Wednesday, February 27, 2008

AWP Moments*

Dinner the first evening with the Utah crowd (delectably tender short ribs at Thalia).

Lunch with Elena Byrne at the Stage Deli for a 21 dollar sandwich.

With Mark Strand on the street talking about wine. (He corrected my pronunciation of Sassacaia, a wonderful wine however you say it.)

Drinking the stuff with Kurt Brown and Wyn Cooper and Shawna Parker and Katie Coles and Steven Huff. What was that Grenache again, Katie? Who was that guy taking notes? Following it up with magnificent gyros from the street cart.

One of my favorite poets, Kim Addonizio, stops me and calls me by name. Too, too briefly.

In the lobby catching up with Terry Hummer.

Chinese food with John Guzlowski and running into Thom Ward, in search of his missing Fedora, on the way out.

"Eye Spy" with Paula while Margot Schilpp entertained her and Jeff Mock's lovely baby Leah.

Lunch with David Oliveira and Florence Weinberger at that little Thai place, then later seeing proofs of David's new book with his publisher, Peter Money.

The panel "Being Crazy Doesn't Make You Interesting" (in order of appearance) with colleague and organizer Jeffrey Vasseur, me, Marita Golden, Bob Shacochis, Amy Bloom, and David Kranes.

With Robert Pinsky after his reading remembering together Thom Gunn.

Talking to Rebecca Fussell while she waited for Anna Gatewood to show up.

With Wyn, Shawna, Tom Hazuka, and Ralph Wilson in the Old Castle where I ran into the delightful Joy Castro for the forth time while we wondered if Martin Amis would find us (he didn't).

Talking about Larry Levis with Alex Long and his former students in the conference hotel bar.

Seeing Yerra Sugarman again in her NYC element.

Answering the question, "Where's Amy?"

The other Utah dinner at Sardi's: steak tartar with fries.

Not being confused with Scott Cairns for a change (he's grown long, lovely locks) and meeting his long, lovely wife, Marcia.

With fellow Berkeley alum Sharon Dolin, talking about tough times, and finding out the good news that Bob Hicok had picked her book for Pitt.

Central Park and MOMA with Wyn and Shawna.

*The conference as a whole huge. There were many people I wanted to see that I didn't see (Jackie Osherow, Jill Rosser, to name two that I knew were there) or didn't see enough of (Rodney Jones, Kim Addonizio, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Bob Wrigley, Kim Barnes, Mary Flynn, Greg Donovan, Mark Jarman). These are a few of the moments outside of slogging through crowds to panels or book tables that stood out.

1 comment:

John Guzlowski said...

Marty, next time I'm going to tag along with you!

It reminds me of watching the opening moments of Woody Allen's film Stardust Memories. Woody is in a subway car with people who look like they were cast from a Bergman film. The people are old, sad, broken. They would be mourning their lives if they had any hope. Then Woody looks out the window of his subway car and sees another subway car across the way. In it, every one is dressed in fancy party clothes. The people in that car are young, beautiful, laughing, drinking bubbly drinks in fluted glasses.

If folks want to read about the Bergman version of the AWP, the version played out against the background of a Dostoevsky novel, please see my blog.