Dear AWP,

I’m sorry that I won’t see you this year.  It seems as if my time is too cramped, my life too busy.  The spring semester is always crazy — and this spring I am attending two other conferences. You always seem to get pushed out of the way.  I really would like to meet you face-to-face someday — I’ve heard  so much about you.

But, you are a bit expensive.  And I’m just a country girl, afterall.  I would get lost in the crowd.  I may even huddle in my hotel room, afraid to face the multitudes of writers. I don’t know the politics of AWP, and I’m not sure I would understand the inside jokes. 

Still, I would love to meet some people on my blogroll.  Or listen to some poets who just don’t make their way out to rural Pennsylvania or Western New York.  Maybe next year.  Maybe.


Karen J. Weyant

P.S.  To everyone attending this year’s conference: Safe and happy travels! I’m looking forward to hearing the updates and stories (and the poetry loot — don’t forget the loot!] I have preordered many of the books making their “debut” at AWP — so hopefully they will arrive in my mailbox soon.


  1. Also, a PS to AWP:
    Stop being in cold areas of the country in winter. Think San Diego in March, rather than the Northeast in January, please.

  2. Karen Said:

    Jeannine —

    Yes! Even those of us in the North would not mind traveling to warmer weather. I’m even thinking Texas, New Mexico or Arizona.

  3. Ah, shoot, Karen, I was hoping to see you face-to-face. Still, maybe Chicago next year. I felt exactly the way you describe in the post my first couple of years…now I’m a total AWP addict. I just have to use some coping mechanisms to get past the overwhelming bits.

    BTW: my first two years were Austin and Atlanta…that’s the kind of location I’m talking about!

  4. I’m not going either. But maybe next time in Chicago.

    I read Kathryn Kerr’s chapbook and let her know in a note that you liked her poem in Big Muddy! She will be tickled!

  5. I’ll miss you, Karen! This is my first AWP, and I’m a little worried about being overwhelmed, but more worried that the universe will foil my escape to my first vacation in 7 years!

  6. Karen, I’m sorry I’ll miss you! I was hoping we might run into each other! Enjoy the snow at home (I’m assuming you too have had the deluge) and hopefully we’ll meet up at some other conference soon.

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