Tuesday, February 8, 2011

AWP '11: Highlights and Regrets

Am still in recovery mode so I guess it's a good time to sloop back through stuff.

Will use the highlight/regret motif, see how that works...

Highlite: getting to see, on successive nights, Robert Lopez and Randall Brown read stuff from that great lost issue of Mississippi Review that Kim Chinquee edited.

Highlite: spending time w/ Ben Loory and Gabe Durham at/after the Thurs nite reading in Columbia Heights. Surefine human beings there, both.......

Regret: not getting to meet Cathy Day, who I saw at the Friday reading in Adams Morgan but couldn't get to before she left.

Highlite: getting to meet Steve Almond that same night and talking some Gary Lutz.

Highlight: huge flappy pizza w/ Lauren Becker in an overlit cubby of a place in Adams Morgan in the rain. And Tim Jones-Yelvington there, in black pumps, the full Tim J-Y splendor, saying, "I do not eat pizza." (that was a mishearing, it turns out, but Tim and I have agreed to let it stand).

Highlight: having Beth Thomas as a co-staggerer late late Thurs nite in Dupont Circle as we looked for our fancy hotel.

Regret: not meeting Terese Svoboda.

Regret: not meeting Mary Caponegro, who Greg Gerke was just about to introduce me to when I walked off.

Wandering around w/ Greg at the Book Fair, taking the slow ride of my hangover.

Highlight: talking w/ Erin Fitzgerald at the Black Cat about the deejay, who'd put on "Footloose." Our conclusion: not cool, never cool, never to be cool.....

Regret: not buying more books/mags when I was standing at the tables and had the chance.

Highlight: having the waitress @ Kramer Books ask me, when she realized I was at the conf, "Oh, what have you written!?" and being able to just pull out the AG's instead of stammering in my usual way.

Highlight: Getting to see Mary Hamilton read her Wigleaf story, "It Is True that Me and Theodore Swallowed Pop Rocks and Pepsi Cola and Now We Are Dead" (I told her afterwards, It's like I went to see Skynryd and they played "Freebird")

Highlight: Having Ryan Bradley as a tablemate at the bookfair. I wasn't there much because Wigleaf has no physical product, but people still came up looking for me, and Ryan didn't get too annoyed. Really enjoyed hanging w/ him when I was there: top notch man.

Regret: Attending two great readings and so missing two other great ones (particularly bummed not to have seen Divination at the 4 P's and Vermin on the Mount.

Regret: speaking of Vermin: not meeting Jim Ruland!

Highlight: meeting Mary Miller in a red hallway at Millie & Al's when we were both trashed (so I didn't have to worry about how trashed I'd been, later)

HIghlight: meeting Jurgen Fauth and talking to him and having the woman he'd been talking w/--a short woman in a dark coat--slowly turn around: Nicolle Elizabeth.

Regret: not meeting Dawn Raffel

Triple Highlight: texting Molly Gaudry from the too-loud/crowded Madam's Organ and having her call back to say she was across the street, and going over there and finally meeting her and then having her there for my reading Friday nite...... big hearts for MG...

Highlight: my reading Fri nite. Is that bad form, to have yr own reading be one of yr highlights? The thing: I hadn't read for a while, and I'd never read for a crowd like that, w/ so many people knowing my stuff..... Was super fun, and I feel good about how it worked out (I was going to read a passage from a novel in prog but let myself get pulled into going on w/ the AG's).

Highlight: Roxane Gay's line: "Facebook is in my face!"

Highlight: Smoking outside the Black Cat w/ a manic dude who turned out to be Corey Zeller, watching him propose switching lids w/ a third guy, and watching the third guy bristle and say, "No, no, it's my birthday."

Regret: saying a bunch of really stupid things to people, and having them say stupid things back.

Highlight: saying a bunch of really stupid things to people, and having them say stupid things back.

Highlight: getting to meet Myfanwy Collins and talk for a while. What an excellent person!

Highlight: Lily Hoang. That's it. Just Lily Hoang.

Another highlight: Matt Salesses. Just Matt Salesses.

Regret: not meeting Michael Martone (yes, Rob S told me to go that panel....)

Highlight: finally meeting Amber Sparks, after missing her for what seemed like the whole weekend.

Highlight: meeting Zach Dodson at the Featherproof/Make table, and having a guy on the Make side ask, "Are you Chris Garson's brother?" (turned out to be Joel Craig, who I'd met once half a lifetime ago--now poetry editor for Make)

Regrets: Not getting to talk more w/ all the very good people I met. Tim Horvath! Mitch Parker! Heather Fowler! Blake Butler! Rob Swartwood! Nicole Monaghan! Tara Laskowski! Mike Young! Randall Brown! Bess Winter! Jamie Iredell! Kirby Johnson! Glenn Shaheen! Brooks Sterritt! Luke Goebel! Jensen Beach! Jen Michalski! Dave Housley! Extie Ecks! David Erlewine! On and on........

Hightlight: Dinner w/ old friends and one new in Cleveland Park Sat. nite. Then debriefing w/ Laura Ellen Scott at her place in Northern Virginia.

Highlight: this exchange w/ a stewardess on the flight back:

me: I'll have--no. I'll just have a coke.

woman: what were you going to say?

me: I'll have a coke.

woman: no. say it.

me: it's fine.

woman: what were you going to say? tell me. I bet you'll be glad that you did.

me: did you say it was a 'cashless' bar?

woman: ah but i have these coupons! someone didn't want them up front. you could have one and be drinking for free.

me: then I'd love a Bloody Mary (translation: I love you very very much)

Highlight: Meeting and talking w/ Michael Nye on the shuttle ride home from the airport.

Regret: Being too whirled to mention--later, now--everybody I probably should mention here.

Regret: What yesterday was like.


Ryan W. Bradley said...

right back at ya, scott. next time we'll grab dinner or a drink together! and maybe we'll start brainstorming some fake products for wigleaf.

Laura Ellen Scott said...

You should post about all you had to do to bloody get here at all--it was great seeing you.

Robert said...

Pleasure finally meeting you, Scott.

wv: lesee

Lauren Becker said...

i had so much fun with you i could pee. but i won't. thanks for inviting me to read and for reading for corium. and for eating the biggest pieces of pizza on earth with me. i saw this girl at the airport and she looked familiar and i didn't ask but am positive she was the girl who sold us that pizza. it would have been funny if she had been eating pizza. she wasn't.

Scott Garson said...

much much fun seeing you all for sure....

that pizza girl--she really didn't want to cut my pizza...

Matthew Salesses said...

Scott, you are awesome.

Myfanwy Collins said...

Scott, you're the best! Chatting you was definitely a highlight for me.

p.s. love your exchange with the stewardess.