AWP! Each year that you attend this massive conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, each year you crack open the wallet and plunge for the airfare to another city you’ve never visited, your emotions are taken on a wild climb, dip, and climb. For those of you unfamiliar, the thing that briefly took over the writerly corner of Twitter this week was an annual conference held in different cities each year for writers and all their ilk. It includes back to back panels led by publishers, agents, and writers, as well as a massive bookfair in which every literary magazine and MFA program under the sun has booths, tote bags, cheerful interns, and endless swag. It’s an exhilarating time for writers, particularly because we are a solitary lot, and it provides a time for socializing, boozing, and a healthy dose of motivation.
I’ve been twice now, and it can feel a bit like a ten-year high school reunion that’s held every year. The first year, in Boston, I was barely out of my MFA program and somewhat terrified at the idea of talking to anyone. I couldn’t imagine nosing my way into a conversation or confidently speaking about my work. I had business cards made up but ended up giving them to no one. The panels were informative but I don’t think I was fully ready to absorb much of their advice. What a change a few years makes!
Today is my birthday and I have plans to be out of town. Thus I feel guilty that I will not be attending the People’s Climate March, so I make up for it by asking all of you, our readers, to attend if you are able. Consider it a birthday present to me.
This event of historic proportions may be a turning point in the nation’s discussion of climate change. Perhaps politicians will finally acknowledge that there are many people who genuinely care about this issue and want to work to solve it. As a science teacher, I work hard to show my students that there is no scientific debate about this issue. The globe is warming and this warming is due to human carbon emissions, plain and simple. Why, then, is there still no action? This is the question I pose to them and one I hope you, too, will try to answer. What does it take for us to get this point across and translate it into action?
Perhaps this march will be the beginning.
Visit http://peoplesclimate.org/ for more information.
One of the joys of New York in the summer is all of the free outdoor events that happen regularly throughout June, July and August. My personal favorite event is the Concerts in the Parks series run by the New York Philharmonic. Since I am no longer a student and therefore can’t get the cheap student rush tickets to see the orchestra, I eagerly await the first concert of the summer, when I can sit out in Prospect Park, sipping wine and listening to great music. Last night, I was gratified at last. I also had the pleasure of sharing this event with not only my husband, but also a great group of friends, including 4-year-old Zoe, who had only seen fireworks for the first time this Fourth of July. Imagine the delight of a young child upon learning that she would be seeing fireworks for the second time in her life, within one week of the first time! Needless to say, she was thrilled and her face, lit up by the colorful bursts, was priceless.
If you missed the first concert of this series, never fear! There will be 5 more free concerts, the next one being tomorrow evening in Central Park. I highly recommend that you not miss your chance to experience this classic New York event! More information can be found at the New York Philharmonic’s website.