#AWP15 or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bookfair



–by Dan Reiter


bits and pieces

A Lawrence Weiner canvas at the Walker Art Center


I am in a dive bar in Minneapolis, waiting out the interlude between poets, watching William Tyler navigate a tractate of reverb. The thought of tomorrow’s panel discussion––”The Writing of Atrocity”––has me locked in a cycle of dread and procrastination. They expect me to speak ten full minutes, yet I have nothing prepared, no idea where to begin.

Behold the young literati: bold-rimmed, russet-bearded, baroque, well-inked. Come here for truth. Tyler’s pick sends out blistering messages; he manipulates his pedal until his guitar is playing three-part harmony. Why hadn’t I worked on my presentation last night? Who wastes a perfectly free evening unscrolling the #AWP15 twitter feed? But God, that tweet of Melville House’s––Saeed Jones (@theferocity) flaunting a gorgeous paperback of Baldwin’s last interview––was a classic: “James Baldwin and @theferocity give better side eye than you.” Continue reading