AWP

Milkweed Editions
AWP 2017 Washington DC
Booths 214 & 216

Join Milkweed Editions in booths 214 & 216 for author signings, tote bag and book giveaways, and more. Ask our staff about open submissions in 2017, and our three poetry prizes—two of which feature prizes of $10,000.

SIGNINGS

Justin Boening & William Brewer*  Thursday, 1:45–2:30
Ada Limón  Thursday, 2:30–3:15
Rebecca Dunham & Chris Santiago**  Friday, 12:30–1:00
Chris Dombrowski  Friday, 3:00–3:45
Kathy Fagan & Christopher Howell  Saturday, 1:30–2:00

 

*winners of the National Poetry Series in 2015 and 2016
**winners of the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry in 2014 and 2016

Featured Panels

GREATER THAN THE SUM: COLLABORATIONS BETWEEN PUBLISHERS

(F140) Friday, 10:30–11:45  |  Marriott Marquis Salon 6, Level 2
(Wayne Miller, Brigid Hughes, Kathryn Nuernberger, Martin Rock, Daniel Slager) Now that small and independent presses do more of the heavy lifting in the literary world than was once the case, a number of presses and literary journals have sought out innovative collaborations to enhance visibility, production, and reach. The editors of Copper Nickel, Gulf Coast, Milkweed Editions, Pleiades Press, and A Public Space discuss the goals, methods, and benefits of collaborative publishing projects, paying particular attention to their own collaborations currently underway.

 

 

MILKWEED EDITIONS READING

(F225) Friday, 1:30–2:45  |  Room 202A, Convention Center Level 2
(Daniel Slager, Dan Beachy-Quick, Deni Ellis Béchard, Rebecca Dunham, Chris Dombrowski) These outstanding writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry showcase the range, depth, and uniqueness of the Milkweed Editions publishing list—from the personal to the political, imperial misadventure to ecological destruction, the sacred to the unspeakable. Introduced by Milkweed Editions publisher and CEO Daniel Slager, each writer will read from recent work.

Activism

Candlelight Vigil for Free Speech

Saturday, 6:15–7:30pm  |  Lafayette Park
Organized by Split This Rock (a D.C.-based organization dedicated to poetry and political engagement) and 29 co-sponsors, writers will assemble at Lafayette Park, across from the White House. As the nation's poets and writers, editors and critics, we have a unique and vital obligation to stand watch over free speech and expression. Lafayette Park is a 20-minute walk from the Convention Center and is closest to the Farragut North Metro stop on the Red Line. Hand-held signs only and no large bags, please.

Speakers: Kazim Ali, Gabrielle Bellot, Melissa Febos, Carolyn Forché, Ross Gay, Luis J. Rodriguez, Eric Sasson.

Cosponsored by Aforementioned Productions/apt, Bat City Review, Black Earth Institute, CantoMundo, Cherry Tree, Community of Literary Magazines & Presses, cream city review, Iota Short Prose Conference, Kansas State University Department of English, Lambda Literary, Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice, Leaders are Readers, Letras Latinas at Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies, Network of Spiritual Progressives, Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival - An Anthology, PEN American Center, The Rumpus, Shabda Press, Split This Rock, Storyscape, Sundress Publications, Tikkun Magazine, Tin House, University of Colorado-Boulder MFA Program, University of Miami Creative Writing MFA, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, VONA/Voices, Weird Sister, Write Our Democracy, WTAW Press.

Featured Authors
Meet these authors and more at AWP! (Schedule of signings is above.)
Thursday

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD: BOOK-LENGTH POEMS AND POETIC SEQUENCES

(R112) Thursday, 9:00–10:15  |  Marriott Marquis Salon 9 & 10, Level 2
(Matthew Thorburn, Shanna Compton, R. Erica Doyle, John Gallaher, Katrina Vandenberg) The long poem is experiencing a renaissance as ambitious poets seek a wider space in which to explore multiple narratives, voices, themes, and experiences, and reflect the complexity of both private and public life. Discussing their recently published and forthcoming books, the panelists share creative strategies, discuss their influences (other poets and poems, other works of art), and provide inspiration for those considering or already undertaking this creative journey.

