AWP Special #3: I’ve Paneled Myself Blind

Well! Barely did we have the chance to wipe the belligerence of a six hour flight off our face before being thrust into AWP land, located this year in downtown Seattle. AWP does not, as I thought, stand for American Writers and Poets, as I told everyone at work, but Association of Writers and Writing Programs. I don’t know why there’s only one W, and I’m sorry that I assumed poets weren’t writers. To be fair, Poets and Writers magazine does the same thing, and they’re way more legit than I.

Within three minutes of being in Seattle, my compatriota and I had buckets of water thrown on our heads while walking down the street to the hostel, witnessed an entire alley wall covered in chewing gum, got asked for a million or so dollars by seventeen thousand white bums, and had some cheap ass Stella ($4 NOT during happy hour #nycsucks) and decent goat cheese and prosciutto pizza (#nofigsnogood). We passed out Wednesday in a pungent yet welcoming hostel across from the Pike Place Market, and were up at dawn to register. Panels led to more panels, to day drinking and three more panels, to a banana for dinner and a night of heavy drinking and dancing to ridiculously old dance music. I was up at 6:30 again, managed not to throw up on anyone while I fulfilled my volunteer commitment this morning, and have been ceaselessly attending discussions since then.

Now, after four hours of working the Help Desk in the West Annex, four panels, three espressos, two liters of Gatorade and one memoir panel in which a deranged Millenial in a burgundy crushed velvet trench coat and a hairstyle that looked like Rainbow Brite had been but through a wood chipper had an actual nervous breakdown, I’m thinking less about my writing career and more about Thai food, my bed, and the fourteen hours of panels/reading I want to attend tomorrow. Rather than attempting to glean wisdom in the moment, I’m going to weather the blitz and sort through the wisdom and information at a later date. seattle-awp-starbucks-logo



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