Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Confession Tuesday - So Many Books To Read

Dear Reader:

It's been 2,259 frequent flyer miles, one published poem, a ton of new books and literary reviews to read, one reading in Portland, an introduction to yoga and one month since my last confession.

It's National Poetry Month. Take a poetry pill for your anxiety. It's good for you and will do you no harm.

It's been a busy month since my last confession with AWP at the end of March,. I confess that seeing Portland for the first time was interesting. The scenery and topography were surprising to me. I must confess I  had visited Oregon numerous times in the past on the Oregon trail, but I don't think Portland as such existed back then. I was usually running low on supplies and had lost other people in my party to dysteria.  That's what I remember most about it.

I did not get a lot of sightseeing done. What I did see was from the apartment complex where we were staying and the view was hilly and rustic in the distance. Also, riding the Max into the city took me mostly through what seemed like older portions of the city. I could tell the city itself was pretty densely populated.

One of the nice aspects of the conference was seeing IRL some people that  I have been acquainted with from social media. Some for quite a few years but in all instances, it was exciting to meet them just the same.

Kelli Russell Agodon had been over the years one of my very favorite poets. I confess that after meeting her I worried that I had babbled on, but oh well.  Jennine Hall Gailey was another first time to meet. Michael Schmeltzer, a first. I have books by all three of these people.

Marianne Mersereau AKA Wild Honey from Seattle was there Friday and Saturday. We hung out together at an off-site reading Friday Night. We have corresponded for a number of years and I have one of her poetry books as well. We had a great time - it was an awesome reading. On Saturday, she came and supported me at my reading, on-site, for which I was very appreciative.

I got to meet Katie Manning for the first time. I already had her latest book but was able to pick up an earlier one titled "Tasty Other" which she signed.

The more you go to AWP, the more you realize just how impossible it is to meet everyone you want to. I confess that  I disappointed to miss Carolyn Forche last year in Tampa, but was able to pick up her new memoir that I am currently reading and get her to sign it.

There are always disappointments. I had hoped to meet Francesca Bell. I did get her new book but  I rushed as fast as I could from my reading Saturday to her table and evidently just missed her.

It was nice to see Martha Silano again. Always enjoy seeing Mary Biddinger. She always has book recommendations and her record for picking out books I end up liking is like about 95% - but then Akron Press always publishes really good poets.

I missed seeing  Shaindel Beers, Rachel Mennies (who was not at the event) and Jessica Smith (who did not attend also), Kaveh Akbar and Maggie Smith. So you can see, many time we are all like ships passing in the night.

Overall, Portland was a great conference. I Confess that  I loved the presence that Writer-To-Writer had.  We were all over the place. Our Director Diane Zina Pettyjohn worked very hard with her staff to get W2W the exposure it so deserves.

That's it for now. I'm sure I left out people,  This is a confession. Hopefully, I will be forgiven.

Now if you will excuse me, I have so many new books to read.

Be safe~


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