 

VIDA VOICES & VIEWS: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JOAN NAVIYUK KANE, ADA LIMÓN, & ALICIA OSTRIKER

(R188) Thursday, 12:00–1:15  |  AWP Bookfair Stage, Exhibit Halls D & E, Washington Convention Center, Level 2
(Sheila McMullin, Melissa Studdard, Joan Naviyuk Kane, Ada Limón, Alica Ostriker) Calling attention to a plurality of voices by interviewing writers and dedicated members of the literary community about their work, vision, concerns, and topics at the forefront of literary activism, this panel contributes to a better understanding of craft, the literary landscape, and issues facing artists. Panelists seek to foster nuanced conversation about gender parity, race, and other crucial issues impacting writers today as well as speak to how their work expands this conversation.

 

EVIDENCE REASEARCH AND IMAGINATION: USING RESEARCH TO ILLUMINATE, SHAPE, AND EXPAND CREATIVE WRITING

(R254) Thursday 4:30–5:45  |  AWP Bookfair Stage, Exhibit Halls D & E, Washington Convention Center, Level 2
(Mary Rochastle, Paisley Rekdal, Peter Geye, Joni Tevis)  Research can inspire writers to move beyond the limits of the self and to remain alert for knowledge. This panel will take a multigenre approach to writing creatively using research: as a source of inspiration; a tool for developing characters, plots, settings, and texture; a way into a deeper understanding of the material; a structural device; and a means to increase credibility. We will also share useful research practices and ways of integrating research effectively into the text.

 

UNITED ARTISTS: CREATIVE WRITERS IN THE TRENCHES OF THE AMERICAN EDUCATION SYSTEM

(R291) Thursday, 4:30–5:45  |  Room 204AB, Washington Convention Center, Level 2
(Paula Whyman, Ellen Hagan, David Mura, Parneshia Jones) How is creative writing taught and celebrated in the American school system? Before MFAs and undergraduate literature programs analyzing the likes of Chaucer and Baldwin, how does the K–12 community incorporate creative writing and its literary giants in the curriculum and beyond? Four award-winning writers and teaching artists from East to West Coast, discuss the triumphs and challenges of keeping creativity in education and the artistic cultivate of America’s youth.

 

SCIENCE IN LITERARY AND MAINSTREAM FICTION: A NEW WAVE

(R284) Thursday, 4:30–5:45  |  Room 101, Washington Convention Center, Level 1
(Nancy Lord, Susan Gaines, Kathleen Dean Moore, Michael Byers, Jean Hegland) Recent decades have seen an upsurge of novels that deal with knowledge, themes, and characters from scientific fields such as biology, ecology, chemistry, genetics, paleontology, neuroscience, and psychology. Panelists discuss the reasons for this trend, the particular craft challenges and responsibilities of writing about science in realistic fiction, and the ramifications of such fiction for public understandings of science and debates on related social and environmental issues.

 

JIM HARRISON: A REMEMBRANCE AND CELEBRATION

(R293) Thursday, 4:30–5:45  |  Room 206, Washington Convention Center, Level 2
(Todd Davis, Chris Dombrowski, M.L. Smoker, Dan Gerber, Annick Smith) With Jim Harrison’s death on March 28, 2016, the world lost a storyteller who worked outside the literary mainstream, celebrating his appetites for the natural world, food, good bird dogs, and physical love. Author of more than twenty volumes of fiction and fourteen books of poetry, Harrison’s influence on the landscape of American literature is indelible and undeniable. The panel considers the import of his writing, celebrating his legacy by reading from his work and commenting upon it.

