2013 Offsite AWP Guide

by Salvatore Pane

Last week, I covered the panels of AWP 2013. This week, I’m focusing on the offsite events. For me, this is always the best part of the conference. The panels are enjoyable for the most part, but it’s really at the readings where you get to meet the people whose work you’ve been following all year. There’s a ton of amazing events as per usual, so I’ve only listed the ones I’m going to try my hardest to attend. Guess what? They all conflict. It’s AWP, guys.

Oh, and if you want to check me at an event, show up on Thursday night at 8pm for:

A Night of Presidential Fiction Readings

Location: Sweetwater Tavern
Cost: Free
Hear original flash fiction about America’s presidents, originally featured at Melville House. Readers include: Steve Himmer, Lincoln Michel, Matt Bell, Robert Kloss, Matthew Salesses, Tara Laskowski, Ben Loory, Aubrey Hirsch, James Tadd Adcox, Greg Gerke, Alan Stewart Carol, John Minichillo, Amelia Gray, Katrina Gray, Joseph Scapellato, Rion Amilcar Scott, Erin Fitzgerald, Tim Horvath, Laura Ellen Scott, Gabriel Blackwell, Christy Crutchfield, Mel Bosworth, Anne Valente, Sal Pane, Ben Tanzer, JA Tyler, Mike Meginnis, and Lauren Becker.



6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Gold Wake Press Reading
Location: Trident Booksellers Cafe
Cost: $0
This year Gold Wake is hosting an off-site reading at AWP Boston in 2013! Come over to Trident Books (3-5 min walking from the event center), and hear a slew of terrific authors from Gold Wake Press including Erin Elizabeth Smith, Andrea Witzke Slot, Nick Courtright, Kathleen Rooney, Donora Hillard, Kristina Marie Darling, Joshua Young, T.A. Noonan, Sarah E. Colona, Anne Champion, Brian Mihok, Jeannie Hoag, Kyle McCord.

6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Monster Mags of the Midwest reading
Location: Back Bay Social Club, 867 Boylston
Cost: Free
Cincinnati Review, Mid-American Review, and Ninth Letter invite you to an AWP offsite reading, with Steve Almond, Tarfia Faizullah, Roy Kesey, Mary Miller, Sarah Rose Nordgren, and Marcus Wicker. Cocktail hour from 6-7 pm (Back Bay Social Club has both food and drink available for purchase), readings to start at 7


4:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

a reading eXperiment presented by Festival of Language
Location: LIR, 903 Boylston Street
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Come and witness words and artistry in motion, distorting meanings and kicking expectation to the curb at Festival of Language’s first annual reading eXperiment conducted game show style with Jane L. Carman, Ryan Clark, Andy Farnsworth, Jenny Ferguson, Beth Gilstrap, Sonya Huber, Kathryn Kysar, R.B. Moreno, Theresa O’Donnell, Ted Pelton, Erin Rhodes, Anita Schmaltz, Sarah Stonich, Ben Tanzer, Meg Tuite, and Robert Vaughan.

5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Co-Book Launch: Shane McCrae and Matthew Salesses
Location: LIR, across from Hynes
Cost: Free
Join Shane McCrae, author of Blood (Noemi), and Matthew Salesses, author of I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying (CCM), for the double launch of their books. Warning: drinks will be drunk, books will be shared, and good times will be had.

6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

A Table X Reading: Anomalous, Les Figues, Gold Line, Tiny Hardcore, & Rose Metal Presses
Location: CCTV Studio, 438 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 0213938 (near Central Square)
Cost: Free as a bird
Anomalous, Les Figues, Gold Line, Tiny Hardcore, & Rose Metal Presses hosting a reading and book launch. Free snacks and drinks! Sandra Doller, Mike Schorsch, Liat Berdugo, and Sarah Tourjee reading from their forthcoming Anomalous books; Casey Hannan, Ashley Farmer, and James Tadd Adcox from Tiny Hardcore Press; Bradley Harrison, Matt Kirkpatrick, Heather Aimee O’Neill, and Glenn Shaheen from Gold Line Press; and Adam Golaski and Aaron Teel from Rose Metal Press.

