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May 14, 2018
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February 6, 2019
Poetry and Imagination: From AWP to a Radio Interview in an LA Cab
April 13, 2016
Ten days ago I left Los Angeles in a shiny black town car and boarded a plane headed back to the city I now call home. Prague is, in more ways than I can blog, a never-neverland away from that place of palm trees, Chinatown, the Santa Monica pier, the substitute-yet-better-than-Starbucks coffee shop and S&H Beauty Supply, home of The Best $147 blow-out, manicure, and eyebrow threading that the stars don't know about. For the better part of a week, I bedded down in room 1809 of the downtown Sheraton, where one of the two ridiculously comfortable beds served as makeshift office/ bookshelf/ treasure trove for all the snacks, tee-shirts, personal health and cosmetic items and goodies I picked up from the 7th Street Target, downtown Macy's, and The Grove apple store and anthropologie.
The other bed was like a pod of not-sleeping. For each night that came, the sun went down and I crawled under the covers with a novel, some tunes, and a bottle of Advil PM, and did not sleep. I will spare you the hour-by-hour severity of my jet lag. Let's just say it wasn't pretty. Half of those aforementioned "health and cosmetic items" were put to good use concealing the circles under my eyes I developed during the grueling, exhilarating, inspiring, fortifying literary fest I call "Another Whirlwind triP" and everybody else calls A.W.P.
Association of Writers and Writing Professionals. It is a lifeline connecting the 361 days I spend living in a vacuum of American publishing and literary activity to four days of nonstop networking word-porn that I have come to love and rely upon. Readings, signings, sightings; I'm pretty sure I saw Robert Downey, Jr. My friend Tina saw Woody Harrelson. Not to mention Elizabeth Alexander, Roxane Gay, Jill McCorkle, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Walter Mosely, Nick Flynn, Beth Ann Fennelly, Heather McHugh, and my new friends Abigail Browning and Jay at the bar. And at the end, a suitcase full of poetry to read and a notebook full of poetry to write. But you know what? After all was said and done, the last page turned and the last word uttered, the interview I heard on NPR on the way to the airport that Sunday morning was the wisest, most concise and insightful thing I heard about poetry the whole week.