 

NATIONAL POETRY SERIES READING

Thursday, 7:00–8:30  |  Potter’s House Bookstore & Café, 1658 Columbia Rd NW, DC, 20009
Readers: Justin Boening, Jennifer Kronovet, Melissa Range, Danniel Schoonebeek, Joshua Bennett. Introduced by Daniel Slager.
More information»

 

 

Friday

DREAMING THE WORLD THROUGH TRANSLATION: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON CREATIVE PROCESS

(F111) Friday, 9:00–10:15  |  Marquis Salon 7 & 8, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 2
(Helene Cardona, Martha Collins, Ming Di, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Ani Gjika) Does the language we speak shape the way we think, our reality, our world, our dreams? Do more words mean more thoughts? Can we think about things we don’t have words for? Working with Albanian, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese, this panel’s poets, translators, and scholars discuss their roles as intermediaries, technicians, magicians, and alchemists working between languages to create inspired texts spanning cultural differences, geographic distances, and time.

 

GREATER THAN THE SUM: COLLABORATIONS BETWEEN PUBLISHERS

(F140) Friday, 10:30–11:45  |  Marquis Salon 6, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 2
(Wayne Miller, Brigid Hughes, Kathryn Nuernberger, Martin Rock, Daniel Slager) Now that small and independent presses do more of the heavy lifting in the literary world than was once the case, a number of presses and literary journals have sought out innovative collaborations to enhance visibility, production, and reach. The editors of Copper Nickel, Gulf Coast, Milkweed Editions, Pleiades Press, and A Public Space discuss the goals, methods, and benefits of collaborative publishing projects, paying particular attention to their own collaborations currently underway.

 

NATIONAL MONUMENTS: THE POETRY OF CONTESTED SPACES

(F160) Friday, 10:30–11:45  |  Room 202B, Washington Convention Center, Level 2
(Chris Santiago, Craig Santos Perez, Aimee Suzara, Heid E. Erdrich, Brandon Som) The US has 121 protected areas known as national monuments, many of which can be found in Washington, DC. A distinguished panel of poets considers these natural and man-made landmarks as conservation sites, as poetic subjects, and as contested spaces of living Native American, Mexican American, Asian American, and Pacific Islander cultures. The panel will also consider national monuments in the broader sense of the myth-making of nation states and ongoing struggles over canon formation.

 

OUTWARD IN LARGER TERMS: ADRIENNE RICH'S COLLECTED POEMS

(F139) Friday, 10:30–11:45  | Marquis Salon 5, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 2
(Ed Pavlić, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jill Bialosky, Joy Harjo, Pablo Conrad) This panel marks W.W. Norton's publication of Adrienne Rich's Collected Poems: 1950–2012. The appearance of this volume makes possible a mapping, sounding, and gauging of the expansive reality—the terrain (surface), volume (depth), and climate (atmosphere)—of the poet's incomparable career. This panel has been assembled to do just that: to describe the elements that comprise the multidimensional power of Adrienne Rich's life and work as a resource for continued, engaged endeavor.

 

GEORGE MASON POETRY FACULTY READING

(F196) Friday, 12:00–1:15  |  Room 206, Washington Convention Center, Level 2
(Eric Pankey, Jennifer Atkinson, Sally Keith, Susan Tichy, Peter Streckfus) The five poets on the permanent faculty of George Mason University's BFA and MFA programs are an eclectic group, with interests in hybrid, documentary, eco-poetic, spiritual, political, research-based, visual, and conceptual poetries. These poets reflect part of the range of aesthetics practiced in the lively metro DC poetry scene.

 

AMERICAN SMOOTH: A TRIBUTE TO RITA DOVE

(F192) Friday, 12:00–1:15  |  Room 202B, Washington Convention Center, Level 2
(Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jericho Brown, Robin Coste Lewis, Natasha Tretheway, Rita Dove) For over forty years, Rita Dove’s storied career earned her a Pulitzer Prize, the position of US Poet Laureate, a National Humanities Medal, and a National Medal of Art. Among Dove’s many contributions to American letters is the vast and lasting impact on poets all over the nation. This diverse panel of poets celebrate and pay homage to Rita Dove’s continued legacy and influence as poet, teacher, and trailblazer. Rita Dove herself finishes the session with a brief reading and speech.

