I asked Sarah Heady to share her thoughts on AWP. Sarah was at AWP signing copies of her Michael Rubin award-winning book of poetry Niagara Transnational, published by Fourteen Hills Press in 2013.
I asked her what her favorite panel was and she said..."My favorite panel was the 40th anniversary reading for Kelsey Street Press, a women's publishing collective based in Berkeley. Cofounders Patricia Dienstfrey and Rena Rosenwasser were there, as well as Bhanu Kapil (swoon), the incredible Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, and Hazel White, my favorite personal poetry "discovery" of the conference (I'm really looking forward to reading her book Peril as Architectural Enrichment). It was incredibly moving to celebrate such a longstanding effort by women to publish one another. There was so much love and admiration in that room, and the quality of the work was superb. It inspired me and some of my female friends to fantasize about starting something."
When asked if Sarah had a "Eureka moment" during AWP she said that she did and that it "...came during a panel about switching genres in the middle of a project--one of the panelists talked about turning a monolithic memoir into a series of linked essays and how that freed up the work to do more interesting things. That was liberating for me because I'm working on a nonfiction project that's turning out to be quite large, and it was making me nauseous thinking about how to pull it all together. But if I think of the work as a series of concerns and explorations that can live together in one book, it feels much more doable and intellectually exciting."