Exhibit 20.20

Sewanee Book Wrap-Up

First things first, I should just say that I can't recommend the Sewanee Writers' Conference enough. I'd been hearing about how great it was for a year from Dave and Ryan, not to mention sharing a dinner table with several of the people who were there with them. It was odd, I thought, watching them come together and hug and scream. As I put it to someone at the conference, it was like watching the reunion of people who'd been involved in something either truly horrible or truly amazing. Smiles that genuine can only be brought about when you re-meet someone you survived a mountaintop plane crash with (and didn't have to eat) or, apparently, someone you've been to a fishing hole with (and didn't have to eat).

The bar was set so high that I began sending sarcastic text messages to Dave from the Nashville airport. Then 10 minutes later it got fun and I stopped. The conference is remarkably well run and beneficial and, as important in a way, just a good time. Last year, applications were accepted beginning January 15th and presumably it will be similar this year. So, yes, apply. I can't wait until next year's AWP when I get to see all of these people and we'll smile and scream like something truly horrible/amazing happened to us and then we'll look guiltily at the spot where Phyllis would have stood/go get a drink.

Part of what makes it so fantastic is that in addition to a great deal of writers, there are a great deal of books. Since I'm moving and just couldn't face the prospect of buying these books and then having to move them across the country, I had to watch with jealousy as they were all snapped up by people who I suddenly wanted to eat at one of the fishing holes. I'm not sure how I made it--or how cannibalism became a running joke here--but I did and now I want to make sure I pick up everything I need once I get where I'm going.

So, a not entirely complete list of books I plan on buying and maybe you should too:

What Happened to Anna K. by Irina Reyn - great to have in workshop
The New Valley by Josh Weil - ditto. Plus, novellas!
The Southern Cross by Skip Horack - loved his reading
Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch - ditto. I thought I was going to cry
The Summer of Naked Swim Parties by Jessica Anya Blau - ditto (-crying +laughing)
Red Weather by Pauls Toutonghi - ditto
The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard by Erin McGraw - ditto

City of Regret by Andrew Kozma - person/book=awesome
Blue Colonial by David Roderick - ditto. Loved his reading, too
Now You're the Enemy by James Allen Hall - ditto. Funny, heartbreaking
Begin Anywhere by Frank Giampietro - ditto. ditto.
Midnight Voices by Deborah Ager - ditto.

That might not be a complete list (I actually did make a list which is currently lost somewhere among approximately 18,000 manuscript pages). Those are mostly from fellows and there were some more books by the faculty and staff on there, I know, but I'll at least mention Alice McDermott's incredible That Night and Tony Earley's Here We Are in Paradise both which I own and you should too.

Also be sure to look for books coming out this fall from Caitlin Horrocks and Laura van den Berg which should both be incredible.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll say more about all of these when I get them. Then you'll get them. Then we'll talk about them. Then we'll look guiltily at that spot where Phyllis would have stood.

1 comment:

A. Kozma said...


Okay, what'd you do with Phyllis?