 

MILKWEED EDITIONS READING

(F225) Friday, 1:30–2:45  |  Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level 2
(Daniel Slager, Dan Beachy-Quick, Deni Ellis Béchard, Rebecca Dunham, Chris Dombrowski) These outstanding writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry showcase the range, depth, and uniqueness of the Milkweed Editions publishing list—from the personal to the political, imperial misadventure to ecological destruction, the sacred to the unspeakable. Introduced by Milkweed Editions publisher and CEO Daniel Slager, each writer will read from recent work.

 

SPALDING MFA'S CELEBRATION OF WRITING

(F260) Friday, 3:00–4:15  |  Virginia Barber Middleton Stage, Sponsored by USC, Exhibit Halls D & E, Convention Center, Level 2
(Sena Naslund, Jeanie Thompson, Nana Lampton, Parneshia Jones, A. H. Jerriod Avant) Join Spalding's low-residency MFA in Writing program for a lively celebration of published and produced work, with brief readings by faculty, alumni, and friends at the bookfair stage. The party continues with champagne and sweet treats at the Spalding MFA booth.

 

CIMARRON REVIEW: 50 YEAR ANNIVERSARY READING

(F280) Friday, 4:30–5:45  |  Liberty Salon I, J, & K, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 4
(Leslie Pietrzyk, Adam Clay, Brenda Peynado, Yun Wang, Toni Graham) The Cimarron Review brings together four previously featured writers from across fiction and poetry to celebrate fifty years of publishing the finest stories, poems, and essays from working writers across the country and around the world to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

 

THE LAST WORD ON ANIMALS: CREATURELY NONFICTION IN A TIME OF ENVIRONMENTAL UPHEAVAL

(F285) Friday, 4:30–5:45  |  Archives, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 4
(Kathleen Dean Moore, Michael P. Branch, Jennifer Sahn, Kathryn Miles, Nick Neely) We live amid the “sixth extinction,” in which species are disappearing at the fastest rate since the dinosaurs. Animals thrive in our psyches, but now stories about polar bears treading water and octopuses escaping aquariums show how their reality and our animal knowledge is changing. How do we call attention to creatures while protecting their mystery, autonomy, and very existence? Hear from nonfiction writers and editors devoted to the craft and ethics of the bestiary in this alarming era.

Saturday

BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL: TIPS AND TOOLS FOR IMMERSION WRITING

(S121) Saturday, 9:00–10:15  |  Archives, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 4
(Jessica Wilbanks, Kimberly Meyer, Joni Tevis, Chris Feliciano Arnold) Drawing on the techniques of immersion journalism allows us to enrich our prose by embedding ourselves in our subject matter. In this roundtable panel, four memoirists, essayists, and narrative nonfiction writers discuss the practical, philosophical, and ethical aspects of immersion writing. Attendees will walk away with ideas for incorporating research trips, archival work, interviews, and participatory experiences into their writing process, along with pedagogical best practices.

 

A PHD PROGRAM IN AN MFA WORLD

(S111) Saturday, 9:00–10:15  |  Marquis Salon 7 & 8, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 2
(Christine Lasek-White, Ed Pavlić, Mark Halliday, Derek Nikitas, Michael Mejia) Thirty-two universities in the US have creative writing PhD programs. While different, most offer a four- to five-year course of study with creative dissertation. But what is the creative writing PhD and how is it different from the MFA? This panel will seek to answer that question by bringing together four universities offering this degree. Ohio U. (Midwest), U. of Utah (West), U. of Georgia (South), and the U. of Rhode Island (East) will discuss their programs specifically and the creative writing PhD in general.

 

TRANSLATING PARTS UNKNOWN: TRANSFORMING AMERICAN LANDSCAPES BY RECOVERING NEGLECTED POETS

(S113) Saturday, 9:00–10:15  |  Marquis Salon 12 & 13, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 2
(Linwood Rumney, John Balaban, Wayne Miller, Rebecca Lindenberg, A'Dora Phillips) Translation offers unique opportunities to recover and discover neglected poets who push against the boundaries of convention, enriching American traditions. Writers who translate previously under-appreciated Albanian, Vietnamese, Russian, Spanish, and French poets discuss the challenges and joys associated with such work. To encourage more writers to translate as an act of creative discovery, they also explore professional opportunities and offer insights into craft and criticism.

