That's right--I'm back. And now time for my annual, meaning this year, AWP awards:
Best quote on a panel: "The people here are hornier to get published than to get laid," by Richard Peabody (I think he said that...hmm...maybe I should be sure of such things before I assign words to people's mouths).
Runner-up: "Getting paid by the word just feels righteous," by Stephen Graham Jones (that might not be the actual wording, but he said most of those words I'm pretty sure and for no money...wait, do panelists get paid by the word?).
Worst hotel elevators: The Sheraton.
Best drink I had too many of: Milk Stout at the Wynkoop Brewing Company.
Best panel I did not attend: Flarf.
Worst introduction: Woman who introduced George Saunders, by confessing she had never read his work and, when she did bring herself to read it, didn't like it and yet didn't have the decency to step down from introducing him or just keep it to herself but instead thought it best to tell everyone that and basically imply, if not outright say, that he should try and write some different kind of stuff--you know, good stuff.
Best introduction: Etgar Keret who read before Saunders and said that if there was to be a commercial for humanity, George Saunders should be in it.
Best party I stood around awkwardly at before deciding to quickly leave: Flatmancrooked's.
Best nonconference moment: Bouldering outside the Denver flagship REI. By which I mean, getting four inches off the ground on a fake boulder outside the REI store where I bought some nice pants and the wife bought a belt. We're outdoorsy that way.