Fuckin’ magnets, how do they work?

AWP was big and shiny, smelled like a cinnamon roll, and filled with a whole lot of writers.  The ratio of those with glasses to those without glasses was considerably higher than it is in the general population.  Denver is clean (by Tucson standards) and the liquor there is expensive (again, also by Tucson standards).  There are a lot of journals with really boring  covers.  Writers need to quit dressing so well: I find it unseemly.  George Saunders is an exceedingly nice man and almost singlehandedly renewed my faith in the power of literature.  He is also to be commended for not turning violently upon the woman (I forget her name) who provided him with one of the dumbest and most ill-advised introductions I’ve ever heard.  I could have given my younger brother six shots of Jack in five minutes, spun him around three or four times and thrust him onto the podium and he would have given a better introduction than that one.

Panels:  I didn’t go to any.  Whoops.  Were they good?  One of them was called Black Holes No More, which sounded kind of presumptuous.  I’m disappointed that my panel proposal Tender Nipples: The Sex Scene In The Modern Novel was rejected, but we can’t all be lion-tamers.

Journals: We gave out a whole bunch.  For free!  You shoulda been there!  For a short yet beautiful time we fashioned ourselves as comically insane local-car-commercial pitchmen.  Take a gander at those prices!  They’re crazy, etc.  Next year: eagle suit.

Those at the Pinch: You are all lovely and nice people.  Also ditto for The Cincinnati Review (or at least your comely representative who came to chat with us at our table and brightened that somewhat tiring Sunday).  As for Black Warrior Review: you know what you did.  You know what you did. (Actually you are all very nice people as well; you didn’t do anything.)

So in conclusion, AWP was odd!  I don’t quite understand it, but the kids these days seem to like it, and they would, what with their texting and their Facebook and their Auto-Tune and their post-Scott 4 Scott Walker.  Considerably less rowdiness than I expected, except for an odd moment where two journals stood up holding signs or books or something and clapped at regular intervals, which was just weird and offputting and took my attention away from the W.G. Sebald book I was trying to read.  I am a 63-year old man.

–Jon W.

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About sonorareview

Founded in 1980, Sonora Review is the oldest student-run literary journal in the country. From start to finish, each issue is put together solely by graduate students in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Arizona. All staff members volunteer their time. Former staff members include Antonya Nelson, Robert Boswell, Richard Russo, Tony Hoagland, and David Foster Wallace. Work originally printed in the Sonora Review has appeared in Best of the West and Best American Poetry, and has won O.Henry Awards and Pushcart Prizes. Sonora Review maintains a congenial relationship with the Department of English while safeguarding the editors' complete aesthetic and managerial control. You can contact Sonora Review via email at: sonora@email.arizona.edu Or by mail at: Sonora Review Department of English University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721

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