AWP :: Gird Thy Loins

The conference itself sold out at 9,500 participants. The book fair exhibitor tables and booths sold out, as well, and while I don’t have the energy to count up the total (something like 500, I think), suffice it to say there’s a whole lot of pressing and litmaging and mfaing going to happen. There are also something like 400 AWP sponsored events and hundreds of associated offsite events. Not to mention the fact that this is Chicago we’re talking about, a city that manages to get litbusy perfectly well on its own without the additional help of AWP. Add in the frenetic insecurity of most of the writers in attendance, their mad scramble for status, position, affirmation, and attention, add in the drinking and the wonton sex, and…

Here’s a nice primer from TMR editor Michael Nye.

And another from Courtney Maum at Tin House. 

You get the point.

I’ll be attempting to post a daily pankish recap of the experience. So if you can’t be there in person, Abby, Roxane, and I will do our best to bring our cattiness home to you. Stay tuned.

If you are  trimming up the moustache in preparation for the big event, here’s a list of where you can find a [PANK] fix amidst all the hustle and chaos.

AWP BOOK FAIR, THURSDAY-SATURDAY, ALL DAY :: Stop by the bookfair, table L14, to say hello. Roxane and I will be there, as well as lovely assistant editor Abby Koski and a guaranteed ragtag assortment of our nearest and dearest [PANK] collaborators. We’ll have signed copies of Ethel Rohan’s Hard to Say and Matthew Salesses’ Our Island of Epidemics for sale. We’ll have copies of [PANK]5 & 6, too. And swag, mountains and mountains of it.

PANEL, FLASH POINTS: PUBLISHING FLASH FICTION IN AN EVOLVING LANDSCAPE, THURSDAY, 9AM :: (Glenn Shaheen, Roxane Gay, Nancy Stebbins, Edward Mullany, Adam Peterson) Empire Ballroom, Palmer House Hilton, 3rd Floor. Editors from PANK, NANO Fiction, matchbook, SmokeLong Quarterly, and the Cupboarddiscuss trends they see in the flash fiction submitted to their journals. What are some tropes they’re tired of? Things they wish they’d see more often? Are prose poems and flash fiction pieces scrutinized differently when submitted? Join the editors as they attempt to (briefly, of course) characterize the landscape of contemporary flash fiction and give advice to those who are submitting their shortest work.

BLAZEVOX READING, THURSDAY, 7PM, SEVEN ULTRA LOUNGE :: Poetry from Amanda Auchter, Vincent Celucci, Farrah Field, Geoffrey Gatza, Matt Hart, Amy King, Jeffrey Morgan, Daniel Nester, Michelle Naka Pierce, Nate Pritts, Chris Pusateri, Sarah Sarai, M. Bartley Seigel, Chis Shipman, Michael Smith, Sheila Squillante, Tony Trigilio, and Jarred White. 1270 N. Milwaukee Ave.

CONVOCATION IN CHICAGO, THURSDAY, 7PM, BEAUTY BAR :: Mud Luscious, Annalemma, and [PANK] combine to bring magic words to the mic, featuring readings by Matt Bell, Allyson Boggess, Ryan Bradley, Myfanwy Collins, Brett Elizabeth Jenkins, Laura Ellen Scott, Faith Gardner, Casey Hannan, Aubrey Hirsch, Jac Jemc, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Molly Laich, Scott McClanahan, Daiva Markelis, Chris Newgent, Sal Pane, Doug Paul Case, Robb Todd, Brandi Wells, and xTx. 1444 W. Chicago Ave.

AWP 2012 KARAOKI IDOL, THURSDAY, 9PM, BEAUTY BAR :: Join PANK, Another Chicago Magazine, Artifice, One Story, Tin House, Featherproof Books, Red Lightbulbs, Quimby’s Books, THE2NDHAND, Untoward, & Curbside Splendor as they pit champion against champion for the title of AWP 2012 Karaoki Idol. 1444 W. Chicago Ave.

PANEL, LITERATURE AND THE INTERNET IN 2012, FRIDAY, 9AM :: (Roxane Gay, Stephen Elliott, Blake Butler, James Yeh) Grand Ballroom, Palmer House Hilton, 4th Floor. The literary editors of four leading web magazines—HTMLGiant, the Rumpus, PANK, and theFaster Times—offer a roundtable discussion about how the Internet is changing literature and literary publishing in the 21st century.

PANEL, ON THE MOVE: CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN’S LITERARY FICTION, FRIDAY, 10:30AM :: (Terrion Williamson, Roxane Gay, Rae Paris, Renee Simms, Martha Southgate) State Ballroom, Palmer House Hilton, 3rd Floor. Calling all sistas (and other interested parties): Living in a post-racial world, really? Tired of hearing one or two of us called the next [insert one or two famous black women writers here]? We know we are many. Come hear panelists read their fiction and comment on their craft as they answer the question, “What is African American women’s literary fiction?” Terrion Williamson, badass scholar, will help break it all down. Discussion will follow.Panel Friday at 10:30 am (yes, it’s okay, I’m a substitution), about African American women writing contemporary literary fiction.

HAPPY HOUR READING, FRIDAY 5PM, BEAUTY BAR :: Readings by James Tadd Adcox, Roxane Gay, Caitlin Horrocks, Lily Ladewig, Sean Lovelace, and Mark Neely. 1444 W. Chicago Ave.

LITERARY DEATH MATCH, JOURNAL PORN EDITION, FRIDAY, 7PM, BUDDY GUY’S LEGENDS :: The star-fueled reading lineup features the ever-wonderful Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley (author of A Thousand Acres and Private Life), dazzling fictionist and PANK co-editor Roxane Gay (author of Ayiti), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and National Book Critics Circle finalist Major Jackson, and National Book Award winner Darin Strauss (author of Half a Life). 700 S. Wabash Ave.