 

I WOULDN'T GO THERE IF I WERE YOU: LITERARY JOURNALISM AND THE CRAFT OF WRITING DANGEROUS PLACES

(S128) Saturday, 9:00–10:15  |  Room 202B, Washington Convention Center, Level 2
(Benjamin Busch, Jennifer Percy, Elliot Ackerman, Deni Ellis Béchard) When writers of poetry, creative nonfiction, or fiction serve as overseas correspondents, the narratives they craft are deeply felt and unique. From travel and interpreters to notes and drafts, these writers ventured to the fringe to experience their stories. This panel explores how four writers chased curiosity into endangerment to bring back stunning portraits of war, disease, humanity, and environment in crisis and how they teach ways to write literary reportage in workshops and MFA programs.

 

POETRY AS INVOCATION

(S139) Saturday, 10:30–11:45  |  Marquis Salon 5, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 2
(Marie-Elizabeth Mali, Airea D. Matthews, Ada Limón, Rachel McKibbens) Henry David Thoreau said, "I believe that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark, though the witches are all hung." On this panel, four poets will read their work and explore the poetic impulses of women as a magical or quasi-magical act. The audience is invited to discuss how poetry lures a reader into its casted spells and illuminates the necessary darkness we carry inside us. 

 

THE ECHOING GREEN: POEMS OF FIELDS, MEADOWS, AND GRASSES—AN ANTHOLOGY READING AND CELEBRATION

(S143) Saturday, 10:30–11:45  |  Marquis Salon 12 & 13, Mariott Marquis, Meeting Level 2
(Cecily Parks, Jennifer Chang, Janice N. Harrington, Lisa Olstein, Leila Wilson)  The anthology Echoing Green: Poems of Fields, Meadows, and Grasses reveals how the rich poetic history of grass spans centuries, including the pastoral visions of ancient Rome, the battlefields of the New World, and the vanishing, politicized, and policed wilderness of the present. This panel invites four contemporary poets featured in the anthology to share selections from the book and offer commentary on the vitality and versatility of the poetic tradition of writing about grassy places.

 

ORION'S 35TH ANNIVERSARY: NATURE WRITING AT THE EDGE

(S160) 10:30–11:45  |  Room 202B, Washington Convention Center, Level 2
(H. Emerson Blake, Pam Houston, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Dorianne Laux, Eula Biss) For thirty-five years, Orion has become a focal point in an extraordinarily rich period of nature writing. Orion magazine was founded with the conviction that humans are morally responsible for the world in which we live, and that the individual comes to sense this responsibility as he or she develops a personal bond with nature. These diverse writers read work that shares this conviction and share thoughts about Orion's place in the past, present, and future of our natural and literary landscapes.

 

BEST BEHAVIOR: WRITERS NEGOTIATE CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

(S179) Saturday, 12:00–1:15  |  Liberty Salon L, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 4
(Gretchen Legler, Nancy Lord, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Matteo Pistono) Writers who experience cultures “foreign” to them face many challenges in portraying with both truth and sensitivity the places and lives they learn about. This is especially true when they’re welcomed into homes and intimate settings, and where realities may not match up to what has been mythologized or romanticized. Nonfiction writers who’ve lived in or traveled among diverse cultures discuss how they’ve balanced honesty with respect and served both readers and hosts with their writing.

 

WOMEN POETS WRITE WHAT HISTORY SILENCED: CRAFTING THE FEMINIST HISTORICAL LYRIC

(S239) Saturday, 3:00–4:15  |  Marquis Salon 12 & 13, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 2
(Cynthia Hogue, Monifa Love, Nicole Cooley, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Martha Collins) This panel focuses on women poets who have written historical poems that investigate history’s repressed. These poets—spanning generations and backgrounds, but sharing strong regional roots—discuss the process of excavating stories lost by time, addressing questions of genre, gender, and creative method. How should one bear witness to dangerous and painful subjects? Is it the poet’s responsibility to tell the tale? Is a capacity for empathy necessary? Each poet finishes by reading a poem.

