A Word from AWP's Chair
It is in the humble spirit of the Servant Leader that I assume the role of Chair of the AWP Board of Trustees. We are in a pivotal moment in AWP’s history as we hire our seventh Executive Director, share with stakeholders a new strategic plan, complete our transition to an independent nonprofit, and prepare our board and staff for an era dedicated to serving a larger, more diverse community of writers.
When I use the word “community,” I do so with a profound respect and sense of honor. I grew up in a farm town in rural Arkansas where I longed for the company of writers. In fact, I carried a book of Robert Creeley’s poetry around for a year, hoping to ignite the kind of literary conversation that happens (like wildfire) throughout each AWP gathering. For this reason, the endeavor of creating community for and with other writers feels nearly sacred to me.
The programs of AWP, from the huge annual conference to the publications, to #WritersServe, to the one-on-one mentorship through Writer to Writer, all provide writers from the many corners of our sector to connect and produce new work. #AWP19 in Portland, Oregon, was our largest, more diverse conference ever, and we are proud to collaborate with such amazing partners to produce this programming.
But we want to do more! We hope to serve writers with and without MFAs, writers who work in every sector, publish many kinds of work, and represent the broad and brash diversity of this nation.
Chair, AWP Board of Trustees