#AWP20 Featured Presenter Q&A with Jake Skeets

AWP | February 2020

Event Title: A Reading & Conversation with Ada Limón, Jake Skeets, and Rigoberto González, Sponsored by Milkweed Editions
Description: Milkweed Editions presents two critically acclaimed poets in conversation with award-winning writer and critic Rigoberto González: Ada Limón, author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning collection The Carrying, an ecstatic and vulnerable paean to the universality of grief and astonishment; and Diné poet Jake Skeets, author of the highly-anticipated debut Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, a collection that explores how alcoholism, masculinity, queerness, land, and language interact and counteract.
Participants: Ada Limón, Jake Skeets, Rigoberto González
Location: Hemisfair Ballroom C3, Henry B. González Convention Center, Ballroom Level
Date & Time: Friday, March 6, 1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Q: What are some of the conference events or Bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing at AWP? 
I am so excited for the tributes to Adrian C. Louis and LeAnne Howe. I think it’s important to honor the writers who have paved the way for Native & Indigenous literature to exist within the national market and consciousness.   

Q: What do you remember most about your first AWP? What advice would you give to an AWP first-timer?
My first AWP was just this past year in 2019 and it was a whirlwind of so many moments. For any first-timers, DM me. Let’s go explore together. Also, I think it’s important to take just a few moments for yourself to do some deep reflection. I was a little overwhelmed but luckily I spent some time near the water in Portland with a great friend of mine after a tremendous breakfast.

Q: What is your favorite AWP conference memory?
Having only been to one, this is an easy one. I was able to run into Joy Harjo at the Institute of American Indian Arts booth and we were able to just say hello and be in each other’s presence.

Q: What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
I am in love with my fellow Milkweed authors’ books: The Milk Hours by John James, Bodega by Su Hwang, and Mamaskatch by Darrel J. McLeod. I would also recommend The People’s Field by Haesong Kwon, Oculus by Sally Wen Mao, and Lima :: Limón by Natalie Scenters-Zapico.

Q: If you’ve been to San Antonio before, what places do you recommend that our attendees should visit?
I’ve only been to San Antonio once before during undergrad so I wouldn’t know where to recommend. I remember going to a place called Chacho’s and a club near buildings where I witnessed my first drag show. So I am definitely looking forward to food and exploring the nightlife if I can.


Jake Skeets Jake Skeets is Black Streak Wood, born for Water's Edge. He is Diné from Vanderwagen, New Mexico. He is the author of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, a National Poetry Series-winning collection. Skeets is a winner of the 2018 Discovery/Boston Review poetry contest and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Skeets edits an online publication called Cloudthroat and organizes a poetry salon and reading series called Pollentongue, based in the Southwest. He is a member of Saad Bee Hózh??: A Diné Writers’ Collective and currently teaches at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona. 
(Photo Credit: Quanah Yazzie)

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