The internet can be an unusually lonely place.
This weekend, many of my friends are attending AWP Seattle. AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) is the largest literary conference in the US. Last year, I had the pleasure of attending this migrating conference in Boston with Zone 3 Press.
An AWP “swag” favorite –
mug purchased from Rumpus.
Even just scrolling through the AWP schedule can be an abundant source of inspiration. Though unable to attend the conference this year, the descriptions of sessions/panels has been similarly thought-provoking for me. In some ways, I think the schedule can be read like a series of brief reminders:
- Find a quiet space, a sanctuary, for yourself and your writing.
- Live an experience worth writing about.
- Embrace peculiarity.
- Memoir is about developing a deeper understanding of experience.
- There are consequences that stem from our writing.
- We owe something to the people we write about.
Out of all the sessions at AWP Seattle, I found myself most drawn to the panel titled “Peace Corps Writers Across the Genres.”
It’s easy to become lost at AWP. (Don’t get me started on the book fair shenanigans.) I loved attending readings or following around my favorite writers to their sessions. At the same time, I was often drawn to feminist topics, writing in relation to nature/yoga, religious writing, book reviews, short plays, sustaining a writing group, short story anything, etc. If nothing else, AWP provides a space to meet up with old friends. Many attend the conference for the drinks and good company.
AWP presented me with a type of psalm that I often experience at writing conferences; there is always more to give. We thrive in community unable to quite live without one another, after all.