From how some people go crazy for it, love it, want to eat it up and wear it in their hair
To other people, who attend because they think they should, or because they want to make a connection, find a publisher, editor, or poetgod.
I am someone who has a love/hate relationship with AWP. I love meeting the live person behind the words but I hate anything that feels like a) networking b)phoniness c) hierarchy.
I love telling my favorite poet that I love her work, but I am not good in big groups. I do not like doing anything that resembles shmoozing or trying to fit into conversations.
The second night, when the parties really got started and the bars and readings were filled, I skipped everything, even my MFA reunion to go back to the hotel and read books and watch Cake Boss with my family who came to DC with me.
Yes this photo below is a good representation of what I most loved about DC-- sightseeing.
But I did have a good time at AWP. Maybe not as good as some, but enough to know I'll be there for 2014.
No, I don't have to go every year. But I do think I won't let 7 years go by until my next one like I did last time. There are good people and poets out there. It's nice to connect in person, to see the poet or reader, what is usually hidden by the page.