#AWP19 Featured Presenter Q&A with Carmen Giménez Smith

AWP | March 2019

Event Title: A Reading with Maxine Hong Kingston, Marilyn Chin, and Carmen Giménez Smith, Sponsored by Kundiman
Description: Three prominent and essential writers take the stage to give readings of their work. A discussion follows on a variety of topics, ranging from craft to practice to activism, as we celebrate and further a discussion of Asian American and Latinx identity and solidarity. This event is moderated by CantoMundo cofounder Deborah Paredez.
Participants: Maxine Hong Kingston, Marilyn Chin, Carmen Giménez Smith
Location: Oregon Ballroom 201-202, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
Date & Time: Thursday, March 28, 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.


If you’ve been to an AWP before, what is your favorite conference memory?
My favorite conference memories most often have to do with reconnecting with other publishers and with folks from SPD to talk about what's ahead and what books we're excited to read. And the candy.

What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
This past year I've loved Terrance Hayes' American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, Virgin by Analicia Sotelo, American Letters: Works on Paper by Giovanni Singleton. All the Noemi titles. Justice Piece // Transmission by Lauren Levin, Ever Really Hear It by Soham Patel.

Has public funding for the arts made a difference in your life and career as a writer?
Absolutely, because money affords you time. I worry constantly about money, so an award offers peace of mind, however ephemeral. As a publisher any support we get helps us get the word out on the most exciting poets out there.

If you could run into any author, contemporary or historical, at #AWP19, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I guess Virginia Woolf and Gloria Anzaldúa and see where we would end up.

If you’ve been to Portland before, what places do you recommend that our attendees should visit?
I was last there in the 90s, so I only have memories of Powell’s being a soul carnival for bookworms.


Carmen Giménez Smith Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of seven books including Milk and Filth, a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry, and, most recently, Cruel Futures, published by City Lights. She was awarded an American Book Award for Bring Down the Little Birds and the Juniper Prize for Poetry for her collection Goodbye, Flicker. She also coedited Angels of the Americlypse: New Latin@ Writing. She is the codirector for CantoMundo, publisher of Noemi Press, and a Professor of English at Virginia Tech. With Steph Burt, she is poetry editor of The Nation. Her next poetry collection, Be Recorder, will be published by Graywolf Press in 2019.
(Photo Credit: Justin Cox)

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