Now, that I'm concious, mostly, I'm going to go back to the previous posts and fix some errors and add here and there.
The jury is still out of what we think of the AWP. As I noted before, paying for poetry and paying to go buy books, just strikes me as odd. I found out, boy am I stupid, that a concrete reason for AWP is that academics can give papers to add to their resumes for tenure. On the one hand, this is a clever idea. On the other hand, it sounds bizarrely contrived.
I'm going out on a limb here. I think I'm one of the few academics (and I use that term lightly) with little to no interest in tenure. I would kick a tenure job out of bed, and I just might have one one day, but it isn't my goal. I am not bashing people AT ALL who want tenure. It stikes one as a necessary evil. People have asked me why I want to teach so bad if tenure is not my goal. The short answer is teaching is fun. I love writing. I love young people. And I love being on campus.
I spent my entire life aware of tenure in one way or another. My father was a professor for years and my ex-boyfriend was once turned down for tenure and is on his second go around. My attitude toward tenure is that I am trying to "make it" in so many areas of life: motherhood, work, and poetry -- all with a disability. I don't need one more competition. My goal is to write good poems, have people read them, and have the least anxiety possible. In the short term, my goal is to decide what I want my students to focus on in their Joycean paper and to find my kid some socks that match.
Back to the AWP. On the other hand, the AWP and surrounding events was kind of like Caligulia for me. All I do is think about poets, poetry, poetry gossip, poetry ideas, etc. I pretty much do this in a vacuum. I do know plenty of poets in New York, but everyone is always so busy. I never go to reading because I'm too tired. The AWP gave me an opportunity to be around people 24/7 for a few days. It let me neglect my real life. That was good.