I made it home, exhausted, and perhaps a little worse for wear. I was a bit ill when I left for Atlanta, and the fun, excitement, not to mention the rain, probably did me no good. But what the hell! It was fun!
The highlight of the trip, as it always is, was the dinner with Utah friends, some of whom do not live in Utah anymore, and one of whom never did, save the week of Writers at Work. We cabbed from the Hilton to Fuego, where we enjoyed Sangria, $1 tapas and regular sized/priced tapas (~$6). The food was great. Hard to say what was best, but the mussells were good, as was the pork tenderloin with sweet potato mash. And the tuna. And the grilled asparagus. And the wine. Very good. All of it.
Then we decided to walk the two miles back to the hotel, and we got to see a bit of Atlanta. We stopped on the way at a wine bar Felicia had seen earlier that day, Eno. We sat at the bar and shared a bottle of wine. It was a fun outing, including having a kind stranger pull Felicia's pump out of a grate on Peachtree Street. Good stuff.
We returned to the hotel, surfed the receptions, where we had our share of free beverages, then went to the Michael Martone & John Barth reading. I didn't talk to either of them, but it was a good reading.
Other high points: Meeting David Kirby at the bookfair and telling him I used his poem in my theory class. The real high point of that was when he thanked us "for our adjectives" and told Hightouchmegastore as we were parting, "Email me!"
Attending the FC2 reception, which turned into a tribute to Ralph Berry, who is stepping down as publisher. I met Lance Olsen and talked to him for awhile. I also got to chat briefly with Michael Martone, and thanked him for sending me his book, Seeing Eye.
I ran into numerous other people, known and unknown. I saw David Hamilton, who may be the sweetest person ever. I got to see former professors and current friends.
The best panel I attended was on structure and included a handout of "The Things They Carried" by Samantha Chang. Michael Martone did an amazing collage essay on "In the Heart of the Heart of the Country." The whole panel was really brilliant, and will be helpful to me, I think, in my writing and my teaching.
I also got to see Steve Fellner and bought his book, Blind Date with Cavafy . It's so amazing, sweet and funny and sad, and I'm so happy he found a publisher. It gives me a little hope. It's a great book, and he deserves to get more attention for his writing.
Regrets: because of my illness I did not get to run in Atlanta. I also didn't get to use the pool, because it was a little too cold. Also, I only got to see Terrible Mother once. I think my lack of a cell phone is really hurting my social life. It may be time to get a cell phone.
And then Middlebrow got a dog while I was gone. For more info on that, see his blog. For pics of the trip, etc., you can click on my Flickr badge.
I'm glad to be home.