.’ Featuring Catina Bacote, Jane Wong, Ysabel Y. Gonzalez, and Anastacia -Renee.”`
~ Melissa Studdard, Poet & President of the Women's Caucus
~ Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Novelist and Memoirist; Faculty at Goddard College MFAW; Hedgebrook Alumna and Teacher for Hedgebrook’s Vortex Salon
“I have to pick 2! First, anything with Ilya Kaminsky! A Reading & Conversation with Tarfia Faizullah, Tess Gallagher and Ilya Kaminsky. Then Marcelo Hernandez Castillo! Consequences of Silence, March 28, 4:30 p.m. with Simon Armitage, Samiya Bashir, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Camille Dungy.”
~Helene Cardona, Poet & Translator
Some of the folks that helped with this survey as well as my other article, “What to Pack for AWP,” are also part of AWP panels, readings, and/or booths. I want to thank them for their participation and give a shout out to their cool events as well as their books and websites:
Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Fiction Writer, is part of the panels The F Word: Writing Unabashedly Feminist Fiction and We Were Never Meant to Survive: Writing About People Who Do Anyway, and has a book signing with Sonoma County Writers Camp.
Cooper Lee Bombardier, writer, is chairing the panel Transmogrification of the Transgender Narrative: Cunting-up Trans Nonfiction, and is reading at three offsite events, Incite: Queer Writers Read at Literary Arts, Queer Work with Michelle Tea and Guests at Psychic Sister
Melissa (Misha) Cahnmann-Taylor, Poet & Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia, is part of the panel Wandering Jews Go West. She is the author of Imperfect Tense (Whitepoint Press, 2016). Check out her blog: www.teachersactup.com
Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, Poet and Translator, is the moderator of the panels Who Has the Rights? The How, Why, and Whom of Translation, and Poet vs. Community vs. History, and is part of the offsite readings Shitholes of the World Unite at Holocene, and Title is Nouns & Verbs: A Poetry Reading, at Turn! Turn! Turn! with Florida International University Faculty and Alumni. https://www.marcicalabretta.com/events.html
Helene Cardona, Poet & Translator, will serve on the panel Translation as the Art of Reincarnation. She’ll be signing her new book Birnam Wood at the Salmon Poetry Booth #4054 Thursday March 28 from 5 - 6 PM and at the Terrain.org Table #9029 Saturday March 30, 2:30-3:30 PM. Check out her interview in AWP’s “In the Spotlight” or her website http://helenecardona.com
Sandra Gail Lambert, writer, is part of the AWP Featured Presentation: The Strengths of Complexity and the Power of Limitations: Writers on Disability, the panel Better Later? Success and the Late Blooming Woman Author, and the University of Nebraska Press book signing—A Certain Loneliness by Sandra Gail Lambert. www.sandragaillambert.com
Sassafrass Lowrey, Author of Fiction and Nonfiction, organized the panels Assimilate This!: Queer Literary Community as Sites of Mobilizing and Resistance and Both, Neither, and Something Else Entirely: Genderqueer Writers & Writing. Ze is also reading at the offsite event: Queer Work with Michelle Tea and Guests at Psychic Sister. www.SassafrasLowrey.com
Aimee Liu, Goddard College MFA Faculty, will be at the Goddard College MFA in Creative Writing Booth #3063, and will serve on the panels Everything We Wish We Had Known Before Applying to Grad School, and The World Splitting Open: From Memoir to #MeToo.
Donnelle McGhee, author. https://www.amazon.com/Donnelle-McGee/e/B00713BU3K%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
Carla Norton is the author of crime fiction and true crime. CarlaNorton.com
Rahna Reiko Rizzut is a Novelist and Memoirist; Faculty at Goddard College MFAW; Hedgebrook Alumna and Teacher for Hedgebrook’s Vortex Salon. Rizzuto will be at the Goddard College MFA in Creative Writing Booth #3063 and will be part of the reading, Hedgebrook Voices Rising. www.rahnareikorizzuto.com
Sherri L. Smith, Young Adult Novelist, is part of the panels Surfing the Green Wave: Engaging Environmental & Social Issues for Young Readers and Companioning Loss: The Role of Children’s Books in Difficult Times. Meet her in person at the Goddard College MFAW Booth: # 3063 and check out her website www.sherrilsmith.com
Melissa Studdard, Poet & President of the Women's Caucus, will moderate the Women’s Caucus, and VIDA: Voices & Views Transgender, Non-Binary, & Gender-Nonconforming Interview. www.melissastuddard.com
Erika T. Wurth, Fiction Writer & Professor is part of the panel Indigenous Fiction: Intersections in the United States and Canada.