By now, if you're like me, you've gotten lost in the crowd of emails, blogs, status updates, event invites, and tweets (ugh, that word sucks) about AWP. Toggling between your Facebook event page and AWP's own mega-scroll lists is enough to make a poet develop a socialite ego. Hell, the conference has even gone mainstream.
So for those of you with Versal on your AWP radar (herewith referred to as "AWPdar"), here's a nicely compartmentalized program from the Versal angle.
Versal editors field trip and pow-wow. Nine of us will be in the same place at the same time. This is like when stars align. Some of us have never met (though one of us has met everyone, aka me). So we're taking ourselves out. See you on the other side.
Drop by our table at D8 for some yummy Dutch flavors and other goodies (no, we're not bringing weed). And we don't have merch. We can't afford it. Would you really wear a Versal t-shirt anyway? But we will be selling issues 5 through 8 and subscriptions at drop-bottom (is that how you say it?) rates. Look for the Dutch flag.
If you see the French flag, that's us too.
If there's any day at the conference to go Versal, it's Thursday. The journal and its editors are freakin' all over the place.
Tearing Your Heart Off Your Sleeve: The Problem of Pathos in Creative Nonfiction
with B.J. Hollars, Re’Lynn Hansen, Marcia Aldrich, Marion Wrenn, Katie Jean Shinkle
Virginia C Room, Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level
How can nonfiction writers avoid the pitfalls of sentimentality and nostalgia while directly addressing them in the work? Join editors from Black Warrior Review, Fourth Genre, South Loop, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Versal as they discuss the problem of pathos in nonfiction while offering concrete strategies for how best to approach emotionally driven topics. Panelists will also explore how traditional and experimental forms lend themselves to packing an emotive punch within the genre.
Things That Go Bump When You Write: Monsters, Myths, and the Supernatural in Literary Fiction
with B.J. Hollars, Bryan Furuness, Hannah Tinti, Laura van den Berg, Scott Francis
Thurgood Marshall South Room, Marriott Wardman Park, Mezzanine Level
What do Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and ghosts all have in common? For one, over the past year, they’ve all managed to stomp, swim, and haunt their way onto the literary scene. Join writers as they discuss their experiences implementing supernatural elements into their fiction. Panelists will offer tips on how to add credibility to the incredible and humanity to the inhuman. They will also explore the evolving definitions of gothic and grotesque in the 21st century.
What’s Normal in Nonfiction?
with Steven Church, Debra Marquart, Ander Monson, Bonnie J. Rough, Bob Shacochis
Maryland Suite Room, Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level
Moderated by editors of the Normal School, the panel will feature a discussion of the polarizing questions concerning the ethics and aesthetics of nonfiction writing today. Is the nonfiction writer’s obligation to the art or to the subject? The audience? Can you conflate time, use composite or fictionalized characters, or borrow material from other sources without citing it? Panelists will consider what the role of the nonfiction writer is today and how that role is defined by ethical concerns for subject and audience, and/or aesthetic concerns for art, genre, form, and technique.
Beyond Times New Roman: The Literary Journal as Object
with Sandra Doller, Travis Kurowski, Shayna Schapp, Jodee Stanley, Jen Woods, Matvei Yankelevich
Nathan Hale room, Marriott Wardman Park
From curatorial art teams to the hand-bound letterpress, to pages upon which art and words are nearly indistinguishable, the literary journal is so much more than paper and font choice. Attention to design will turn a journal into an art object that sets it apart from the masses. Editors from five innovative journals share concrete strategies for incorporating art and design: getting submissions, working with an art editor, and how to redesign the literary journal from scratch. This is the panel we've put together our very own selves, and we're super excited about it.
A Pair of Teeth / Aperitif
IOTA Club & Cafe, 2832 Wilson Blvd.
Join Articles Press, Flying Guillotine, and SpringGun Press for an exciting evening of music and writing at IOTA Club & Cafe. With Joe Hall, J. Michael Martinez, A. Minetta Gould, Donald Dunbar, Matt Sadler, derrick mund, Sarah E Harris, Greenland, Laughing Man, Black Telephone.
Journal Porn: Lit Mags You'd Sleep With
The Black Squirrel, 2427 18th Street NW
If you're super dexterous, you can catch Matt at the Apertif reading and still catch most of the amazing and incredibly wide-ranging line-up at Journal Porn, Versal's official offsite! We hope you'll come down to this (free!) fun-times offsite event with Versal, Trickhouse, Lumberyard Magazine, 6x6 and 1913 a journal of forms. With Lee Ann Brown, Katie Byrum, Julia Cohen, James Copeland, Brandon Downing (video storms!), Lucy Ives, Joanna Klink, Matthew Lippman, Sawako Nakayasu, Elizabeth Frankie Rollins. We've got the room all night so come hang out!
Wonderland Ballroom, 1101 Kenyon St NW
Self-fulfilling plug: I'm reading at the Wide Night offsite with Pilot Books, who are publishing my chapbook later this year. Pilot's put the event together with other fantastic presses Bateau, Birds, LLC, Brave Men, Factory Hollow, Flying Guillotine, Immaculate Disciples, and Minutes. The current line-up includes Chris Martin, Lily Brown, Mark Horosky, Sasha Steensen, Emily Pettit, Dan Boehl, Sommer Browning, Jessica Young, Farrah Field, Guy Pettit, Kelin Loe, Alex Phillips, Luke Bloomfield, and Francesca Chabrier.
Drop by the Versal table for last-day deals!
Me and the missus are off to NYC for a week of R&R before heading back to Holland. See you next year in Chicago, jongens!