 

CROSS-TALK IN CREATIVE WRITING PEDAGOGY

(S241) Saturday, 3:00–4:15  |  Monument, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 4
(Oindrila Mukherjee, Nancy Reddy, Darin Ciccotelli) Nearly forty years ago, Wendy Bishop tried to initiate “cross-talk” between rhetoric/composition and creative writing, applying the pedagogies of the former to the largely untheorized practices of the latter. But today, creative writing still has a disconnect between those who teach it and those who theorize the teaching. This panel will renew the call for “cross-talk,” exploring how rhet/comp can influence our teaching while also asking if “blind spots” exist.

 

EXPANDING THE CANON

(S278) Saturday, 4:30–5:45  |  Capital & Congress, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level 4
(Brigid Hughes, Kevin Prufer, Lisa Pearson, Farnoosh Fathi, Kendra Sullivan) How do we seek out great writing by authors whose work has been forgotten or ignored? What role does the magazine or book publisher play in expanding the canon? In this panel, writers, editors, and publishers who have been involved in highlighting work from the archives of unheralded writers come together to seek answers to these questions. Panelists discuss the discoveries and challenges of bringing this work into the world and the importance of posthumous and later-life recognition.

 

 

Featured Titles
Get these books and more at special AWP discount prices!
Cattle of the Lord
Poetry
Rosa Alice Branco

In these poems, presented in both Portuguese and English, readers find themselves in a darkly comic, sensual, and contradictory world. The author’s unorthodox—even blasphemous—religious sensibility yields something ultimately hopeful: a belief...

Bright Dead Things
Poetry
Ada Limón

Full of bravado and introspection, of twenty-first-century feminist swagger and harrowing loss, this collection considers how we build our identities out of place and human contact. Taking readers from New York City to rural Kentucky, these poems...

Poetry
Max Ritvo

The poems of this debut collection are dispatches from chemotherapy beds and hospitals and the loneliest spaces in the home. They are relentlessly embodied, communicating pain, violence, and loss—and yet they are also erotically, electrically...

Poetry
Kathy Fagan

The language of trees is the language of love and loss: in this collection, black walnuts fall where no one can eat or smell them, and cottonwood sends out feverish signals of pollen. And like the bark of the sycamore, which sheds to allow the...

Cold Pastoral
Poetry
Rebecca Dunham

Deepwater Horizon, Hurricane Katrina, Flint: this is the litany of our time, and these are the events traced in these poems, invoking the poet as moral witness. Incorporating interviews and excerpts from government documents and other sources,...

Nonfiction
J. Drew Lanham

Growing up on his family’s land in South Carolina, the author fell in love with the subtle beauties of the natural world around him—and grew up to be one of the lone black men in a predominantly white field. This memoir is a riveting exploration...

Body of Water
Nonfiction
Chris Dombrowski

The author was in the Bahamas, pursuing bonefish—one of the world’s most elusive creatures—when he had a life-changing encounter with David Pinder, a legendary bonefishing guide. Here he tells Pinder’s story, as well as that of an ecology, of an...

Into the Sun
Fiction
Deni Ellis Béchard

When a car explodes in Kabul ten years after 9/11, a journalist discovers that its passengers—three fellow ex-pats—had formed an unlikely love triangle. As the journalist learns more, the narratives of their lives become inseparable from the...

Mothers masquerading as witches and sepulchral bellhops who reveal themselves to be fathers: in these poems, nothing is as it seems. Shot through with mournfulness, gorgeously spangled in its language, this National Poetry Series winner...

Nonfiction
Travis Kurowski, Wayne Miller, and Kevin Prufer

Bringing together a wide range of perspectives—industry veterans and provocateurs, writers, editors, and digital mavericks—this collection reflects on the current situation of literary publishing, and provides a road map for the shifting...

Follow along at #AWP17
See you there!