Flying tomorrow to Minneapolis for my first AWP conference - Association of Writing Programs. I avoided it for the past 10 years, because a conference this size would overwhelm me. This year, I am going mainly because I will be speaking and reading at two events, Union: Singapore's 50th Anniversary Reflected through American Literature, and Starry Island: New Writing from Singapore. If I can strengthen the bridge and widen the road between Singapore and the USA, I will. It's not about marketing, but about mission, born out of living between two places at once.
I'm also eager to look around the city, having never been there. I will be heading to two bars, The Nicolette, for a reading hosted by Kundiman, Kore and Kaya Presses, and Honey, for a reading hosted by Drunken Boat. I want to explore the Walker Art Center and the Weisman Art Museum. I want to roam the old Mill District, taking in the Open Book artspace, and cross back and forth the Mississippi on foot. I want to dance at the dance clubs on Friday and Saturday nights. To live in what I see and hear and taste and smell and touch, for who knows if I'd ever be back?