How To Win at AWP

The famous Chicago skyline

AWP, the 2012 conference of the Association of Writers & their Programs, cometh nigh upon the face of Chicago. If you’re visiting the Windy City this week for writerly reasons — inspiration, networking, casual sex or just to borrow money — here’s how you can get lit the FAMH way:

  • THURSDAY: Arrive, check in, pin credentials to various parts of your body. Track down FAMH in the Dealer’s Room and ask him about the $1 Book Blurb Special. If it’s not too early in the day for future shock, the 9:00 am panel on THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT sounds cheery. After lunch, be sure to check out the BEYOND PULP panel at 1:30.
  • THURSDAY EVENING: After a day feasting on High Literature, come let Eraserhead Press wash the normal out of your mouth at THE BIZARRO HOUR — 8pm at the KnockBox Cafe. Featuring FAMH and talented Bizarro readers Garret Cook, Andersen Prunty and Michael Allen Rose, plus the musical hosting of The Pop Tarts. Prizes, snacks, kittens and more! If you’ve ever wondered what Bizarro is, you’ll leave wondering more.
  • THURSDAY NIGHT: Come sing along to ultimate small press lung-wrestling at the 2012 AWP KARAOKE IDOL at The Beauty Bar! OR: head to Simone’s Bar for the tail end of the Six Small Presses reading. If you’re lucky, you can still catch John Jodzio!
  • FRIDAY: So many panels! Start your morning with oblivion at the APOCALYPSE NOW panel at 10:30, or just wander from room to room. Remember, you can always barge right on in to any in-progress discussion. Tell anyone who scowls that you’re looking for Mararet Atwood’s headscarf.
  • FRIDAY EVENING: The Bread Loaf Waiters Reading at the Greed Door Tavern. There’s writers on ever corner in this burg, but how often do you get to listen to waiters for a whole night? Assuming you’re not a busboy, I mean. (If anyone wants to schedule a Former Busboy’s Reading Night, FAMH will be there with a hot towel!)
  • FRIDAY NIGHT: The McSweeney’s party may have some booze left if you hurry. It’s Friday night, and hundreds of drunk poets are loose in the streets of Chicago! Print out the offsite events listing and staple it to your pants. This will be an evening to remember!
  • SATURDAY: Remember nothing, feel like ass. In the A.M, sleep in and/or vomit convulsively. Then clean your shit up and head back to the hotel for the Richard Brautigan tribute panel MINE IS CLOUDS. It’s not until noon. You can do it! After that, find a friend in the Dealers Room and curl up for a nap under their table. FAMH promises not to wake you.
  • SATURDAY EVENING: You’re starving! There’s a happy hour at 5, also at The Beauty Bar. If you missed John Jodzio on Thursday, go now! Also Chelsea Martin and Amelia Gray. And snacks! And drinks!
  • SATURDAY NIGHT: Then, follow Amelia Gray over to the Ear Eater reading. There she will read some more, and Kevin Sampsell will read from A COMMON PORNOGRAPHY. (If Amelia Gray accuses you of stalking her, burst into tears and run away.) Later there will be a million parties, all secret. When you find one, post details here!

There are a million AWP stories in the windy city. FAMH is sticking to this one. We’ll see you there!

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