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Blue Mesa Review Tabled Chicago

February 17, 2009
Your Editorial staff has just returned from Chicago where we attended the AWP–The annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference that happens yearly, a place where one attends:
1.) Various panels on the writing and publishing world (with titles such as “Writing Memoirs about Mother” and “How to Get Published”); UNM’s own Laura Matter and Jeremy Collins were on a panel discussing their publication in the Georgia Review & Prof. Greg Martin was on a panel on the ethics of publishing nonfiction pieces about your friends and family.  [An aside: can I just say that the best panel I saw was Greg Martin’s.  And he didn’t even say anything I hadn’t heard before.  I flew all the way to Chicago to listen to a man speak about the same things he does every Tuesdays and Thursdays in our Nonfiction genre studies class.  I feel damn lucky.]
2.) Readings by famous writers (this year, Stuart Dybek and Art Spiegelman–yes, that’s right, Art Spiegelman gave a graphic novel reading.  It was illuminating–and not just because it was projected on a very large screen at “The Auditorium,” a site listed as one of the 10 wonders of the world…)
3.) A mammoth four room book fair where we got to hobnob/ignore/flatter various publishing companies, universities, and literary magazines.  I found our table interactions to be the highlight of my time at the conference.  Writers from around the country dropped by and usually asked one question:  “What are you looking for in your magazine?  That has to be one of the hardest questions, one that by the time I’d answered it the hundreth time, I had fine tuned a small speech that I will post soon.  These conversations sparked many of my ideas on the direction we can take the magazine next year/issue.  (also will be posted soon–I like the suspense.) 
Also, I am happy to say, we sold out of all the BMR copies in ONLY TWO DAYS–people dug Issue 20/21 aka “the flip issue.”  I sold it as the “embodiment of our transition from being a faculty run to student run magazine.”  Issue 20: the last faculty issue; Issue 21: the very first student issue.  Issue 22, the one we are currently reading for, is already turning into an amazing first stand-alone student issue.  In case you didn’t know, BMR is a national STUDENT run publication.  That means Graduate students and undergraduate make it tick (with the help of Marisa P. Clark, our advisor).  So, uh, hey students, come help us run (or jog; walking is okay, but maybe not as happily recommended).
That said.  As always, Slush Pile readings for the Blue Mesa Review will be happening at these days and times:    

Tuesday 3pm
Wednesday 1pm
Friday 3pm
Each day reads for all three genres, and all meetings are held in the English Department lounge.  On many fridays, Adry, our Poetry intern, brings a box of snagged Flying Star pastries.  There is nothing like eating too much sugar and reading through a slush pile on a Friday afternoon, let me tell you.  A warning: reading and silliness may ensue.  Another warning: reading and silliness may not ensue.  Come read slush, come bug us about AWP, come make new writerly friends, come see what other writers out there are doing, come ask Sam about her ideas for the magazine and it’s future.  Whatever your reason, you are always, always welcome.  And needed.  Desperately, jovially, some other adverbially needed.
Stay tuned for another post soon
SAM
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