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AWP Dispatch: Randomalia from Schanbacher

Gary Schanbacher, long-time Lighthouser and award-winning author of the story collection Migration Patterns, bravely took on the arduous task of organizing volunteers for the Lighthouse booth, replenishing cookie supplies, and wrangling security staff for badges.  Here’s his dispatch from the floor:

Favorite booth moment:

The earnest Rampo College professor who marched up to me, got close and raised a finger to my chest.  I assumed a defensive stance.  “I just want to let you know,” he said, “what a wonderful job you people are doing.”  I relaxed a bit.  “One of my students came to you and you’ve been great.”  Later the next day he brought by another young man to sign up for our email list (ok, who are the Rampo students out there– let’s hear from you)!

Favorite Panel moments: 

Douglas Goetsch poet-in-residence at Central Oklahoma.  “There is no SAT score, no GPA, no aptitude test that can predict who will become a good writer.”  Follow your dream and don’t let preconceived notions about what you can and cannot accomplish derail you.

Richard Bausch (too many notable quips to report):

On accepting constructive critique:  “I correct your golf swing, straighten your arm, pivot your hips, and you come away from the lesson encouraged and grateful.  I correct your writing and you hate me, hate yourself, and want to jump off a bridge.” (paraphrase). 

On overcoming defeating yourself with self-doubt:  “Years ago, I’m standing with Tim O’Brien after a reading from Going After Cacciato.  I haven’t published a thing yet.  A professor comes up and compliments Tim, ‘I appreciate the way you use subordinate clauses in your writing, ‘ and Tim says, ‘Thanks a lot,’ and I’m thinking ‘What are they talking about.  I’m a piece of (bleepin bleep) and I need to pack my bags and get the hell out of here.’ They talk a bit and Tim watches the Prof walk away and turns to me and asks, “What the (bleepitty bleep) is a subordinate clause?”

One comment on “AWP Dispatch: Randomalia from Schanbacher

  1. Karen Carter
    April 13, 2010

    Bausch was a hoot! Only wish I’d brought my collection of his stories for him to sign, though he was pretty surrounded by fans at the end of the session. SO glad I made it to that one. K.

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This entry was posted on April 13, 2010 by in Member dispatches, The Scoop, The Write Idea.

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