AWP, here I come…

I’ll be at the Associated Writing Programs conference in Portland, OR next week and hope to see some old peers and make some new ones while I’m in the Rose City.

I’m looking forward to a nice stay in a groovy hipster hotel on the MAX line in the Pearl District, scrounging from fabulous food trucks, and meeting with long-time friends in the area (I grew up mostly in the Portland-Vancouver area).

And there will be a trip to Powell’s because one cannot visit Portland and not get lost in this bookselling giantess.

I have previously attended 4 times in my life: Chicago in both 2004 and 2009, New York City in 2005, and Vancouver BC in 2008. Then, I participated in various capacities, as a book fair vendor for Margin/Southern Revival, as a panel moderator and/or participant, as a featured reader and, of course, as an attendee.

It will be different for me this year, given my health status and the distinct changes in my career path. I’ll mostly be an attendee, with a reading at the end of the week.

From my likely programming schedule listed below, my interests are leaning to panels on various factors involving illness narrative, as well as apocalypse/genre/magical realism (always a mainstay, with me), but also, political writing, podcasting, and hybrid forms.

I love the fun stuff that happens later, so I’ll be going to the slam/s and the bingo event as well as the conference warmup earlier in the week.

Having “been there and done that,” I’m building in lots of time for resting and strolling the bookfair, which is usually my favorite thing of the whole event. Hoping to do some morning walks if my health allows (still fighting the flu).

But I’ll be packing some VitaminZZZ with me as well–rare print versions of the digital magazine that I’ll have on hand, with postcards for anyone who wants to submit for the spring deadline on the theme of “The Family Bed” (learn more here).

So, for those who are interested, here is my current schedule plans (always subject to change, thanks to MS). You can leave a comment, email, text or call me if you want to make plans for meeting up!


But first, this announcement…

I’LL BE READING FOR THIS EVENT!!!!!

6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Crab Creek Review, Blood Orange Review, & Willow Springs Reading
Liberty Glass, 938 N Cook St, Portland, OR 97227 

Join readers from Crab Creek Review, Blood Orange Review, and Willow Springs for a reading at Liberty Glass.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Indigo’s Conference Warm-Up
Rose City Book Pub Rose City Book Pub
1329 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97212   

Warm up for the 2019 conference and bookfair with members of the Indigo community. Come hear readings from some of our favorite local authors and enjoy an Indigo signature drink or two at Rose City Book Pub, Portland’s premier social spot for book lovers. This is your chance to make a conference buddy or two before diving into the depths of the conference. Plus, pick up exclusive swag!


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

3:00 pm to 8:00 pm
The Festival of Language
2505 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97202 

The Festival of Language will feature over fifty rapid-fire readings of original creative works by as many authors. This event will also include reading experiments. Check out Festival of Language on Facebook for a complete list of readers.

6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Psychopomp Magazine   & The Fabulist: Ferrying You Away from the Familiar
Dig A Pony
736 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214 

Two publications pushing the boundaries of genre and form host a reading of contributors. Books by authors will be available for purchase and signing. Free journal swag for all. Readers include Jaclyn Watterson, Michael Shum, Molly Gutman, Madeline Sardina, Michelle Donahue, Kira Frank, and Hugh Behm-Steinberg.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

9:00 am to 10:15 am R118
Invisible Disabilities, Necessary Supports B115
Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
(Zeke Jarvis, Aby Kaupang, Clare Paniccia, Pat Berryhill, Emily Cole)

This panel will look at the many issues that people with invisible disabilities can face in creative writing programs as well as strategies and structures that programs can adopt to lessen those struggles. From discussing pedagogical concerns like challenge of putting subtext into dialogue for some writers on the spectrum to helping students with high school IEPs transition to college to managing the daunting and stressful life of rejection and competition in writing programs.

10:30 am to 11:45 am R155
Chaotic Good: Genre Fiction as a Tool for Political Resistance B117-119
Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
(Gregory Howard, Porochista Khakpour, Rion Scott, Daniel Jose Older, Danielle Dutton)

This panel will explore how genre fiction, or fiction that uses genre elements, can address politics and even be an act of resistance. Genre allows writers to broach political topics, take chances, advocate change, and take stands that “straight” fiction sometimes can’t. Panelists will discuss how use of genre can be political; how writing genre fiction can free writers to #resist; what “genre” means and how to expand it; and craft advice in using the formal elements of genre in political ways.

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm R240
Revelation or Resistance? Form and Narrative at the End of the World F150
Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
(Roy Scranton, Hilary Plum, Mark Doten, Eugene Lim)

Cyberwar, superviruses, climate change, AI uprising, nuclear armageddon: the future grows ever more uncertain, the end ever nearer. We write today under the shadow of an impending, inchoate, dystopian doom. Three innovative, genre-bending novelists ponder the aesthetics of disaster, the ethics of witnessing, and the question of what narrative and form mean at the end of the world. Is writing fiction escapist fantasy, an act of prophecy, or a kind of interruption? Revelation, or resistance?

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm R271
Chronic Illness and the Writer E141-142
Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
(Noley Reid, Ilana Masad , Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Lorraine Berry, Emma Smith-Stevens)

Chronic illness, whether mental or physical, puts writers into nebulous territory. These largely invisible disabilities present unique issues. How do physical limitations and mental afflictions curtail productivity? How does the reality of illness show up on our pages? How do cultural attitudes toward chronic illness push writers to go beyond their limits in effort to prove that they’re not constrained or defined solely by their maladies?

