Aimee Nezhukumatathil's Lucky Fish (Tupelo) is definitely at the top of my list. Also at or near the top is Steve Kistulentz's The Luckless Age, just out from Red Hen Press. And the great thing is that I will soon be swooning over poets that I had no idea existed or wrote such lively and funny and musical verse. That's the best part about AWP: discovery!
And then there's all those beautiful hot-off-the-presses lit mags just waiting for us: Willow Springs, Puerto del Sol, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Bat City Review, just to name a few. Last year I ponied up for 2-year subscriptions of The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, and Ecotone, all for a fraction of the cover price. I sure didn't regret that. That's another great thing about AWP--screaming deals!
I blogged yesterday about Thursday's line-up, but have a look at Friday. At 9 am there's a panel titled Channeling Voices: The Persona Poem with Julie Sheehan, Linda Bierds, Cornelius Eady, Joan Houlihan, Melissa Stein, Robert Thomas on the curious case of persona poem. I am so excited about this one. And after what I'm sure will be a lively and worthwhile chat, we can all pay tribute, come late afternoon, to one of our best dramatic monologists: Ai. But before that tribute, there's the Houghton Mifflin celebrating 10 years of Michael Collier at the helm. Andrew Hudgins, Linda Gregerson, Rodney Jones, Maurice Manning, and Leslie Harrison are all reading. Next it's off to Local Poets with National Reputations, where Linda Pastan, Carolyn Forche, Fanny Howe, Jonetta Rose Barras will read. That's some line-up. And, if you're still conscious at that point,Claudia Rankine and Charles Wright will grace the Regency Ballroom.