AWP CONFERENCE HITS MINNEAPOLIS
Thursday, April 9th to Saturday, April 11th saw the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (or AWP for short) descend on the city of Minneapolis. Mainly a conference with an extreme focus on MFA courses, the Minneapolis Convention Center found itself jam packed with panels that focused on all aspects of writing. From poetry to periodicals to women in publishing to the masculine influence in contemporary fiction, there was absolutely something for everyone with an interest in writing.
In addition to the scheduled panels at the Convention Center, AWP events spilled out to many surrounding venues. The Loft Literary Center hosted their own events, as well as author events at Once Upon A Crime and Boneshaker Books. Not just the province of academia, AWP also hosted a panel and reading by local hiphop stars Dessa and POS.
Walking the book fair floor on Sunday, we were stunned by the sheer volume of venders. Small presses from all across the country were handing out poetry magazines to all comers. Universities such as Wichita State and Rutgers were in attendance as well. It was a pleasure meeting up with old friends at Tyrus Books and Broken River Books. Glad to see them represented on the book fair floor. Meeting up with new friends at LitReactor was a fantastic bonus.
Sarabande Books was even giving away a free shot of Jim Beam with book purchases!
It’s safe to say that Minneapolis embraced the conference wholeheartedly.
Dan (and Kate)