I received word from the Chicago Writers Association that the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)‘s Annual Conference & Bookfair is being held at Hilton Chicago and the Palmer House Hilton from February 29 to March 3, 2012. In my excitement, I was going to write a story announcing the event. BORING! Instead, I contacted the organization, requested an interview and got it.
I spoke with Christian Teresi, Director of Conferences at AWP. He provided a history of the organization, discussed the success of past conferences and shared some of the things and events we can expect in Chicago this year. Listen to my interview with Christian now.
After our interview, Christian informed me that
the number of registered attendees for the 2012 AWP Annual Conference & Bookfair in Chicago has already reached the all-time record high of 9,300 participants. At this time, we are announcing that AWP will not hold on-site registration in Chicago. Because of the enormous amount of interest in attending this year’s conference in Chicago, we have decided to close attendee registration to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for those who have already registered.
This is sad news for those of us who have not registered. We will be missing the following presenters: Margaret Atwood (keynote), Jimmy Santiago Baca, Jennifer Egan, Dagoberto Gilb, Nikki Giovanni, Jaimy Gordon, Ha Jin, Marilyn Nelson, Ed Roberson, Marilynne Robinson, Rebecca Skloot, Jane Smiley, Isabel Wilkerson, and C.K. Williams.
However, there are free events that are open to the public: The Poetry Foundation presents Philip Levine and Carol Ann Duffy; Columbia College Chicago Poetry & Nonfiction Programs present Esmeralda Santiago and Jeanette Walls; The Academy of American Poets presents Lyn Hejinian and Edward Hirsch; Columbia College Chicago Story Week and Bath Spa University present Ronnie Baker Brooks, Aleksander Hemon, Audrey Niffenegger, and Irvine Welsh. Event locations and details can be found at awpwriter.org/ conference/.
For those of you who have already registered for the AWP Conference in Chicago, who or what are you looking forward to most?