Annalemma @ AWP – Day 1.


Peace out, New York. We took the Bolt Bus. I will gladly shill for the Bolt Bus if they want to advertise with us. $25 or less and you get a comfortable, swift ride from NY to DC. Free Wifi, free electronic outlets, free beautiful scenery. There were other AWP’ers on this particular Bolt Bus. They will back me up on this.


DC’s public trans is ominous and monolithic. The escalators are poorly oiled and they groan like wounded animals. Inspiring and unsettling at the same time.


Here is the floor of the book fair. We were next to Salt Hill which was real cool fortune. The floor is very quiet on Thursday. Sometimes you get the feeling that there is more people sitting at tables than there is people walking around and visiting the tables…


Here is Matt Siegle. He is nine feet tall and must adjust the microphone to accommodate this fact. We threw a reading with PANK and Mud Luscious and called it Divination in DC. About 50 writers descended on an Irish pub with about four families trying to have a nice dinner on a Thursday night. They were unprepared for what was about to happen to them.

Steve Himmer riffs on the Chuck Norris jokes that were oh-so-popular at the end of the aughts and ramps up the pathos on them.

Mathias Svalina read a poem about the end of the world and its relation to the television show Cheers.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz smoked everyone with this poem about a drunk boyfriend at a poetry reading. The first second got cut off. The piece starts with the words “The drunk boyfriend at the bar, he groans…” I really love this one a lot.

And then she read some transcripts from porno movies. She is my new favorite poet. Thanks Cristin.


  1. you have a pretty GF… miss you Michelle!

  2. BAC says:

    “My balls aren’t my balls!”

    Oh, my God. That was the best part of the night.

    Also notable, though not here, and I might get this wrong from Mathias Svalina:

    “In the end the end will sneak up on the left side of you but tap you on the right shoulder so you won’t know which direction the end is coming at you from.”

    That was such a killer reading.


    Thrilled I get to re-watch Matthias and Cristin.

  4. christopher. says:

    Probably the best reading I went to all week. I was laughing so hard during Mathias that I lurched my head back into the server’s tray and knocked a glass off it. Yes. I’m the asshole who shattered the glass. And who you can keep hearing yelling, “Yeah!” on occasion in the background.

  5. Amber says:

    Matthias was fucking brilliant. My favorite reading of the week for sure. All of my non-writer friends afterwards were like, Hey, where can we buy that guy’s book? Trust me that not one of them had EVER sought out a book of poetry before. Steve and Cristin were indeed hilarious, too. What a terrific night.

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