Where will you be on Thursday, March 31 from 10:30 am to 11:45 am? If you're in Vancouver, British Columbia, for the AWP conference you should come see Jake Adam York, Adam Clay, Matt Henriksen, Dan Albergotti, and myself discuss the difficulties of founding and editing journals when there is no shortage of journals and when the electronic journal is, though not new, still not altogether trusted.
I'm a little nervous you won't come and see us. We have a lot, a lot, of competition in that particular time slot. Here's out it breaks down:
1. Imagining the Political: Literature and Civic Engagement
2. Open Mic "Shortie" Fiction Celebration
3. Buy this Book! Promoting Your Fiction and Nonfiction Books
4. Teaching Fiction through Genre Crossing
5. Teaching Reading to Teach Writing
6. Moving Stories
7. Black British Writing in Contemporary Literature
8. Narrating Labour History
9. Beyond Judy Blume: The Challenges and Pleasures of Writing about Teenage Girls
10. Short Fiction Finds a Home: The 35th Anniversary of the Iowa Short Fiction Awards
11. A Celebration of Madeline DeFrees
12. Six Faculty Poets of the Interior Northwest’s MFA Programs: A Reading
13. The Poetics of Bearing Witness
14. Between Argument and Accident: Editing Independent Electronic Journals
15. Jazzing the Muse
16. Where It’s All Too Real: Alaska’s Nonfictional Demand
17. After Survival: Where is CanadianPoetry?
18. Mad Writing
19. The New Nature Writing
20. The Passionate Thread: The Narrative Strategies of Writers Who Focus on Both Poetry
This is a pretty healthy crop of discussion choices. 19 competitors! Thankfully, only 11, 12, 13, 14 (that's ours), 17, and 20 focus on poetry. But even my AWP buddy this year, Tony Robinson, I'm guessing will want to attend #12.
After reading the details of each one, and excluding our own discussion, here is how I would rank the ones I'd want to be at:
#20 is a question I've always been invested in. My poems, despite being somewhat unorthodox, disjointed in their narrative at times, and surprising I hope, tend to fall on the narrative side of things. I've struggled with this a bit, mostly because I've had other poets/editors dismiss me because of this. Somehow, in some circles, narrative in poetry discredits the poem--as if it's too easy or something. I don't know. I get a lot of my ideas from short stories and this discussion, which is headed up by Maxine Kumin, will focus on that fine line between prose writers and poets and what we can learn from each other regarding narrative. So, someone will have to take good notes in that one and then share them with me. Deal?