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READINGS ROUNDUP :: AWP BOSTON 2013 :: Special Edition

The other night I was having dinner with my mother who asked me exactly what AWP was, and what I was going to be doing there. Since she’d visited me last year at the GC for the Chapbook festival, I was able to use it as a reference point — explaining that this was, in comparison, “the chapbook festival on steroids.” And, mom, that’s only the bookfair. “Sounds exhausting.” Yes, but sort of like sex, exhausting in the best possible way. We’ll all need the proverbial cigarette and to laze about in bed when we get home on Sunday. In the meanwhile:
suffice it to say that this year we are thrilled to not only be going and hosting a table but are also pretty excited about a lot of the conversations that are going to be going on — crucial dialogues about craft, process, and ultimately the passion that fuels the vibrant, if at times crazymaking, literary world. 
Feeling a little overwhelmed with the schedule, with events on and offline, with when to go to the bookfair given all the panels you want to hit up and the occasional need for respite (lactation room, anyone?) We’ve done a little homework for you. You’re welcome. 
9 – 10:15 am
Trying on New Bootstraps: Self-Sustaining Models for Literary Magazines.
(Steph Opitz, Jennifer Woods, Megan M. Garr, Halimah Marcus)
As the university-supported literary magazine increasingly becomes a less viable model, literary magazines must find new methods for generating support. Publishers from Electric Literature, Versal, and the Lumberyard Magazine share their secrets. Room 101, Plaza Level: Panel R105.
**also check out Electric Lit’s awesome SPIRIT GUIDE TO INDIE AWP! They’ve included pretty much everything we’re excited about that we haven’t added here
10:30 – 11:45 am
Panel and Reading for Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics 
Join us for a reading and panel discussion about trans and genderqueer poetry at AWP.
This reading will feature poets Tim Trace Peterson, Max Wolf Valerio, Dawn Lundy Martin, Trish Salah, and TC Tolbert reading their work from the new Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (published by Eoagh / Nightboat Books, spring 2013). The reading will be followed by a discussion about how issues of trans and genderqueer embodiment and identification influence writing. Room 310
No Thousands: An Indie Press Event (Part 1)
Aase Berg via Johannes Göransson (Black Ocean)
James Gendron (Octopus Books)
Lara Glenum (Action Books)
Joe Hall (Black Ocean)
Elaine Kahn (Poor Claudia)
Amy Lawless (Octopus Books)
Monica Mody (1913)
Diane Wald (1913)
Raul Zurita (Action Books)
Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub – Upstairs
472 Mass. Ave. Cambridge
– 1.5 miles from the conference
– (quick bus ride, cheap cab ride or 30 min walk)
– Lots of booze and decent middle eastern food!
– Admission is free with AWP pass, so bring it!
By Birds, LLC
The Distillery, 516 East Second Street in South Boston
A night of Beer, Broadsides, and Poetry with
BIRDS, LLC Ana Božičević, Sampson Starkweather, Bianca Stone
FACTORY HOLLOW Luke Bloomfield, Heather Christle, Alex Phillips
SIXTH FINCH Ryan Ridge, Gale Marie Thompson
WONDER Jenny Zhang, Cecilia K. Corrigan
& VISUAL ARTISTS Aimee Belanger, Mike Dacey, Pat Falco, Jeremiah Gould, Vanessa Irzyk, Jay LaCouture, Gregory Maxim, James Weinberg
*Broadsides by Rye House Press in collaboration with the Rope-a-Dope Collaborative
**FREE Beer by Narragansett
9 – 10:15 am
Post-Genre Lit: Form in the 21st Century. (Lacy M. Johnson, Nick Flynn, Kelle Groom, Kazim Ali, Stephen Elliott) An increasing body of literature not only blurs the boundaries between creative and critical, prose and verse, observation and invention, but also transcends and transgresses our most basic convictions about genre. Postgenre lit can alter our conversations about perception, experience, and reality; or it can kindle deep-seated animosities about the rules and limits of form. These divergent writers will discuss how they read, teach, write, and publish work that defies classification. Room 103, Plaza Level
Poetry of Resistance: Poets Responding to Xenophobia and Injustice.
(Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Carmen Calatayud, Elena Díaz Björkquist, Andrea Hernandez Holm) In response to AZ SB 1070, in 2010 a Facebook page titled Poets Responding to SB 1070 was born. It has become a lively forum of poetics and politics involving a response of over two thousand poems. Panelists will discuss the success of the project, an upcoming anthology, and how social movements can incorporate poetry and writing into their organizing in order to bring about political awareness and empowerment. Presenters will read from poetry submissions and from their own work.  Room 109, Plaza Level
10:30 – 11:45
Founder’s Toolkit: How to Start a Nonprofit in Your Own Backyard [WITS Alliance].
(Bao-Long Chu, Allen Gee, Janet Hurley, Lisa Murphy-Lamb, Jerome Vielman) If every organization is the lengthened shadow of one person, and if the MFA is the new MBA, then poets and novelists are already equipped with the imaginative drive and divergent thinking necessary to start and operate a successful nonprofit. This panel of founding directors and arts administrators will provide useful information on how to start a literary nonprofit. We will guide participants through the process of incorporating one’s passion into a viable project, working for public good. Room 102, Plaza Level
1:30 – 2:45
A Centenary Celebration of Muriel Rukeyser, Sponsored by Paris Press.
