After reviewing the audio I recorded wandering the book fair and bars of AWP, I concluded that nothing turned up worth mixing and posting. The best piece I heard was a desperate conversation between two fiction writers smoking outside a bar, discussing how “badass” Yaddo is/was. One had been there several times; the other was fishing for angles. They also discussed the pros and cons of the other colonies: MacDowell, Vermont Studio Center, Marfa, etc. Their conversation, which I recorded surreptitiously, made me go weak-kneed with sadness and shame. I felt like I was listening to Jack Lemmon and Ed Harris chewing through a scene in Glengarry Glen Ross. This is AWP, I thought. Two hustlers sharing grifting tips outside a bar, being recorded by a pensive poet who fashions himself above this dirty fray, except that these guys are probably pretty okay dudes and this poet is solidly not above the fray. I mean, look, he's posting on Harriet!
Instead, I’m going to post a few Machinima poems (not of my own creation) over the coming days. I was thinking of contextualizing these, even perhaps writing about Machinima to explain what it is to the uninitiated, but that would be tedious and incomplete and beside the point. You can Google it to your heart’s content. For now, here’s a wonderful, earnest mash-up of Halo, Gary Jules, and Langston Hughes.
Poet and filmmaker Nick Twemlow is a senior editor of the Iowa Review and co-editor of Canarium Books. His first collection of poetry, Palm Trees (2012), won the Norma Farber first book award from the Poetry Society of America. Judge Timothy Liu noted of Twemlow’s work, “Reading Twemlow gives one a deep sense about what's exciting...