AWP '17 - Washington, DC

At this year's Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference in Washington, DC, I had the chance to meet my favorite writer, Lidia Yuknavitch, and hear her speak on her panel, The Art of War: The Power and Role of the Writer in Times of Crisis. In regards to how much I adore her work on both sentimental and technical levels, words fail. I'll just say that attending these events and see the human being artists that have created - and continue to create - some of the most influential work of our time, is a dream.

I highly recommend Lidia's new book The Misfit's Manifesto, a collection of essays, anecdotes, and stories for anybody else who has felt like they don't belong. Even Oprah loves it!

"I'm just like you. I'm moving through my life one day at a time, and sometimes, on the hard days, even an hour at a time. I'm trying to help us remember that we invent our own beauty and our own paths and our own bent, weird ways of doing things, and that they're not nothing and they matter, too. We're the half of culture that doesn't take the paths that are lying right in front of us. Our song may be a little off-key, but it's a kind of beauty, too. I know I'm not the only person who thought that up, but I can sure stand up and help remind us not to give up, that we have a song, too. 

Wherever you are, you are not alone, even in your aloneness. I can hear you. And I am smiling."

- Lidia Yuknavitch, everybody


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