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm R319
Endings for the End Times?
Portland Ballroom 255, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
(Deborah Lott, Paul Lisicky, Jean Guerrero, Chelsey Clammer)

As we reach the concluding lines of our own works, current ailments in the body politic may bend us toward chaos and despair. At the same time, ever-present narrative and commercial pressures may drive us toward neatly resolved, even uplifting, endings. How to craft final notes that imply light and dark, open and closed, emotional and intellectual complexity? We discuss struggles and strategies for endings that feel satisfying for readers, and yet true to the work, the moment, ourselves.

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Disability Literature Consortium Reading
Courtyard by Marriott Portland Downtown/Convention Center
435 NE Wasco St, Portland, OR 97232  

DLC open reading, featuring Susanne Antonetta, Kay Ulanday Barrett, Jennifer Bartlett, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Cade Leebron, Raymond Luczak, and Dora Raymaker. This event is free and will be ASL-Interpreted.

9:30 pm to 11:00 pm
Thick in the Throat, Honey presents: Iterations, Improvisations, & Collaborations
Passages Bookshop
1223 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97232 

Thick in the Throat, Honey (poet Claudia F. Savage and musician John C. Savage) presents an evening of daring collaborations with PDX composers and improvisers (Dan Sasaki, Jonathan Sielaff of Golden Retriever, Mikaela Schey, Rain Hobbs, Brandon Conway of halfbird, and Juniana Lanning of Fluff & Gravy Records) and local and visiting writers (Lauren Camp, Lezlie Amara Piper, Skyler Reed, and Jennifer Foreman), along with other special guests! As with all collaborations, even we don’t know what will happen, but with this crew there will be fire and subversive delight.

10:00 pm to 12:00 am R349
Old School Slam B113
Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
(Bill Schneider)

AWP welcomes students to return to the roots of Slam! Open mic, special guests, and then undergraduate and graduate students partake in a hardcore-break-your-heart-strut-out-the-good-stuff slam competition. Students are welcome to sign up to participate on Thursday, March 28, 2019 and Friday, March 29, 2019 at the Wilkes University/Etruscan Press booth and read original pieces (three minutes or less with no props) at the Slam later that night. Sponsors: Wilkes University/Etruscan Press.


Friday, March 29, 2019

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm F208
The Strengths of Complexity and the Power of Limitations: Writers on Disability
Oregon Ballroom 201-202, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
(Sandra Gail Lambert, Esmé Weijun Wang, Sarah Einstein, Naomi Ortiz)

These authors are diverse in identities and disability, but each of them writes in a way that confronts what is considered normal. Their work includes the resilience of a ferociously ambitious self, the spiritual experience of a day-to-day life that can be a tug of war between chaos and order, the sometimes funny in using a wheelchair, and essential connections to the natural world, as well as an exploration of the intersection between disability, queerness, race, culture, and desire. The reading will be followed by a moderated discussion between the panelists. This event will be live streamed on Friday, March 29 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. on https://www.awpwriter.org/.

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm F256
Beyond the Desk: Engaging Community As a Writer-Activist A106
Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
(Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum, Sam Ligon, Kristen Millares Young, Dawn Pichon Barron, Julia Hands)

Writing requires solitude, but being a writer requires community. What does it mean, though, to be a writer-activist today? This panel will focus on how five Pacific Northwest writers have woven activism into their writing lives, from the personal to the broadly political. Discussion will include how to find and create arts-activism opportunities in your own community, the relationship between engaged literary citizenship and engaged democracy, and the influence activism has on the panelists’ own writing.

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm F314
A Hybrid Panel on Hybrid Forms F150
Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
(Shayla Lawson, Dao Strom, Stephanie Adams-Santos, Bianca Lynne Spriggs, Diana Khoi Nguyen)

Five cross-genre and multimedia authors discuss hybrid forms in a panel that takes a hybrid structure. Panelists spend 30 minutes talking about their own moves toward hybrid/nontraditional forms of writing, then each presents the work of one hybrid artist who inspires them. Artists presented by each panelist will be in attendance and stand from the audience to share their work in person.

9:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Literary Bingo
The Big Legrowlski
812 NW Couch St, Portland, OR 97209 

Join Lilla Lit for a fast and furiously fun hour of Literary Bingo. Got simile? Suffering? Satire? Snakes? Seattle? Bingo! Candy will be flung. Prizes will be won. Bring your best game. Our all-star lineup: Brian Benson, Kate Carroll De Gutes, Rachel King, Ramiza Koya, Jacqueline Keeler, Margaret Malone, Mary Milstead, Jennifer Perrine, Keith Rosson, Anca Szilagyi, and Valerie Wallace. Contact: Virginia Bellis Brandabur & Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet.

10:00 pm to 12:00 am F342
AWP Open Mic & Old School Slam B113
Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
(Bill Schneider)

AWP welcomes students to return to the roots of Slam! Open mic special guests and then undergraduate and graduate students partake in a hardcore-break-your-heart-strut-out-the-good-stuff slam competition. Students are welcome to sign up to participate on Friday, March 29, 2019 and Thursday, March 28, 2019 at the Wilkes University/Etruscan Press booth and read original pieces (three minutes or less with no props) at the Slam later that night. Sponsors: Wilkes University and Etruscan Press.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

I’LL BE READING FOR THIS EVENT!!!!!
6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Crab Creek Review, Blood Orange Review, & Willow Springs Reading
Liberty Glass, 938 N Cook St, Portland, OR 97227 

Join readers from Crab Creek Review, Blood Orange Review, and Willow Springs for a reading at Liberty Glass.

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