Friday, February 11, 2011

New Issues @ AWP 2011: A Report

Editor Bill Olsen, Nancy Eimers,
and NIPP Poet Lisa Lewis
Like many of our brethren from the Midwest, we barely made it to Washington DC. Who knew that the storm of the century would dump over a foot of snow on us right before we were supposed to fly out of Kalamazoo? But we made it, if a little later than anticipated.

AWP was a crazy whirlwind as usual, but we are always excited to see so many of our authors face-to-face. We hosted book signings at the New Issues bookfair table for Lisa Lewis, Keith Ekiss, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Judy Halebsky, and Kevin Fenton.

Kevin Fenton @ the AWP
Award Series reading
On Friday Kevin Fenton read from his novel Merit Badges as part of the AWP Award Series reading. Managing Editor Marianne Swierenga introduced him and Kevin read from his chapter titled "Climbing." Bradley Paul also read. His second book was selected by Jean Valentine in the poetry category and published by Pitt, but we still claim him as a New Issues poet since The Obvious won our first book prize. So New Issues was well represented at the Award Series reading.

NIPP poet Peter Covino
visits Table A22
The New Issues table was always busy and we received so many compliments on our books. Situated right next to the Prague Summer Program in the bookfair, we got to see Margaret von Steinen in action, speaking to hundreds of perspective students.

On Saturday there was a tribute to the beloved poet Jack Myers, led my Mark Cox, who edited a forthcoming collection by Jack that we are publishing in the spring.

With thousands of poets, writers, publishers, students and faculty attending, we were in great company. Next year, AWP is in Chicago. Road trip?

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