7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Drunken Boat Book Party for Lisa Russ Spaar’s “The Hide-and-Seek Muse”
Location: The Lily Pad Inman Square (1353 Cambridge St in Cambridge)
Cost: FREE
Join Drunken Boat, online journal of the arts, during AWP at Cambridge’s Lily Pad to celebrate the launch of Guggenheim fellow and award-winning poet Lisa Russ Spaar’s “The Hide-and-Seek Muse: Annotations on Contemporary Poetry,” featuring her memorable micro-essays on some of America’s finest poets such as Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Wright, Carl Philips, Carol Muske-Dukes, Claudia Emerson, and Philip Schultz, and younger writers such as Kazim Ali, Kyle Dargan, and Paul Legault. The reading will feature contributors to the book including Debra Allbery, Talvikki Ansel, Jennifer Atkinson, David Baker, Jill Bialosky, Randall Couch, Kate Daniels, Monica Ferrell, Gabriel Fried, Rachel Hadas, Brenda Hillman, Jennifer Key, L. S. Klatt, Joanna Klink, Erika Meitner, Amy Newman, Meghan O’Rourke, Eric Pankey, Kiki Petrosino, Bin Ramke, Mary Ann Samyn, Allison Seay, Ravi Shankar, Ron Slate, Mary Szybist, Brian Teare, David Wojahn. Free and open to the public.

7:00 p.m.

Sundress Publications / Connotation Press / Boxcar Poetry Review / Best of the Net Reading at The Greatest Bar
Location: The Greatest Bar | 262 Friend Street | Boston, MA 02114
Cost: Free!
Join us in Boston for a night of reading and general revelry in celebration of Sundress Publications, Connotation Press, Boxcar Poetry Review, and the release of the 2012 Best of the Net Anthology! Readers will include Traci Brimhall, Al Maginnes, Laura McCullough, Alex Pruteanu, Angela Woodward, Marcel Brouwers, Peauladd Huy, Doug Anderson, Sara Lippman, Danny M. Hoey, Jr., and more!

8:00 p.m.

Barrelhouse, Hobart, PANK & Friends: Not Reading
Location: LIR, 903 Boylston St, Boston
Cost: Free
It’s a quirky Cinderella story about three fashion-savvy, thrift-loving litmags who fell for rich, sumptuous AWP readings only to discover it’s the partying they’ve loved all along. The threesome comes across many social obstacles, but things come together in the end thanks in large part to a ragtag group of unlikely friends, a Boston bar, and absolutely no pretense of readings or literary gimmickry whatsoever.

8:00 p.m.

East / West Reading
Location: Bell In Hand Tavern, 45-55 Union Street, Boston, Massachusetts
Cost: Free
East Coast writers match off against West Coast: Pam Houston, Deb Olin Unferth, Joseph Salvatore, Matthew Vollmer, Scott Cheshire, Christopher Kennedy, David Hollander, Kim Chinquee, Sam Ligon, Lily Hoang, Carmen Gimenez-Smith, Robert Lopez, Aurelie Sheehan.

8:00 p.m.

Sarabande Books Reading
Location: LIR: 903 Boylston St
Cost: Free
Brief readings by Elena Passarello, Steven Cramer, Cleopatra Mathis, Lauren Shapiro, and L. Annette Binder. We’ll be debuting Sarabande’s signature bourbon cocktail. Free drinks!

8:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m.

Mission Creek Festival & the Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review
Location: Club Passim
Join Iowa’s Mission Creek Festival and Johns Hopkins’ The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review at historic Club Passim for words, music, and drink. Featured Author: Steve Almond. Featured Music: TBA.

8:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.

VIDA Prom: a Reading and Dance Party
Location: Daisy Buchanan’s, 240 Newbury Street, Boston MA 02116
Cost: $10 donation to VIDA at the door
Show off your prom dress, boa, and fascinator at the swankiest speakeasy dance party & reading during AWP! Headliners include: Cheryl Strayed, Robert Pinsky, Pam Houston, Alexander Chee, Roxanne Gay (more TBD). Schedule: Doors open at 8pm, Readers read at 9pm, Dance party from 10pm-midnight. Cash bar. Prom attire encouraged but not required. Feel free to wear your roaring ’20s gear and come out to support VIDA!

