AWP, Here I Come!
Every year, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, otherwise known as AWP, holds its conference. I’ve been attending the conference for 15 years now; perhaps, it has been longer (I’m too lazy to sit down and do the math). The beginning of August is always a nerve-wracking time for those of involved in the instruction and study of creative writing, because this is when AWP announces which panels have been accepted. Competition is fierce, with thousands of proposals submitted annually. And, what makes the whole process worse, is that it’s impossible to guess which proposals will find favor with the screening committees and which won’t.
I just learned that one of the panel proposals that I’m part of has indeed been taken. Yay! Titled “Conflict, Crisis, and Verse: Four Poets in Conversation,” the panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Peter Molin and will include Benjamin Busch, Dunya Mikhail, Brian Turner, and well, me. Here’s a description what to expect:
During a period of political exigency and social anxiety, how can poets and poetry teach, inspire, connect, and heal? Four widely-published and celebrated poets–two military combat veterans, an Iraqi-American emigre, and the spouse of a military officer–draw on the urgency and insight born of their experience of war to trace the dynamic relationship of poetic voice and technique, personal circumstance and perspective, and turbulent national and global events.
At AWP, I’ll also offer support to the graduate students who run the American Literary Review‘s table and will meet with prospective PhD students who will have been accepted into UNT’s program. Finally, the most important thing about AWP is catching up with old friends. All in all, the conference makes for a very busy few days.