I made the decision to attend AWP this year as soon as it was announced that the whole thing would be virtual. Yes, it means that it was less expensive than usual to attend, but I usually look forward to having those four days in a hotel room, alone, to incubate new ideas and generate new drafts of poems. I am sure that the interruptions of the cats and of trying to stay focused on writing when I can see my house is a wreck is going to present its own set of challenges. However, I am really looking forward to being able to revisit panels and readings while I'm on spring break at the end of March--having access to all AWP conference offerings for a month after the conference is an amazing opportunity for attendees like me who are in Week 8 of a 10-week school term, when student emails and freak-outs begin to ramp up in anticipation of final grades.
As I mentioned earlier this week, I bought myself a few new books on tattoo history and one on the history of the dime museum in the United States. I decided my 50th birthday was reason enough to spend the money on these five books, but truthfully, they'll all have bearing on my larger project. The most amazing book--a collection of Dutch tattooist Henk Schiffmacher's vast tattoo history archive was just released by Taschen in January, and it's gorgeous.
There are some high resolution photographs of tattooed ladies--nothing I've not seen before, but larger and crisply in focus. The most incredible part of the book is that the limited history that's included via the photographs' captions reinforces some of the conclusions I've come to myself about tattooed ladies and about tattoo history in general. And, there is a revelation about Trixie Richardson!
I will go into detail about that in another blog post next week--I'm a few minutes away from my first AWP session for the day, and I want to get myself set up in my studio before it begins.