AWP '17 Re-Cap
AWP is like the Super-Bowl of the lit scene, I suppose. I have never been to the Super-Bowl, but this was my first AWP, so I guess I can say things like that now. Convention centers are what they are, but I had a killer time hocking wares to all the cool kids that go to AWP. I've manned the table at book fairs before, but nothing of this scale—an airplane hangar filled to the gills with one-time-use carpet, fluorescent lights, and a shitload of books and people.
Before going, I admit I was a bit intimidated. Sure, I read books, but there's so much I don't know about anything. AWP was both exactly what expected and so much more. It was inspiring to see so many people interested in what we are doing here at TDR and everywhere else in the writing/publishing world.
Check out some memorable moments:
* Carrying boxes of books (along with our pink banner) on the DC Metro. Wielding a dolly full of books up and down a space-station worthy escalator is harder than it looks.
* Talking to people at our table. We were visited by the likes of Jeff Jackson, Sarah Gerard, Kevin Maloney, Joey Grantham (Disorder Press woot woot), Christian Keifer, D. Foy, and many others.
* Sarah Gerard's temporary tattoo game is strong. I scored a blue herring tattoo, while Eric rocked a crocodile (could have been an alligator) as promo for her new book, Sunshine State.
* Hip City Veg. It lived up to my expectations. The best thing I had was the curry tofu wrap.
* Songbird Cafe. Eric and I got into DC on Wednesday night. We stayed in the Adam's Morgan area. We strolled down the street from our AirBnB after searching for a parking spot for 6 hours, and found the gem that is, Songbird Cafe. Super casual and cool vibes with a stellar homemade veggie burger and decent beer. We ended up going there twice.
* The reading at The Black Squirrel (co-hosted by us, Dorothy, Dzanc, CCM, Action Books). I loved Jen George's book, The Babysitter at Rest, so it was super exciting for me to see her read. Future TDR author, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, also read. He was entirely captivating and won the crowd over. His first book of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, drops late this year.
* The small press party we co-hosted with Sarabande, Curbside Splendor, Deep Vellum, and Featherproof. It was hard to find, but harder to leave.
What we came home with:
Dan by Joanna Ruocco
Calm Face by Bud Smith
Novi Sad by Jeff Jackson
Land Beast by Kate Wyer
Cult of Loretta by Kevin Maloney
Zeroville by Steve Erikson
Animals Strike Curious Poses by Elena Passarello
Cockroaches by Scholastique Mukasonga
Ban En Banlieue by Bhanu Kapil
This Shouldn't Be Beautiful But It Was & It Was All I Had So I Drew It by Keegan Lester
Shot-Blue by Jesse Ruddock
See you in Tampa next year :)