AWP may not be open to the public on Saturday

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I need someone to blame, I need someone be mad at

In the recent fray of AWP, we all found out, rather recently that the public won’t be allowed to attend the conference the last day. I had invited literary friends from the area to come visit Red Hen’s booth on that Saturday. I’m sure others had as well.

Let’s face it, what we publishers want is to sell books and to have our books become part of the dialogue about ideas that exists in the world of letters. So the more people who have access to our books, the better. I’m hoping the City of Seattle is willing to work with AWP to make this possible. At this time, Seattle’s vendor rules don’t allow the public to come in and buy books.

What interests me aside from the way the internet creates a literal churn zone where anyone can weigh in and vent, is that it seems whenever something doesn’t go our way, we humans get pretty excited about having someone to blame.

So in case you want to blame something on someone else, I am going to give you a list of suggestions:
1. Anything that goes wrong with AWP? David Fenza is the convenient one. The way blame gets shifted to him, you would think he establishes all AWP policy and the policy of every city AWP visits all by himself. He’s like the god of AWP knowing good and evil but keeping this knowledge secretly. The purpose of this alleged secrecy is kind of murky. Even when AWP started publishing all the facts and figures about who submits for panels etc, the mumbling continued as if Mr. Fenza had a conspiracy going. I always suspected that he was trying to run a healthy organization and have a conference writers would want to attend?
2. AWP being too big, not having child care, being in expensive hotels—It’s Them! They are not thinking of you!
3. AWP not accepting your panel. They are out to get you.
4. The current wars the U.S is involved in: Blame Obama. Also blame him for the lack of health care, the persistence of our rendition programs and the state of education in this country which is in a word, appalling. Also the prison population which continues to grow. Connected to education. Also Obama’s fault.
5. Your publication record, if it’s good is due to your hard work. If it’s bad, it’s due to the negative, toxic idiots who act as gatekeepers in the literary magazines and publishing groups.
6. Your pay—if it’s high, it’s because you work hard and you deserve it. If it’s low, it’s because your boss doesn’t understand or appreciate you.
7. The fact that sin came into the world. Why did God had to put an avocado/apple/pomegranate tree in the garden knowing that humans have no self restraint?
8. Sin in general. Blame Eve.
9. Eve in general. Blame the serpent.
10. Blame women. Blame men. Blame White men. Blame God. Blame your parents. Blame your kids. Blame your in-laws. Blame your spouse. Blame everyone else for everything that goes wrong in your life. You feel better now, don’t you?

I still hope AWP finds a way for us to sell books on Saturday, but if they don’t, I will not assume that They are out to get me. I think “They” are trying to run a successful conference. Wouldn’t that make sense?

But, what do I know?

Published in: on February 18, 2014 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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