the other book by Laura Kochman

The other book I'm currently reading is Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones. Here is the cover from the version that my local library had, which I read a lot of times:

Pretty great, right? Very 90s. This is actually a fantastic book, and it's the only one I've ever read that is centered around a conference, so this is what I thought AWP would be like:

Then I discovered that the ceiling of the hotel foyer was a mass of mirrors, large and small. The entire confusion of folk was reflected there, upside-down, milling about, sort of hanging there mixed up with trees in urns and piles of suitcases. There were the three people with the baby again, passing the baby chair round from one to another so that they could hug someone they had just met.

It wasn't that inaccurate. I love this book. In among all the thinking about self and body and space and other and ekphrasis and the death of the author, I also still love the fantasy novels that I grew up with, which taught me worldbuilding and rulebreaking. And I think that's important—to have a narrative to come home to.

by Laura Kochman

To console myself about not attending AWP, I took advantage of this awesome deal at Action Books, so now I have these beauties winging their way to me through Priority Mail: Wet Land, Lucas de Lima Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream, Kim Hyesoon Rain of the Future, Valerie Mejer Only Jesus Could Icefish in the Summer, Abraham Smith

I intend to write at least one review out of this bunch, and I realize I could have requested review copies for free, but I like supporting presses that publish great writing. Abe Smith also happens to be an XFA from Alabama, and I always try to buy any Bama warblings that come on the market. But I'm excited most entirely because of the writing in these four books. I can't wait. I'm going to light a candle and put my feet up and drink tea and read all the way through AWP weekend.

by Laura Kochman

I keep getting invited to attend AWP off-site readings, and friends are discussing travel plans and the recent no-public-access-to-the-book-fair revelation, and I'm a little sad because I can't go to AWP this year. I love wandering around the book fair, being in among the physical objects of writing. I love guessing who's who at the hotel bar. I love sitting at the BWR table and talking up the journal. I even love sitting at the BWR table and getting personally queried about submissions. And I was so looking forward to eating sushi for every meal. I have a bookmarks folder just for Seattle Sushi Restaurants.