(Jan Freeman, Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, Olga Broumas, Michael S. Harper) This tribute celebrates the life and work of Muriel Rukeyser. Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, Michael Harper, and Olga Broumas speak about Rukeyser’s groundbreaking writing and her influence on their own work and the literature of diverse and influential writers of our time. Each poet reads one of his or her own poems inspired by Muriel Rukeyser; and each reads their favorite Rukeyser poem and passages from her book of essays, The Life of Poetry. Jan Freeman introduces and moderates the tribute. Room 302
6 – 9 pm
Cave Canem Fellows Offsite Reading
Joined by Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish and Cave Canem elder Afaa M. Weaver, Cave Canem fellows take the stage to raise funds for North America’s premier home for black poetry. Emceed by Glenis Redmond. $10 admission to benefit Cave Canem, includes full buffet style dinner and wine.
Linda K. Paresky Center
Simmons College
300 The Fenway
Main Building, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA
/ Featuring /
Sam Corninsh, Afaa M. Weaver, January Gill O’Neil, Lauren K. Alleyne, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Antoinette Brim, Jocelyn Burrell, CM Burroughs, Mary Moore Easter, Chiyuma Elliott, Hafizah Geter, Juliet P. Howard, Douglas Kearney, Ruth Ellen Kocher, Jacqueline Jones Lamon, Robin Coste Lewis, Aisha Sharif, Kamilah Moon, Khadijah Queen, Maya Washington, Keith Wilson, L. Lamar Wilson, Ronaldo Wilson.
No Thousands : An Indie Press Event (Part 2)
Featuring the following readers:
Dan Chelotti (McSweeney’s)
Rauan Klassnik (Black Ocean)
Dorothea Lasky (Wave Books)
Rebecca Lindenberg (McSweeney’s)
Hoa Nguyen (Wave Books)
Geoffrey Nutter (Wave Books)
Joshua Marie Wilkinson (Black Ocean)
Musical performance of PINK THUNDER (Black Ocean 2012)
by Michael Zapruder!
Dance party to follow! Featuring Soulelujah Superstars
DJs Claude Money and Worth Wagers
Church of Boston Restaurant & Lounge
69 Kilmarnock Street
– 1 miles from the conference
– (quick bus ride, cheap cab ride or 20 min walk)
– Excellent food, full bar, and craft cocktails
– Admission is free with AWP pass, so bring it!
Is this your first time? Saturday is BUILD YOUR LIBRARY AT THE BOOKFAIR DAY, where no one wants to take their merch back on the plane/train/automobile and many people sell at Crazy Eddie prices. Duh.
9 – 10:15
P.U.P.: Poets in Unexpected Places.
(Jon Sands, Samantha Thornhill, Adam Falkner, Syreeta McFadden, Elana Bell) Join the founders of P.U.P., a poetry and performance collective dedicated to placing New York City’s top poets into the public arena. Their impromptu readings from the Q train to the Whole Foods stretch the comfort zone of the artist while providing communities with literary and artistic experiences in unexpected public spaces. Panelists will discuss best practices for bringing one’s art back to the spaces that rarely know how to request it but need it most. Room 103, Plaza Level
Digital Writing: Performances and Readings of Electronic Literature.
(Eric LeMay, John Cayley, Dene Grigar, Nick Monfort, Stephanie Strickland) Performances and readings by John Cayley, Dene Grigar, Nick Montfort, and Stephanie Strickland will feature innovative writing that is digital in the sense of literature conceived and created for electronic media. Come and experience work that challenges and reinvents narrative form, literary composition, and poetic meaning. Afterward, there will be discussion of the present and future of e-lit: its range, its possibilities, and its promise for enlivening and enriching contemporary literature. Room 201
10:30 – 11:45
Agents, Editors, and the State of Publishing.
(Mary Gannon [FYI: Editorial Director of Poets & Writers], Jofie Ferrari-Adler, Jennifer Joel, Chuck Adams) Agents and editors share behind-the-scenes perspective about what authors need to know about the changing industry of publishing. How have e-books, e-readers, and self-publishing affected the industry? With the closing of Borders and the growing influence of Amazon, how have changes to distribution channels affected the way publishers market books, and what does this mean for authors? How have the best practices for submitting work to agents and editors changed? Room 203, Level 2
1:30 – 2:45
Finding New Freedom in Old Forms.
(Danielle Jones-Pruett, Jill McDonough, Maria Hummel, Tyehimba Jess) Sonnets, villanelles, ghazals, and other poetic forms are often discussed in terms of their restrictiveness, but more and more poets are returning to these forms to address social injustice, tragedy, and inequity, or to engage in other politically charged topics. Come hear Jill S. McDonough read sonnets grappling with the history of execution in America; discover how song forms, like villanelles and pantoums, provided a release for Maria Hummel, allowing her to write about her son’s illness in a way that is emotionally honest; experience Tyehimba Jess’s ability to take African Americans on the fringe of history and reintroduce them into popular culture, all while deconstructing and reconstructing form. After the reading, the poets will answer questions about working with form and how it has been significant to their poetic process. Room 203, Level 2
3 – 4:15 pm
Art vs. Commerce: Writing for Love and Money.
(Elizabeth Benedict, Stephen McCauley, Stephen Elliott, Maud Newton, Steve Almond) Grace Paley’s advice to writers: Keep your overhead low. But when teaching doesn’t lead to tenure, how do literary writers cobble together a living and a life while writing work that matters? Panelists who have had unconventional careers largely outside the academy examine their decisions and discuss the role of money, literature, and serendipity in their creative pursuits: editing an online literary magazine, writing soft-core porn, and creating advice columns, TV shows, and yoga books under a pseudonym. Room 210.

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