Having returned from the land of snow, chickadees and Benedictines, my thoughts are now turning to the lone star state, where I’ll be next week. My stress levels are rising in anticipation: having reviewed the schedule of the AWP conference in Austin, it seems there are far too many sessions to attend all at once, and far too much going on in Austin to cover in the three days we have to be tourists before the conference starts.
Such heart-rending choices: one particularly cruel morning’s simultaneous sessions include (among others):
Crazy Women: Writers Defying Diagnosis;
That’s So Funny: Irony and Meaning in Contemporary American Poetry;
From Rejection to Publication: Becoming A Resilient Writer;
Women Small Press Publishers on Publishing;
Blogs, Boards & Online Journals: Salons for the 21st Century; and
Symbol, Glyph, or Gimmick?: Repunctuating Contemporary Fiction and Poetry.
An interesting debate on TripAdviser’s Austin forum, about where in Austin do you find the best barbecue? A matter I intend to give serious thought to, my curiosity having been whetted by “The Whole Hog”, Jeffrey Steingarten’s account of judging a bbq competition in Memphis, in one of my favourite food books ever, The Man Who Ate Everything.