AWP 2011 is over. Highlights, in no particular order, below.
1. Dancing in a group including xTx, Roxane Gay, my roommates Adam Reger and Robert Yune to the song “I Don’t Want to Lose Your Love Tonight” by the Outfield at HTMLGiant’s Literature party amid a crowd of hip motherfuckers.
2. The Gary Shtenygart/Amy Hempel reading/convo. Shtenygart is so fucking funny in person. I want him to be my older brother.
3. During my Future of the Book Review panel with Emily Testa, Irina Reyn and Paul Morris, some dude totally called shit on us while walking up the aisle of the ballroom and sporting sunglasses.
4. I love Emma Straub. I met her. We talked a few times. She signed my copy of her book Other People We Married. Then one night I was returning to the hotel drunk and saw her chatting with some reasonable humans and I shouted, “Emma Straub knows!” She nodded. She knew.
5. At Recessions, I met Amber Sparks and while drinking a 20 ounce Bud Light explained Spider-Man’s wife’s miscarriage from the mid-nineties and the complexities of Pokemon cards.
6. One night later I had a similar conversation with Amber’s husband in the bathroom of Ireland’s Four Provinces.
7. Aubrey Hirsch and I repeatedly asking people if they were the html giant.
8. Seeing Steve Almond, Michael Czyzniejewski, Nicolle Elizabeth and all the Smokelong/Corium/Spindle readers read at the Black Squirrel which has all these 80′s Marvel comics on the walls.
9. Jennifer Sky arm wrestling Tao Lin.
10. I finally met Brian Oliu! We walked through the hotel and parted ways outside, and only later did I realize not once did we bring up Nintendo games as expected.
11. Watching Joel Coggins puke in an Arlington trash can.
12. Getting a Write Like a Motherfucker mug from Isaac Fitzgerald and the awesome Rumpus folks.
13. Chandler Chugg-a-lugg
14. The Annalemma/Pank/MLP reading. One of the funnest readings ever.
15. The Myth of Relevance Panel.
16. This e-mail from Lauren Becker received at 3:28 am:
Body: argh, matey! :-)
17. Consuming a mass amount of beer every night for four straight days.
18. Proposing to a woman named Polaroid on the Literature Party dance floor after she literally told me she would be “the Alice Munro to your Charles Baxter.”
19. Convincing a woman at Literature Party, albeit briefly, that I was Sugar from the Rumpus. Called her sweetpea and everything.
20. Cathy Day mocking Steve Gillies for being 20 years older than me.