Sunday, February 22, 2009

AWP: It's All About Me

Erin and I repeated our mantra for the week with the conviction of religious ascetics. Because really, as you should know, it is All. About. Me.

So it is no surprise that Rec Room was all over the place over the AWP weekend. First, on Thursday afternoon, Erin Teegarden joined folks from several other Chicago reading series on a panel discussing "Chicago's Literary Landscape." Later in the evening we hosted six poets with Sarabande books at a special Rec Room offsite event.

Our AWP presence culminated in an incredible reading Friday morning. I'm not sure how it happened (but I'm willing to hand it to myself for writing a kickass program description for the schedule book), but we packed our little room on the 3rd floor of the Hilton with the best audience possible. They clapped, they sang, they volunteered to conduct an orchestra of applause. We had so much fun--Della Watson, Krista Franklin, Allison Gruber, Nicolette Bond, Erin and myself. It was so cool to be able to take Rec Room out of the back room of a bar (albeit to a stuffy hotel) and share with all new people. Showing, not telling (if you'll allow), that readings don't have to be staid, boring occasions but can instead be exciting and funny and experimental events, that doing something new and strong, beautiful writing are not mutually exclusive.

Rec Room had an awesome AWP, its very first. Thanks to everyone who came out to support us or kept us in their thoughts. Now the only left is to figure out what to do when the conference comes back to Chicago in 2012. Yipes!


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