AWP 2015 Minneapolis Bests

All my gossip & awards from #AWP15 in a Convenient Best-Of List!

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Best Offsite Event: Embawdied Lit: A Drag Reading (Organizers: Tim Jones-Yelvington, Molly Gaudry, and Adam Atkinson) (Historic!)
Best Individual Readers: Julian-Joyelle Assange-McSweeney & the Dead Youth
Best Panel: Revisiting “Embracing the Verb of It: Black Poets Innovating” (If you missed this panel or its first iteration in Boston, you missed literary history being. I left both panels with tears still wet on my cheeks.)
Best Standing Ovation Received in Response to Speaking Out Against Fear: for Duriel E. Harris
Best Reader/Poet of Whom I Was Woefully Ignorant: Sam Sax

Best Print Journal Redesign: Bat City Review (taylor jacob pate)
Best Regret: Missing the LIT reading at Mayday Books
Best “I got off with a warning…” Traffic Stop that Derailed Efforts to Go to a Reading: Holms Troelstrup’s ill-advised turn down a bus and bike only street
Best Beer (tie): Surly Furious (I ride a Surly bicycle, so…) & Lift Bridge Brewing Company Batch 800 DIPA
Best Blood Beer Bong: Cassandra Troyan at Embawdied Lit: A Drag Reading
Best New Bestie & Kindred Spirit: Vidhu Aggarwal
Best co•im•press AWP Sellout Book: Sade Murphy’s Dream Machine
Best Restaurant: The Butcher & The Boar
Best Food Item That I Made a Return Visit to Have Again Becuase it Was Sofa King Great: Red Hot Brussels Sprouts, The Butcher & The Boar (I consider myself a Brussels sprouts connoisseur, so I should know…)
Best Coffee: The Nicollet
Best On-the-Go Breakfast: Bruegger’s Bagels
Best Bookfair Table: Bloof Books & Coconut Books
Best Bookfair Subscription Deal: Black Ocean
Best Bookfair Table Where I Said “One of each, please” and Felt Like a Baller: Anomalous Press

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Best Anniversary Celebration: Obsidian 40th Anniversary Roundtable panel
Best Handshake & Best Sense of Humor: Kwame Dawes
Best AWP Re-Meet (During Which I Introduce Myself to Someone I’ve Forgotten I’ve Met Previously & Then Feel Much-Deserved Red, Red, Hot Shame Flood My Cheeks. Whoops!): JD Scott

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Best Moment That Confirmed Why I Do What I Do: Hearing Lisa Rose Bradford read & talk on the panel “about a truth that didn’t believe in death”: Honoring Juan Gelman

Best Book Gifted to Me: Lady Humpadori by Vidhu Aggarwal with illustrations by Bishakh Som
Best Dive Bar I Would Be A Regular at if I Lived in St. Paul: The Dubliner Pub
Best All-Robe Wardrobe: Elizabeth Hatmaker
Best Handling of a Douchebag Heckler: S. Whitney Holmes at the NO THOUSANDS: Action/Black Ocean/Fence reading
Best Hug (tie): Nick Demske & Sade Murphy
Best Carpool Pal: Brandi Wells
Best Stopover on the Way Home: Meeting with Alireza Taheri Araghi at The Cafe in Ames, Iowa
Best Sales Pitch: Reb Livingston getting me to buy Bombyonder so she could eat
Best Hair & Best Facebook Post about a Deadlift PR During the Conference: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

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Best Drag Karaoke Performance Poem-Song Thing & Best Use of a Loofah Outside the Shower (to Poof Up a Wig): Sarah (S. E.) Smith performing Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?”

AWP 2015 Winner: Sade Murphy (champion’s pose!)

Now get back on the Internets where you belong, book geeks, & I’ll see you next year!

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