9:00–10:15 AM . It’s the End of the World as We Know It (But Some of Us Will Be Fine). Panel on digital printing and how it’s changing publishing. OK, I know you haven’t even figured out where the good coffee is yet, but here’s a topic we all could stand to know more about. Wiliford B, Hilton Chicago.
10:30–11:45 AM. Celebration of Tia Chucha Press. A press that has published some amazing books. Luis Rodriguez is impossibly dynamic. Plus it’s in a venue called the Red Lacquer Room of the Palmer House Hilton. Sounds like a dream of James McNeill Whistler. What could be bad?
Noon–1:15 PM. A Face to Meet the Faces: Five Poets on Persona and Race. This panel includes Patricia Smith and Cornelius Eady, two of the most exciting poets around right now. Waldorf, Hilton Chicago.
1:30–2:45 PM. Telling It Slant: Measures, Meaning, and Music in Translating Poetry. Some fine translators here, including Ilya Kaminsky and Alexis Levitin (Alexis translates the astounding Clarice Lispector, among many others). Wiliford B, Hilton Chicago. (Who was “Wiliford,” anyway?)
1:30–2:45 PM. A Tribute to Unsung Masters of the 20th Century: Laura Jensen, Dunstan Thompson, Nancy Hale, and Ryuichi Tamura. I really don’t know much about the first three writers, though I’ve read a few of Laura Jensen’s unusual, third-person autobiographical poems. But all the more reason to go. Ryuichi Tamura did for Japanese poetry what Haruki Murakami did for that country’s fiction. State Ballroom, Palmer House Hilton.
3:00–4:15 PM. Reading with Mark Doty, Marilyn Nelson, Molly Peacock, Taylor Mali, Roger Bonair-Agard. Any time you can hear Mark Doty, you should. Grand Ballroom, Hilton Chicago.
3:00–4:15 PM. Political Poetry: America and Abroad. Provocative topic and the panel includes the formidable Nick Flynn. Appropriately enough this is in the International Ballroom South, Hilton Chicago.
4:30–5:45 PM. Agha Shahid Ali, the Ghazal, and the Destruction of Kashmir. I’d go to hear anything on Shahid and the ghazal. Continental A, Hilton Chicago. (How many meeting rooms does this hotel have, anyway?)
4:30–5:45 PM. From Poem to Art Song: A Reading. No clue if this will be any good but it sounds enticing. Boulevard Room, A, B, C, Hilton Chicago.
4:30–5:45 PM. You Wrote It, Now Promote It: DIY Publicity for the Busy Writer. Great topic, don’t know the panelists. Empire Ballroom, Palmer House.
6:30–9:30 PM. Offsite reading for new issue of upstreet magazine with the formidable Bill Zavatsky, always a kick to hear him read. Jaks Tap, 901 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago. Jak’s is about a mile or two from the Hilton and is on the Blue Line. I’m told it’s about a $7 cab ride, which isn’t bad, especially if 3 or 4 people are sharing.
8:30–10:00 PM. Keynote Address by Margaret Atwood. Everything you expect from her, and, I bet, more. Get there early. This is going to be more crowded than a high school graduation. Roosevelt University Auditorium Theater.
Zack Rogow will be signing copies of his new book, My Mother and the Ceiling Dancers, at the Kattywompus Press table (bookfair booth 721) at the AWP conference in Chicago on Friday, March 2, 2012 from noon to 1:00 p.m. His play, Things I Didn’t Know I Loved, about the Turkish writer Nazim Hikmet, will be given a staged reading at AWP on Saturday, March 3 from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. in room Wiliford A, Hilton Chicago, 3rd floor.