This is my first time taking notes on a Twitter chat. As you may know, the “stream” of messages moves quickly on Twitter. How does one best encapsulate a Twitter chat? Tonight, I decided to take notes with the goal of providing an overall sense of what we discussed. I’ve included actual Tweets from participants and summarized suggestions into lists that should be easy to read. I used to paste the entire transcript into a blog post, yet that was a challenge to read.
At the Poet Party—which takes place every Sunday night at 9 pm ET on Twitter—we discussed the merits & opportunities of literary festivals and conferences. Are they worth the time and money? Which ones should a poet attend?
Poets from Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma, Michigan, Washington state, North Carolina, Minnesota, Maryland, Arizona, and Canada joined in the chat.
Regarding the popular AWP (Associated Writing Programs) Conference, Deborah at 32 Poems suggested a mix of planned events (dinners with friends and readings, for instance) and spontaneous activities. Laurel Snyder agreed and added, “Important to take deep breaths at AWP, get in some real content. Important to sleep, see friends…”
Each week, we ask a few questions to encourage conversation. This week, Collin asked:
Question 1: What literary conferences/festivals have you attended? What was your favorite?
@webbish6: Favorite poetry festival = Skagit Valley Poetry Festival Favorite Poetry Conference so far = Port Townsend Writer’s Conference
@katrinavanden: I loved Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. High-quality teaching, small, unpretentious, great food, evening readings at vineyards.
@randalljweiss: You might find the rate of alcoholism, mood disorders, and introversion per sq ft @ AWP impressive!
Additional Suggestions (many from @laurelsnyder) Included:
Decatur Book Festival
Sewanee Writers’ Conference
Dodge Poetry Festival
Skagit Valley Festival
League of Poets festival/conf in June in Toronto
CityLit Fest in Baltimore
Brooklyn Book Fest
Meacham Conference in TN
Iowa City Fest
From @collinkelley: A big list of conferences and festivals.
Q2 If you’ve been to a fest/conf – what was missing? What do you want more of? If you haven’t – what do you want?
@asininepoetry: I’d like more free wine at conferences. Also, more smaller, low-key readings rather than big ones.
@32poems: Another thing missing: a How To Do This Conference Guide. Seriously.
Outings: For instance, environmental conferences offer hiking or kayaking
Permission for Down Time: It’d be nice to have a time when nothing is going on.
At next week’s Poet Party, we’ll discuss National Poetry Month. If you are on Twitter and want to join the discussion, please follow the conversation on Sundays at 9 pm ET by using the hashtag #poetparty.