8:00 p.m.

Words & Music presented by Curbside Splendor, Other Voices Books, AGNI, Emergency Press, Counterpoint, Artifice
Location: 738 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridgem MA
Cost: FREE
Readings and or music at Boston’s iconic Cantab Lounge by: James Greer (Detective / Guided by Voices), Jessica Keener, Rob Roberge, Jillian Lauren, Joshua Mohr, Caroline Crew, Chris Fink, Ben Tanzer, Tyler McMahon. Word.


6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Bread Loaf Waiters Reading
Location: LIR
Cost: Free
Join the 2012 Bread Loaf waiters at LIR, a bar right across from the Hynes Convention Center, for a showcase of speed readings in poetry and prose.

6:00 p.m.-7:45 p.m.

Crossing The Line: A Reading Co-Sponsored by The Drum Literary Magazine and the Boston Book Festival
Location: Storyville, 90 Exeter St.
Cost: Free
Come join us at the Storyville nightclub for tales of law-breaking, rule-bending, and genre-busting. The evening will feature bestselling/award-winning authors Matt Bell, Jenna Blum, Christopher Castellani, and Marie Myung-Ok Lee. There will be a short, fun (anonymous?) transgression-oriented questionnaire – best answer wins a free drink! Hosted by Dawn Tripp & Henriette Lazaridis Power

6:30 p.m.

A Strange Object and Nouvella Buy You a Beer
Location: Back Bay Social Club, Upstairs, 867 Boylston St.
Cost: Free
The gals of A Strange Object and Nouvella want you to come have a Sam Adams with them. Come on. You’re in Boston. Don’t even think about not being there. (And get there early, because they’re buying for the first 50 folks to show up.)

8:00 p.m.

Ampersand, YesYes, and Engine Books
Location: McGreevy’s Irish Bar: 911 Boylston Street
Cost: Free
Ampersand Books, Engine Books,and YesYes Books celebrate literature and mayhem with readings by Carrie Causey, Nan Cuba, Nicelle Davis, Luke Goebel, Darby Laine, Courtney Elizabeth Mauk, Gregory Sherl, Nate Slawson, Gregory Spatz, J.A. Tyler, and Angela Veronica Wong


Literature Party

For the third year in a row, there will be a Literature Party at AWP.

Sponsored by HTMLGiant and Submittable and Publishing Genius.

Responsive reading by MELISSA BRODER
Special music by MIKE YOUNG
… and the evil deeds of Boston’s own THE GREAT BURIERS

PLUS more hijinks like: SARAH JEAN ALEXANDER’s live booze art, MARC KUGINI explains Marie Calloway for your Twitter friends and ALL your hunting and fishing questions answered by JEFF SNOWBARGER

Security provided by Andrew Weatherhead


This year it’s free
Beers and wines for cheaps, like $2 or whatever


4:30 p.m.

Brookline Bookstore Reading Featuring Steve Almond, and friends
Location: 279 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA
Cost: FREE
Chicago’s Curbside Splendor and Other Voices Books (OVB) present an intimate reading with the following fantastic authors at Boston’s Brookline Booksmith: Steve Almond, Amber Sparks, Rob Roberge, Thea Goodman, Stephen Dau. Wine and other goodies will be served.

5:30 p.m.

Literary Firsts
Location: Middlesex Lounge
Cost: Free
Join us for a special installment of Cambridge’s sexiest reading series! Readers include: James Tadd Adcox, Sam Cha, Melissa Febos, Elisa Gabbert, Robert Kloss, Vanessa Veselka, Adrian Todd Zuniga, and John Cotter as the confessional reader! Hosted by Carissa Halston.

7:00 p.m.

There’s Still Good in You!
Location: Daisy Buchanan’s: 240 A Newbury Street, Boston MA 02116
Cost: Free
Heavy Feather Review, Big Lucks, Magic Helicopter Press, and Factory Hollow Press present There’s Still Good in You! an AWP 2013 offsite reading, featuring Jensen Beach, Gabriel Blackwell, Rachel B. Glaser, Evelyn Hampton, W. Todd Kaneko, Seth Landman, Jordaan Mason, Caryl Pagel, Adam Robinson, and Amber Sparks.