AWP14 Recap: Part Two

The part that I didn’t expect to be fun turned out to be pretty great. I get pretty grumpy a lot and hate everyone around me so I was dreading seeing a bunch of, ugh, writers. And, good god, all those horrible editors and publishers. Ewwwww.

BUT

I was wrong. Was I wrong. All those damn faces. Damn. They brought a lot of joy.

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Actually, the familiar faces that I love so much started popping up before we even got to Seattle. Before we even left LAX, for that matter. Right off the bat, there was Natashia Déon sitting in her window seat on our flight! And a few minutes later, Kim Calder.

Once we touched down on Seattle soil, none other than Jessica Ceballos was there to pick us up and rush us to the Washington State Convention Center and into the gut of AWP14, where we quickly jumped into our PUBLISH! project. (We kicked ass with it.)

But I don’t want to talk about that today. Today is just about telling you all the great people I got to see and meet.

There was the great(est), Bao Phi, standing by the entrance (doing what? who cares!).

There was the Kaya Press gang of course: Sunyoung Lee, Neelanjana Banerjee, Mia Monnier, and Nona Leon.

There was Koon Woon, who brought us dim sum every morning to feed us, the PUBLISH! participants, and neighboring tables.

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Jessica Dewberry, who we got to spend a lot of time with and became friends.

There were daily strolls to the Rumpus table to hug the irreplaceable Zoë Ruiz, tell her that I love her, and give her whiskey.

There was properly congratulating an LA friend, Douglas Brown, for winning the Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

The LA publishers I look up to and was fortunate to share a panel with: Lisa Pearson (Siglio Press), Teresa Carmody (Les Figues Press), and Luis J. Rodriguez AKA The Governor (Tía Chucha Press).

Old friends like Neil Aitken, Corrie Greathouse, Abel Salas, Karineh Mahdessian, Wendy C. Ortiz, Thaddeus Rutkowski, Conrad Romo, Steph Cha, Jo Scott-Coe, Joseph Lapin, etc.

Jen Hofer! Jen Hofer!

New friends like Fernanda Viveiros, Sean H. Doyle, Lisa Mecham, Edan Lapucki, Wendy Chin-Tanner.

I can go on and on, but you get the picture.

I didn’t expect it, but seeing and meeting people really energized me. Reminded me about being on the right path.

Anyway, thank you all mentioned and not-mentioned that I got to interact with in Seattle for inspiring me and just simply putting a smile on my face.

Oh. And for this:

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Thank you, Soya, for letting us crash in your beautiful place.

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