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Vandalize My Name Tag

By Harriet Staff

We’re all guilty of the AWP gaze. You know, the one with the eyes fixed on that little rectangle dangling from every neck. Over at the Minnesota Review, Christopher Linforth has found a creative solution to combat this phenomenon:

I vandalize my nametag. At the McSweeney’s booth, using a No. 2 pencil, I write “Tony Morrison” above my name. I tell people: I’m the other Toni Morrison. The one with a Y; the one who didn’t attend Cornell; the one who didn’t write Beloved; the one who didn’t win the Nobel Prize; the one who didn’t teach at Princeton; the one who didn’t get paid less than Snooki; the one who didn’t avoid this conference like the plague. I’m him. Tony. You know, the one stared at by a woman in Dunkin’ Donuts; the one picking up free literary journals; the one talking to hungover editors; the one attending panels; the one hoping for insights into the machinations of the publishing world; the one flailing in the hotel bar; the one trying to marry Sandra Beasley; the one plagued by a Y. A question he’s desperately attempting to answer.

Try it next year.


Posted in Poetry News on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.