I love hotels. I can roll out of bed throw on some workout clothes & take the elevator down to the gym. This hotel has a basketball court. It’s bananas. I can order room service or head to the little market or the larger restaurant. There’s free hot cider a huge lounge with a fireplace and my room has a view of the (totally dreary) city. Hotels are a writer’s dream. It’s a space where I can hole up & hide out.
Today I made my way over to the AWP Bookfair to work a shift for VIDA. Immediayeky upon entering the building I felt all of my energy leaving me, replaced by anxiety. I hate being in crowds of strangers.
Thankfully I ran into writers who I have long admired including the prose writer, Melissa Febos, who I worked the VIDA booth with, alongside the fabulous poet Lynn Melnick. Writers can be exceptionally funny and generous and anxious and brilliant. When I arrived b. william bearhart was there & Alex Dmitrov. Later Orlando White stopped by & Danez Smith & Franny Choi & Cheryl Strayed & Camille Rankine & Ru Freeman & Don Share & Laurie Foos and a whole crowd of writers who stopped by to take a look at The Count (the numbers are still dismal for some journals & the women writers of color count is abysmal).
One of my dearest friends, Adela Najarro, came over with her debut poetry collection, Twice Told Over (woot!) & Morgan Parker too stopped by and what a pleasure to finally meet the poet whose work I’ve been drooling over for years. Here are a few pieces she published at The Awl where poet Mark Bibbins (who also stopped by) was the guest editor.
It’s not all bad. I mean being surrounded by writers for a couple of hours is actually energizing and often a thrill a minute.