I only have one thing to say: I adore people coming up to say they adore Moi.
Heh. But of course I have more to say!
So, first, check out the updated review copy list for Galatea Resurrects which I've augmented from AWP! Remember that next review deadline is May 5 so there's plenty of time for y'all to choose a book, have me send it to you, engage with it, then send me such review!
This was the third time I've attended AWP. It's also the first time I enjoyed the experience. I always knew I'd be in AWP next year because it's in New York (and I grab any excuse to visit New York to catch up on art gallery situation), but now I'm actually looking forward to the experience.
This year, at our Marsh Hawk Press table -- we sold more books than in prior AWPs (that I attended) and other publishers I spoke to say that book sales keep rising! I sold out of not just my Marsh Hawk books but those released by my other publishers -- xPress(ed) 1 , xPress(ed) 2, Otoliths, Moria -- such that I had to snatch the last copy of Dredging (an SPD pick last week!) right from under Sandy McIntosh's nose to give to someone else (but your copy, along with the (proverbial) check, is in the mail, Sandy!). Of course, it's still tough to cover costs -- I have a sense that publishers with plenty of titles to sell are more able to cover costs than small indie publishers (esp. those just starting out). But -- and I never thought I'd think this -- I, for one, am seriously considering doing a book table next year for moi Meritage Press --
...I sense something loosening with AWP. Maybe it's because I attended a few readings set up by indie publishers and they were fun! My first AWP, I attended the canonized events and that was enough to bore me into staying away for a number of years....
Which reminds me of another observation. Seeing the readings -- and the related "communities" around the indie publishers -- typically poets themselves publishing other poets -- was just such a radical juxtaposition against the poetry contest publishing scheme whose detritus also littered the conference. I can't tell you how many times younger poets who do the contest circuits have come up to discuss Marsh Hawk as a collective being a fabulous alternative...and so it seems to me yet again that maybe poets should band together to DIY rather than submitting to contests. Marsh Hawk, for one, was started by seasoned poets -- we've all been around for a while and have observed the constraints of traditional poetry publishing and decided to take things in our own hands....
Let me spend a few more paragraphs on this topic -- as I've heard it, one advantage (as considered by the majority but not by Moi) -- on contests is that the "winner" will have cultural imprimatur that would not necessarily exist if we're just talking about indie publishing -- a matter that certainly resonates when considered in the context of lousy poetry distribution (such that contest winners get an edge for being contest winners). But this is simply not true.
If you're interested in cultural imprimatur, you need not rely on contests to get it. You can get that third-party check (if so important to you) through blurbs -- a far cheaper way than an annual budget of several hundred dollars to cover submission fees. Here is a blatant example:
Otoliths (edited/published by one non-irascible person in Australia who still manages to publish U.S. authors for crissakes) just released its second round of books. Well if you check out Otoliths' list here -- some of the books got blurbs. What would be the cultural diff between Lyn Hejinian, Cole Swensen and Paul Hoover judging a contest and choosing your book versus the lovely blurbs they gave for the Otoliths publications (for Jordan Stempleman and Vernon Frazer). Nada mucho, baby.
Having said that, if you're doing contests, please do my publisher Marsh Hawk Press's contest. At least we're not corrupt. (Yes, I know ... but I'm not wiffle-waffling so much as choosing to accept that the issue -- contests vs no contests -- need not be a binary. As regards poets' desires for publication, my primary response is ... compassion)
Meanwhile, my panel on "Poetry From MultiLingual Homes" was fabulous but of course -- yes, Leny, I'm shooting over moi paper to you.
Seriously, I was delighted to meet many of you...too many to do a roll call. And that all of my meetings were wonderful also means I'm really sorry to have missed those I missed. Next year?
For now, re more catching up:
I see that while I was at AWP, Nicholas Manning did a close reading of moi edited Jose Garcia Villa's The Anchored Angel -- thanks for the attention and ... engagement!
And thanks for Tom Beckett for calling me "...one of the nicest people..." Nice is good, Peeps. Nice is nice! (I must be slipping; a few months ago, I would have highlighted being called "hot").
And here is my latest list of engaged-with books and wines:
COMPLICATIONS, poem manuscript by Garrett Caples
DAYS POEMS, two volume manuscript totalling a million pages of poems by Allen Bramhall
LITTLE WAR MACHINE, poems by M Sarki
BECOMING THE VILLAINESS, poems by Jeannine Hall Gailey
WARS. THREESOMES. DRAFTS. & MOTHERS, heretic text by Heriberto Yepez
THE MAN SUIT, poems by Zachary Schomburg (Congrats on your debut collection -- it is a fabulous collection and 'twas my plane reading as I headed home from Atlanta. The "Beer" poem, though, got lost in translation onto the page ... wink. Hmmm...why am I writing as if posting this on blog would get to Zachary -- maybe youse who know him can forward my Congrats for his book: a wonderful combo of sublime mundanity with utmostly deadpan cool.)
KOOL LOGIC / LA LOGICA KOOL, with accompanying performance/spoken word DVD, by Urayoán Noel (Bilingual Press)
CADENZA, poems by Charles North
PAPER CRAFT, poems by Catherine Daly
CHANTEUSE / CANTATRICE, poems by Catherine Daly
OVERNIGHT, poems by Paul Violi
REPAIR, poems by C.K. Willilams
SAINTS OF HYSTERIA: A HALF-CENTURY OF COLLABORATIVE AMERICAN POETRY edited by Denise Duhamel, Maureen Seaton and David Trinidad
VANITAS 2, edited by Vincent Katz
MAX COLE, artist monograph
RUSSIAN JOURNAL, memoir by Andrea Lee
THE BONES OF PLENTY, novel by Lois Phillips Hudson
WHERE OR WHEN, novel by Anita Shreve
UNDER COVER OF NIGHT, novel by Linda Howard
I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT, novel by Allison Pearson
1994 Mondavi Reserve cabernet
2005 Mollydooker shiraz
1990 Comte Armand Pommard Clos de Epeneaux
1999 Turley petite syrah
1987 Ravenswood Pickberry
2006 Yellow Tail chardonnay (moi AWP house white courtesy of Barbara and Sandy McIntosh)