For those of you who have been living on another planet, the Annual Conference & Bookfair of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) will take place in New York City from Wednesday, January 30, to Saturday, February 2 (Ground Hog Day and, more important, James Joyce’s birthday). The conference HQ will be the Hilton New York, and many events will be held across the street at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers. Seven thousand people have signed up for this literary lovefest, which encompasses more than 300 readings, lectures and panel discussions on contemporary writing, publishing, and teaching. Two events we consider especially interesting, both scheduled for Friday, are:
—3:00-4:15pm: Fraud! The Debunking of Experimental Fiction, a panel discussion in which one of the participants is Michael Martone, the author we will interview for upstreet 4.
—4:30-6:15pm: A New Kind of College, a discussion of the creation of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, the nation’s first college devoted solely to MFA programs. Three of upstreet’s four editors are graduates of VCFA’s MFA in Writing Program.
Registrations have been sold out for a couple of weeks now, but the Bookfair exhibit halls, located on the second and third floors of the Hilton, will be open to the public from 8:30am to 5:30pm on Saturday. We hope supporters of upstreet who are planning to be in NYC will stop by and visit our editors (Robin Oliveira, Jess Greenbaum, Harrison Fletcher, and Vivian Dorsel) at the Bookfair table we’ll be sharing with Opium magazine. We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones.