Host Publications staff and authors had an incredible time at AWP 2019! We were stationed at booth #10069, which turned out to the wonderful spot for traffic. We met fantastic authors, book sellers, and publishers; making friends all over the country in true AWP fashion.
From Thursday - Saturday, we worked the book fair from 9am to 5pm, and on Friday featured a book signing with authors Fernando A. Flores (Death to the Bullshit Artists of South Texas) and mónica teresa ortiz (autobiography of a semiromantic anarchist)!
In the evenings, Host staff (Publisher Joe Bratcher III, Schandra Madha, and Annar Veröld) explored Portland, visiting several restaurants, bookstores, and the famous rose gardens that were not quite yet in bloom. We also managed to host our very own AWP x I Scream Social reading (stay tuned for a blog post!) and caught a couple of special events, including a phenomenal reading hosted by Commonplace Podcast, featuring Jericho Brown, Janine Joseph, Erika Meitner, Morgan Parker, Tommy Pico, TC Tolbert, Sarah Vap, and Yanyi.
AWP book fair literature we loved: A Spicing of Birds: Poems by Emily Dickinson (Wesleyan Press), Careen by Grace Shuyi Liew (Noemi Press), and While Standing in Line for Death by CAConrad (Wave Books).
Bookstores we loved:
Mother Foucault's Bookshop
A stunning bookstore that specializes in used, rare, and vintage books. The bookstore cultivated a gorgeous atmosphere between hidden literary gems, a brilliant pianist that never missed a note, and a lovely layout. A must-see if you're in Portland!
Our friend David Abel runs Passages Bookshop and Gallery ship, and we fell in love with the collection from just window shopping alone. Annar took home a giant Dada: Themes and Movements book, and Joe made it home with a Keith Waldrop collage & a handful of rare chapbooks.
Powell's City of Books
City of Books, it is indeed! We made it to Powell's twice, we loved it so much. Used, new, rare books of every genre; we were completely and totally obsessed. The highlight was finding a copy of our I Scream Social Anthology on the shelves. How many books did we buy? Let's just say, we played Tetris packing our bags and nearly broke our backs dragging our luggage and adding a carry-on. Definitely worth it.
Restaurants we recommend:
After a long flight from ATX to Portland, we headed over to Hey Love! We recommend the fried salt potatoes and grilled shrimp salad! Thirsty & stressed? Try the CBD infused ginger lemonade!
Two words: duck stack. Get the duck stack. And the truffle fries, oysters and the Paris Brest.
This late night spot was a true treasure in our food adventures. The sour cherry vareniki (dumplings) were the gems of the night, the vladimir poutine was a delightful appetizer. If you have a chance, ask the staff about the restaurant's origins, so awesome.
We loved Kachinka so much, we tried its mother restaurant, Kachka the next day and it was just as amazing. We recommend the baltic sprats, dumplings, and the boards!
A Thailand and Southeast Asia food culture gem, our editor Claire Bowman checked out Pok Pok and needs you to try the Ike's Vietnamese fish sauce wings!
Our editor Claire Bowman visited Nordic restaurant Broder Café for the æbleskiver alone (Danish pancakes served with lemon curd and lingonberry sauce) and they didn't disappoint!
Half the table ordered the French onion soup with bone marrow & slurped up every last drop! Other favorites include the spätzle and crispy potato pancakes. For our last night, we dove right into dessert, enjoying the traditional Polish treat of paczki with berry jam and carrot cake!