By Saturday morning I wasn’t sure I could attend another panel, but that’s what I was there for so:
At 9:00 I listened to Robert Boswell, Maude Casey, C.J. Hribal and Peter Turchi discuss “Mystery at the Heart of the Story,” and I was rewarded by some useful insights. This wasn’t about mystery stories, but was rather about the mysterious elements of stories that keep the reader turning pages.
At 10:30 I listened to Fiona McCrae and Charlie Baxter talk about the “Art of” series that Grawolf has begun publishing. I already have Baxter’s “Art of Subtext,” the first volume in the series, but it was interesting to hear James Longenbach, Sven Birkerts and Joan Silber talk about their respective volumes.
I spent the next session in the bookfair, collecting my last round of stuff, and then at 3:00 I listened to Brett Anthony Johnston promote his new book about writing exercises, with the help of C. Michael Curtis, Debra Spark and Richard Bausch. The book, called Naming the World, apparently has both exercises for the writer and for the teacher, and I think I might be able to use both. This was the one session I attended where there was an overflow crowd – they needed a bigger room for this one. I’m not sure why it drew so many people, though.
At 4:30 I listened to a talk and reading by Frank McCourt and Billy Collins, but I had to leave after a couple of Collins poems.
Dinner with a friend, met up with some other friends, and the conference was over!
On Sunday I had to fill the morning, so after breakfast I checked out and took a walk. I checked out the NY Public Library, where there is a Kerouac exhibit, but it doesn’t open until 1:00 on Sunday. So I walked back up to Central Park and hung out there for a while. And then it was time to head down to Penn Station to catch the train home.