One nice thing this year, I walked out of AWP with some books, chapbooks and journals, and upon lugging them back to the hotel, or back home to the Detroit area, I can honestly say not once did I look at one of them and wonder why I had done the carrying. I'm looking forward to each, and also realize, aside from a couple of journals which you'll read about in a separate post, I actually exchanged cash for each of the following:
Modern Love by Andrew Scott (sunnyoutside, 2006), a fine looking (and now signed) chapbook of a short story with art work. Andrew was also kind enough to help me out, as I was swamped at our own table,walking the length of two entire tables to buy his book for me, and bring it back signed.
Two Tribal Stories by Joshua Cohen (Small Anchor Press, 2007), a nice looking chapbook with two stories in it. Also picked up from Small Anchor Press were The Viral Lease by Mathias Svalina (2008), which doesn't look like this photo, as each of the 100 copies was made with a unique cover and mine wasn't the one chosen to be the website representative, and Close to Home by Joshua Furst (the reprinted version from 2008). The folks at Small Anchor are putting out nice looking chaps from authors I've heard of, read before, and liked.
The Fire Landscape by Gary Fincke (University of Arkansas, 2009). A full collection of poetry from Fincke, a writer whose work I've enjoyed in poetry, stories, and memoir form. I had the pleasure of getting this one signed and talking to Gary about the band Breaking Benjamin, a favorite of mine, and perhaps not so oddly, his, considering his son is their lead guitarist. It was nice meeting him for the first time after years of emails.
Quodlibet by Chloe Joan Lopez (New Michigan Press, 2009). The latest in their chapbook series for 2008-09. Really, that's all I need to say. Order the subscription, buy them one at a time, but give yourself the enjoyment that is this series that Ander Monson has been publishing the past few years. Nicely designed (the rare perfectbound chapbook), sharp covers, and always, great words inside.
Ohio Violence by Alison Stine (UNT Press, 2009). This poetry collection, sold and signed by Alison, though from the confines of the New Michigan Press table, came with a cool little set of handcuffs. This is the 2008 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry winner as selected by Eric Pankey.
American Prophet by Robert Fanning (Marick Press, 2009). This is Robert's second poetry collection and one I would have bought Saturday even had I not embarrassed myself beyond belief trying to convince Robert he was Dzanc author, Roy Kesey, near the end of Thursday afternoon (I was tired, hungry, and whatever other bs excuse you can come up with). It wasn't bad enough that I made the initial mistake but kept pushing, demanding Robert accept my congratulations for his winning the Missouri Short Fiction Contest. Thanks to Dwayne Hayes for leaning over and whispering "That's not Roy" to me and cutting short the demands. I've had the pleasure of hearing Robert read many of these as well as allowing me to include a couple in the 2007 EWN Holiday Gift Email.
AM/PM by Amelia Gray (Featherproof, 2009). Perhaps the book I was most looking forward to picking up while driving towards AWP and nearly done reading it, it hasn't disappointed at all. Sadly, I didn't even know there was an Amelia Gray about two months ago and now I've scoured the web to find any publishings she's done. This conveniently puts many of them together and is just a fantastic read. Also caught her reading at The Beat Kitchen and had a bit of a chance to talk to her afterward and she's as nice as she is talented. Rush over to the Featherproof site and you can get this one free if you subscribe to their awesome new subscription series.
Next up - AWP 2009 - The Loot (Literary Journals)