Category: Events

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Writers and Occupy Wall Street: A review of Reading + OWS Discussion

What do raps about the working class, Shakespeare monologues and stories about the south have in common? What responsibilities do writers have within the OWS movement?

On Friday, November 4, New School Riggio Writing and Democracy students along with friends gathered to find out during an event entitled Reading + OWS Discussion While the Reading is a regular event, the discussion about Occupy Wall Street was added as an acknowledgement that the movement is impacting lives.

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Fond Memories in the Belly of the AWP Whale

AWP Recap by Liz Axelrod

Every year thousands of writers, professors, school teachers, students, Ph.D. candidates, publishers, booksellers, bloggers, posers, and other assorted literary peddlers and pushers convene en masse in a chosen locale for the annual Association of Writer and Writing Programs Conference—a locale most definitely not ready or even aware of the magnitude of this population’s thirst for words, wishes, deals, dollars, companionship and alternative states of wordly being. That said, Patrick Hipp—our 12th Street Interview Editor—noted the very best Tweet of the conference: “Dear Marriott, next time 8000 writers descend upon your premises, it might be a good idea to have more than two bartenders.” I add to that that it also might be good if those bartenders were able to move at a pace a bit above that of a leisurely slug. If you’re going to charge us twelve bucks for a rum and Coke, it would be nice if we could get it before the ice melts. Thanks.

This year’s conference was held in Washington, DC, just a short hop, skip and Amtrak away from New York City. Optimal for me. I arrived a day before my crew to help set up our table at the Book Fair and in hopes of a private night of fun and debauchery. Unfortunately, my wishful candidate for said night opted for a younger, thinner, taller, more Asian version than me. Without warning I was thrust upon the two of them at the hotel bar after spending the earlier hours at Busboys & Poets watching the Word for Word readers make Mindmeld graphs on a wall—don’t ask, I have no idea. I was fortunate though to hear Brittany Perham read some sexy poems right up my alley, and not fortunate to hear an editor read his poet’s work. Note to editors: even if your poets are snowed in, it might be better to have them phone into the reading. This way you won’t get tangled in their line breaks and the poem won’t end up sounding like Forrest Gump with a mouthful of chocolate.