Well, once again the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Conference approaches. I’m thrilled to be participating in two sessions — one at the very beginning of the conference and one at the end. The first one is a roundtable I proposed — and I think it’ll be a great one. Participants hail from Octopus Books, Pilot Books, The Rose O’Neill Literary House, The (downtown) Omaha Lit Fest, and Tuesday; An Art Project, and we’ll be talking about the dynamics between the digital and the handcrafted when it comes to books/texts/”publishing.” The second session is devoted to celebrating the 30th year of the UVA Young Writers Workshop, where I was a student years and years ago, then on the staff, then a poetry workshop teacher. I hope lots of YWW alums come out of the woodwork to join us! Descriptions (including day/time/location) for both sessions follow.
Virginia B Room, Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level
Hands On: A Conversation about DIY and Craft Culture in a Digital World. (Liz Ahl, Jennifer S. Flescher, Timothy Schaffert, Kathryn Bursick, Betsy Wheeler, Mathias Svalina) Given the efficiency-driven digital world, why does handcraft survive? Why are there still books? What does lead type offer us in 2010 that differs from what it offered Whitman when he set Leaves of Grass? What does the cut and paste ‘zine have to say to the hand-set broadside? How are the digital and the handmade cooperative or symbiotic? What can handcraft offer us about learning, reading, and writing? Session participants’ experiences as writers, publishers, and teachers inform their answers.
Executive Room, Omni Shoreham Hotel, West Lobby
UVa Young Writers Workshop: A 30th-Anniversary Celebration. (Liz Ahl, Gregory Orr, Mary Szybist, Donald Platt, Dana Roeser, Margo Figgins) For thirty summers, YWW has taught high schoolers the art and craft of poetry, fiction, songwriting, nonfiction, and playwriting. Our teachers and alumni have published widely and have taught in high schools, universities, prisons, and elsewhere. We’ve performed Greek dramas to military communities across the U.S., have established writing workshops in our local used bookstore, and have auto-tuned the news on the Rachel Maddow Show. Come hear what happened to us at YWW and what we’re up to next.