#AWP18 Event Organizer Q&A with John Hoppenthaler

AWP | January 2018

Event Title: Preserving the Memory: Strategies for Keeping the Work of Deceased Poets Alive
Description: A staggering number of poets have left us over the past decade, poets whose presence in our ongoing conversations about poetics and culture remains important. Creative actions by family members, editors, publishers, academics, and readers can help to make sure these writers retain a seat at the table. This panel will speak to specific cases, what has been done, and what we hope to do in the future to preserve their memory.
Participants: John Hoppenthaler, Brian Turner, Sidney Clifton, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Gregory Donovan
Location:Room 24, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Date & Time: Friday, March 9, 12:00 p.m.–1:15 p.m.     


Q: What new understanding or knowledge will attendees walk away from your event with?
A: This is a panel against forgetting. It is our hope that those who attend the panel will leave with an understanding of the various ways they can not only memorialize their favorite writer’s memory, but also document their importance to our culture and poetic practice for those who follow.

Q: What makes your event relevant and important in 2018?
A: Our panel is relevant today, and always, because history is that which is memorialized and documented. In a time when poetry—indeed, writing itself—is under attack, there is no more important thing we can do than say who our literary heroes are and why.

Q: What are some of the conference events (besides your own) or Bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing?
A: Tough question, but here are a few: “Re-Membering: The Work and Legacy of Jake Adam York” (F118); “A Foot in Two Cultures: First Generation American Poets” (F275); “The Life and Work of Lucille Clifton” (S147); “Why [Not] Say What Happened?: On Writing Confessional Poetry” (S222); and “Above, Beyond, and After Duty: Teaching Creative Writing to Veterans” (F228).

Q: What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
A: Rowing with Wings by James Harms; Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes by Cheryl Dumesnil; and For Want of Water by Sasha Pimentel.

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