Sunday, April 05, 2015
AWP in Minneapolis, and recommended reading
I'll be attending the annual AWP conference this year, this coming week here in Minneapolis.
Some general information for anyone not familiar with Minneapolis: most of the conference events will be at the Minneapolis convention center, at the southern edge of downtown. The weather here this time of year can be highly variable. The forecasts I've seen are saying high temps in the 50's, and lows in the 30's. Either rain or snow are possible this time of year. (This past week it got warm, up to 83 degrees one day, though that's not in the forecast for this coming week.)
Most of the buildings in downtown Minneapolis are connected by enclosed overhead walkways (known locally as "skyways") at the second floor level of the buildings, which can be a big help if the weather turns nasty. The skyways are mostly open from early morning through early evening, though it varies somewhat. If you Google "minneapolis skyway" that should give a bunch of links to maps of the skyway system. The convention center is also connected to the skyways. A lot of the (relatively) cheaper places to eat are in the skyway/second floor level of the office buildings.
You can get from the airport to downtown Minneapolis by the light rail train. Train fair is $2.25 during morning and evening rush hours, and $1.75 during non-rush hour times and all day on weekends. There are ticket machines on the station platforms. (At the airport, last I knew, the ticket machines are at the top of the escalator before you go down to the train station.) * If you're staying at any of the "official" AWP hotels downtown, or any other hotels nearby, you'll probably want to get off at the Nicollet Mall station downtown, and walk south.
Some of the AWP events I plan to check out are include:
On Thursday, a 10:30 panel on "Robert Bly and the Minnesota Writers Publishing House," and a Tribute event (at 3:00) for poets Joy Harjo and Linda Hogan (both Harjo and Hogan are listed among the panel members); also, an offsite event, a Red Dragonfly Press Social and Reading, at 6:00 p.m. at the Gamut Gallery, 1006 Marquette Avenue (across the street from the Hilton hotel);
On Friday, a panel on "James Wright in Minneapolis", at 1:30;
On Saturday, "Writing into the World: Memoir, History and Private Life," a panel at 12:00 featuring poet Carolyn Forche among others; "Tribute to Tom McGrath," at 1:30, with panelists Mike Hazard, John Bradley, Michael Dennis Browne, and Ray Gonzales; a Robert Bly tribute event at 3:00; an at 8:00 p.m. a reading and conversation with Carolyn Forche and Kevin Young.
The above are the highest-priority events for me; there are others I may also try to get to if I have the stamina and concentration. Plus there's the bookfair...
There are several poets and books of poems I've been trying to get to, to write about here. I've been slow and delinquent in this. Two I want to mention in particular that I highly hope to get to, and that I highly recommend:
Lavando la Dirty Laundry by Natalia Trevino (should be a tilde over the n in her last name), published 2014 by Mongrel Empire Press
And Continuous Performance by Maggie Jaffe, a selected poems from her body of work, published 2014 by Red Dragonfly Press.
Anyway I'm still here. Hoping to get back here shortly and say some more.