December 29, 2010

X again?

Looks like Table X is returning to AWP, at least as an offsite...

The lineup has changed slightly this year, which makes me wonder how you get in, though like most things my gut says it's just friends and friends-of who have awesome presses.

I am seriously in love with most of the presses involved, but last year's "barricade" approach made my eyes roll. It's not clear yet if they'll cordon off at the bookfair in D.C. with trashbags or if the reading is just a convenient marketing throwback for recognition purposes. Because I love these presses so much and for other becauses, I'll get over it either way.

But still, seeing the event pop up in my newsfeed today brought up some questions which linger from Denver. Like, if Versal were asked "in" would I say yes? Should I applaud Table X for being explicit about in-crowd(edness)? Is it a "problem" that they have marked themselves "off" from the rest? Do I actually care? Or is the momentary throwback to the high school cafeteria just an annoying re-realization that this is how we congregate--posturing tall with our hands flat on our chests, pointing "me" and this is "us", hello to all of you.

Certainly they're not the first to do it at AWP, which like most of the world has its ins and outs and is, in and of itself, part of a larger machine that writers and presses may or can or do use to build their profiles. And even Versal is doing that, by being there in its own little unaffiliated way, and after just two years of attendance we've noticed a marked increase in submissions (and submission quality), sales, and subscriptions--so we'll keep going there. So that's another because, because we're all in this machine, in fact we make the machine, and it would be dishonest of me to condemn their efforts (though I think a little healthy criticism is ok)--which in the end are just ways to profile themselves and each other in a communal way.

In high school, I was an awkward and stressed out poet-slash-closet-lesbian who wore tie-dyes and fell in love with girls in the in-crowd. Now that that's all over, I apparently still have the habit of falling in love with things I perceive as in the in--which means I think I'm in the out, which is stupid.

Anyway, blah blah blog. Here's some kids having a lightsaber fight in their school cafeteria: