26 February 2014

And So We Dance




This week is the 2014 AWP Conference in Seattle. A great big place where scads of poets and prose writers sit in ballrooms and walk about in quadrilles between tables piled with books and swag. Between those choreographed experiences, we enjoy chaotic improv sessions in restaurants, bars, and hallways. If anything could be precisely opposite the drafty garret or mossy grotto where poets are purported to do most of our work alone, this is it.

In truth, the writer’s work is always a balancing of the social and the solitary. Too much of either and we run out of time or material. Just the right balance helps us keep up the flow of inspiration, it gives us momentum and motivation.

Writers’ events are an opportunity to fill our dance cards with real readers for whom we write when we return to our keyboards or notepads. They also present to us in flesh, the real writers who talked and toiled away to give us the books we admire.


If you’re at the conference, following it in tweets or texts from friends who are there, or have never even heard of it, hopefully you’ll have an experience this week that knocks you off your feet and from which you recover by writing something you would never have thought of otherwise. It could be art, music, conversation, or a jog down a new lane. Want some inspiration directly from poetry while you walk, jog, or roll? The Poetry Foundation has a fun app that lets you read and listen from your mobile device.

Wherever you are, take a look at some PQ reviews, interviews, and essays for consistently good company. Your writing might just find a new groove.

And remember, we love to hear your comments.

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