My AWP Shopping List

Tomorrow, I head to Boston for this year’s AWP conference and book fair (let’s face it: it might as well all be book fair). I’ve already frightened you a bit about the book fair below, but vomiting babies and stomach-grabbing creepy guys aside, you should really prepare yourself for the finest bookstore on earth–a bookstores so fine it can only last for four days per year. This year, I’m particularly excited for a few books in particular. Here’s what on my shopping list, and what I think should be on yours, too:

The Children’s War, by Shaindel Beers. I’ve been reading Shaindel Beers’s work for some years now, since I was first introduced to her work in a graduate school class. Let’s just say I didn’t think I cared for the sestina until I read what she could do with one. This second book of Beers’s work promises to be even more outstanding than her first.

Sacrelegion, by L. Lamar Wilson. I first read L. Lamar Wilson’s work in Vinyl, one of the coolest online journals around. I was in immediate love, and didn’t let him have any peace until he gave me a poem for The Los Angeles Review. I look forward to reading what I have every reason to believe will be a beautiful collection.

Toucan Nest, by Peggy Shumaker. I’ve had the privilege of meeting a number of big-name poets through my work with LAR. Most have been polite, if totally indifferent to the existence of we lesser poets on the planet. Peggy Shumaker is different–not only is she a formidable talent, she’s also an exceedingly kind human being who cares deeply about poetry and the writing community. I cannot wait to read this book and to support her work.

Dear Hero, by Jason McCall. I had the chance to read this powerful collection, funny and dark by turns, in its pre-publication stage. I’m looking forward to owning these poems in a bound collection, and I’m sure that Marsh Hawk Press has done this collection justice in giving this work a beautiful presentation on the page.

Kicking Gravity, by Peter J. Gloviczki. Salmon Poetry has long been one of my favorite poetry presses, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve done with Peter Gloviczki’s taut, well-crafted poems. Peter is signing from this collection at 2pm on Friday at Salmon’s table in the book fair–stop by and pick up a signed copy.

A Wild Surmise, by Eloise Klein Healy. A new collection from L.A.’s new poet laureate! That spells “fabulous” to me.

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5 thoughts on “My AWP Shopping List

  1. My shopping list also includes just about any literary journal I can pick up on Sunday, when many of the presses give away back copies for free.

  2. Kelly–I love your shopping list. And I would love to see you post about the works as you read them, sharing points–such as your sestina-love–as you go.

  3. So excited to have made your list! Can’t wait to re-read Burn This House as an “in real life” book — as opposed to a manuscript on the computer!

  4. Shaindel, I can’t wait to get it into your hands. 🙂

    Carol, happy to share the shopping list! I think you’d enjoy all of these on the list, actually…

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