The AWP Conference 2014 is in Seattle. The Association of Writers & Writing Programs has a spectacular event going on and I'm grateful to get to attend. Today was my first day. I missed yesterday.
The first author panel that I listened to was Chicana/o Noir: Murder, Mayhem and Mexican Americans. Three attorneys and a cop were part of the panel representing Arizona, Texas, and California. They read from their books and I was impressed with the powerful writing and a look into the challenges of being Chicana/o. The writers presenting were Daniel Olivas, Lucha Corpi, Michael Nava, Manuel Ramos, and Susan Cortez. These writers are all new to me.
Next I listened to writers new to me. Chris Abani and Chang-rae Lee sponsored by the University of Washington. Their writing is powerful and thought provoking.
It's fun to discover new writers and find books I want to read. This is what happened today.
At the end I to see Amy Tan, a dream come true and I sat in the second row from the front, (actually the third row but no one was sitting in the first row). Absolutely amazing to get to hear Amy Tan read from her new book, The Valley of Amazement and have her sign it afterwards. This can only happen in Seattle! I'm so grateful to live here and I'm so grateful to have gone today to the AWP Conference. This was my first time.
With Amy Tan, was another writer new to me--Ben Fountain, an attorney who now writes. He's a great presenter and going to be a big hit among conservatives.