by Mariel Romero-Ocaranza
Attending the AWP Conference in DC was a valuable professional experience for me because it allowed me to connect with editors from other notable journals. What made the conference truly amazing for me, however, was the opportunity to meet some of my favorite authors at several panels. From an academic standpoint, Francisco X. Alarcón, Rigoberto González and Juan Felipe Herrera’s work will all be featured in my thesis. But on a personal level, there was nothing more exciting than hearing them talk in person about their books, the value of the Latina/o voice in literature and learning about poet activists against senate bill 1070 in Arizona. Going to AWP was an invaluable experience. I invite writers, poets and grad students to go one year. You never know how the workshops, readings and panels will thrill you to the bone, or even help you in your career!
Mariel Romero-Ocaranza is a Contributing Editor at Poetry International, and a graduate student specializing in Children’s Literature.