We took SCANDAMERICAN DOMESTIC to Seattle for the 2014 AWP Conference and had a really nice time. I signed books at the Fairy Tale Review table on Thursday, and at the GSU/New South Table on Friday. […]
It was fun to see former students Gary Garrison, JJ Anslemi, and Reem Abu-Baker. Gary is now pursuing his MFA at ASU, and JJ is completing his MFA at Cal State Fresno. Reem is right now choosing from several offers to MFA programs. These were some of my best students at UC Denver, and I feel really lucky that they’ve kept me part of their bright lives and futures. They don’t know it, but they were a big part of SCANDAMERICAN DOMESTIC, as the stories of this collection were written during the years we were working together in their fiction workshops. For them to stop by the book stands where I was signing and buy my book from me, have me sign it, etc — just really special.
I also ran into former UC Denver colleague, Teague Bohlen. Teague and I go back to the turn of the current century, when we were team-teaching business writing classes. So good to see him again, and I will look forward to seeing him again in a few weeks when I’m reading in Denver.
Lastly, but not leastly, I had a chance to catch up with Imad Rahman again. One of the funniest and smartest dudes I know, Imad graciously bought my book from me–something he totally did not need to do–and I repaid the favor by signing the dumbest thing I could imagine: “You’re a stud.” Okay.
Arguably the best part of the conference was being there with my wife and kids. Not many children running through the vast glass rooms of the WA State Convention Center, so we represented well in the under ten category this year. The kids collected a shitload of pins, postcards, and colorful papers–and they ate a godawful amount of candy–and they promised to fuss even more next year in Minneapolis, when we drag them to the conference yet again.