Note: YIKES! I was going through my drafts and realized I wrote this before AWP and didn’t post it! So here is my pre-AWP post. I’m drafting a new post and I promise that one will be up in a more timely fashion.
I’m writing from the silent morning of my home. My suitcase is packed. My cute travel tote is ready and I have one comfortable clothes. I’m ready for travel, as ready as one can be.
Today, I’m traveling to #AWP19 or how regular non hashtag-y folks know it, Association of Writers and Writing Programs convention. This year it’s in Portland and it almost feels like a homecoming in a way.
I am a proud alum of Goddard College’s MFA program. I studied at the Port Townsend location in Washington State. I’ve always loved the Pacific Northwest. Besides the ever rain, it’s beautiful. Portland is beautiful and a great town. I love Seattle and Portland.
I’m also returning to AWP. It’s a massive convention. It’s almost like every writer, writing director, MFA graduate or current MFA-er, and adjacent members of this universe are at the same place at the same time. That can totally be overwhelming. So many bodies and minds and thoughts and coffee (oh! the coffee!) at the same time. It’s almost a recipe for an anxiety attack.
Oh yes! I anticipate this extended weekend to be a test of my coping skills. I can almost feel the anxiety rising as I write this. But I feel like I’ll be okay because…well…writers tick so many of the mental illness boxes that I’m sure I won’t be the only one pulling out headphones and breathing exercises.
As a response to this, AWP scheduled yoga sessions through out the convention. I’m not saying I’m going to down dog (I didn’t really bring any gear with me) but at the very least some meditation will help.
One of the things I’m looking forward to is being on my first AWP panel! A friend ask if anyone would be willing to fill in for a panelist and I raised my hand! So I’ll talk craft, race, and the black imagination with some very talented and smart women. It’s a bit intimidating. The discussion questions I was sent were deep, ocean deep, and have me really using my thinking skills. It’s been a while since I pondered deep literary questions. I’m usually thinking craft issues in terms of my students who really just have to learn to write academic college essays. It’s nice to stretch the brain but geez!
Alright, Reader! That’s all I have for now. Just a very quick note. I may update from Portland, if not here then on social media, specifically Twitter.