Feeling the Love in Los Angeles

Feeling the Love in Los Angeles

I had such a fantastic time in Los Angeles this past week for AWP. I want to thank Jamie Iredell for organizing and hosting the Future Tense anniversary reading at AWP. I also want to thank Justin Maurer for putting me up at his homestead again and for setting up the great Future Tense off-site reading at the Redwood Bar. And thanks to the Timberline Review folks for letting me share their table.

It was so fun to talk to so many people at the Future Tense table at the book fair and to sell SO MANY books as well. A lot of people said they thought the Future Tense anniversary panel/reading was their favorite and that they could feel the love in the room. It was such an honor to be in that room with Jamie, as well as Chelsea Martin, Wendy C. Ortiz, and Meredith Alling (and Chelsea Hodson in the audience) and to see a great turnout for it. I LOVE being a publisher and ushering these amazing people and books into the world, into peoples’ hands–into hearts and brains. I freakin’ love it! This year’s AWP left me feeling so inspired and appreciated. I appreciate you all back, so so much.

Here are pics of some of my AWP highlights.

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Beginning of the book fair on Thursday!
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Jamie Iredell, dapper southern gent and literary powerhouse
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I read a little bit from a few of the Future Tense chapbooks at the anniversary reading. And also gave out Spudnut doughnuts to the morning crowd.
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I went to see Wendy C. Ortiz get a Lulu Award and sat with these stars: Cheryl Strayed, Melissa Chadburn, and Lauren Eggert-Crowe
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Later, at the Standard Hotel rooftop party, there were pods with waterbeds in them. Wendy C. Ortiz gets comfortable.
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Here’s upcoming Future Tense author Meredith Alling and Wendy by the pool
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With Meredith in very uncomfortable chairs by the poolside
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Big crowds at the panels, like this one for the “Year of Magical Thinking” panel I was on. It wasn’t about Joan Didion. It was about the first year of your debut book’s life.
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Always fun to make Myriam Gurba laugh. She has the best laugh. And the best hair.
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Sean Kilpatrick owns the floor (and kicks a chair across the room) for the Dark Fucking Wizard reading Friday night.
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Awesome to see Brandi Wells also read for Dark Fucking Wizard.
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Meredith Alling reads about an ancient ham at the Dark Fucking Wizard reading.
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Awesome to see Monica Drake’s book on this Small Press Distribution display.
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And to see Ooligan Press captain Abbey Gaterud (the day before I saw old friend Kait Heacock, who they’re publishing later this year).
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Before going to AWP, I found one lone copy of Chelsea Hodson’s highly sought-after chapbook, Pity the Animal, and packed it with the rest of he books. On Friday, while taking a break from the table, Meredith Alling (salesperson of the month!) sold it to an excited fan for $50. I wanted to give the money to Chelsea, but she’s too dang sweet and generous to take it.
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Ran into Kattywompus Press’s Sammy Greenspan after spotting Leah Umansky’s books on display.
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Finally met the fabulous Ashley Perez in person
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I didn’t get a lot of time to wander around the book fair, but I did get a few breaks thanks to Jamie, Meredith, and Darkmouth Strikes Again author Jay Ponteri. Here are the much anticipated books I’ll be reading soon by Natalie Eilbert, Ben Mirov, Chelsea Martin, Melissa Broder, John Colasacco, and Lincoln Michel.
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Saturday night wrapped up with the 17 Television/Future Tense Books reading. Meredith Alling killed it again at the Redwood (one of the highlight of the whole trip was seeing her read THREE times in three days–good practice for her book readings later this year).
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One of my favorite writers, Zoë Ruiz, at the Redwood
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Thanks again for everyone who stopped by to say hi and check out the Future Tense stuff. We even officially sold out of our print run for May-Lan Tan’s Girly.

I’m not sure if I’ll be going next year or not. Washington D.C. is great but maybe too far away. We’ll wait and see. But for now, the L.A. AWP was such a good one and will be one to remember for a long time. Thanks again, my friends.

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