My friend Samantha and I just returned from the AWP conference, which was held in Denver this year. We arrived on Thursday morning, ready to be overwhelmed by the 6000 registered participants. (6000!)
Although every hour brought it's "oh my God!" moment--and yes, both Samantha and I regressed to weird, hyperbolic, teenage swooning one too many times--there were some definite high points that deserve to be preserved in blog history.
Here are the Top 20 moments, in no particular order:
20. Free buttons, pens, candies, bookmarks, and other irresistible objects table after table after table (times 100)
19. The hotel bed at The Crowne Plaza, which I swear fit me like a uterus it was so comfortable--
And yes, I could have stayed in that bed happy as a fetus for 9 months.
18. The friendly Denver Homeland Security airport personnel, who didn't yell at me during my up-close-and-personal-bag-inspection for placing about 7 bottles of various creams in my carry-on without sticking them in the plastic baggy
17. Michael Chabon's interview with himself.
16. Seeing my freshman creative writing teacher again--Sheryl St. Germain
15. Witnessing Sam buy an $8 smoothie
14. Dreaming about Summer Writing Workshops next summer
11. Chatting at the bar with fellow writers, and finding two degrees of separation among all of us strangers.
9. Sam getting all weepy over the fact that she and Michael Chabon share all but one favorite book in common, and only because she hasn't yet read that one book.
8. Buying a 1958 copy of The Paris Review: interview with Hemingway and Philip Roth's first published story
7. The Big Blue Bear
6. Free internet at the hotel
5. Hearing the lyrics to Bessie Smith's "Black Mountain Blues"
4. Being introduced to Etgar Keret's short stories
3. Rita Dove. Phenomenal. Inspirational.
2. "I. Love. Him!" (Samantha swooning over Michael Chabon's keynote speech. See visual aid.)
1. See that Jhumpa Lahiri is next year's keynote, which means I have no choice but to attend the conference next year in Washington, D.C.!