Fuck You Aloha I Love You: AWP Version

So, I love AWP because I get excited about people who are excited about poetry.
I love AWP because I meet poets whom I love, and typically the first words out of my mouth—before, "Hello, my name is"—are "I LOVE YOU."
I love AWP because I eat beautiful food and drink. And drink. And drink. Which is all best when it's free.

I hate AWP because, afterwards, in the wake of amazing readings and discovering new people to read and pump for information or to develop occupational crushes on...I think, in the immortal words of Peter Pereira:


Because the poetry world is small, and yet, like a good pack rat, that world is already filled with such talented people. I don't know which box I belong in, if there's a box for me, or if I closely resemble some object already sitting in its assigned place in its assigned box.

Even if I was allowed to clear away all the folks I can't abide (The Prominent Old White Dudes), the befuddling, the banal, the easily dismissed and overlooked, the redundant and reductive, the retreads. Even then it seems there may not be room at the inn because the inn is rocked out with its cock out.

So, this week my tummy's in those precious knots: the knots that mean write more, write always. The knots that mean give up while you still can.


  1. Read. Write. Read. Write. There will always be room at the table for you.

  2. Charles, from what I've read, there's not only room for you at the table, there's a giant, excellent, funky chair with wings.

  3. Stick with it Charles. To have the editor from Bloom single out your work is a high compliment!
    I wish I would have even *seen* DA Powell, let alone hang with him. lol

  4. I know exactly how you feel. I wonder about the box too. I may have misplaced my box at the AWP in an overwhelming confusion.

    I try to see poetry as this ever-expanding table and as long as you have a pencil you can draw yourself a seat.

    Take care,

  5. That "give up while you still can" knot? I think that means you've actually got something at stake, you're actually risking something.

    And if you think there's not room at the inn, pitch a tent.