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Get AWP prices even if you’re not attending the conference!

Vol 4 Cover Mock-UpThroughout the AWP Conference, we’re offering discounted prices at our table (1238). If you’re not able to attend this year’s conference in LA, we’ve still got you covered. You can get The Conium Review: Vol. 4 for just $10.00 (marked down from $12.00), and The Conium Review: Vol. 3 is only $5.00 (list price of $12.00). You can also pre-order Matt Tompkins’s Souvenirs and Other Stories for $10.00. There’s even free shipping for the duration of the conference! Get these great discounts through April 2nd in our online storefront.

2016 AWP Panelist Events

By now, hopefully you’ve heard about our AWP Conference panel, “What the Heck Does Innovative Fiction Actually Mean?: Authors Cut Through the Jargon,” taking place on Friday, April 1st at 3:00pm. The panel features Carmiel Banasky, Matt Bell, Ashley Farmer, and Manuel Gonzales. The Conium Review‘s managing editor, James R. Gapinski moderates.

The panelists have plenty of other events happening during AWP, and we hope you’ll attend a few other panelist readings, shindigs, etc.

Carmiel Banasky

Carmiel Banasky photoWednesday, March 30th, 2016 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Shipwreck SF Presents: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a Literary Erotic Fanfiction Competition. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90057

Thursday, March 31st, 2016 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Why There Are Words visits LA. Continental Club, 116 West 4th St. Los Angeles 90013

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm. Semiotext(e) and Friends. Los Angeles Contemporary Archive, 2245 E Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90021

Matt Bell

Matt BellThursday, March 31, 2016 from 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm. ASU & HFR: A Celebratory Reading. Robert Muroff Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

Friday, April 1, 2016 at 7:30pm. Boss Fight Books Presents: HEART-POUNDING PANIC. Stories Books & Cafe, 1716 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90026

Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 10:30 am to 11:45 am. What I Did When What I Did Wasn’t Working: Teachers on Retooling Their Teaching. Gold Salon 2, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor

Saturday, April 2nd, 7:30pm. Books & Booze. Los Angeles Center of Photography, 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, California 90028.

Ashley Farmer

Ashley Farmer HeadshotFriday, April 1, 2016 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. AWP 2016 // LITERARY FOOLS RECEPTION: Solstice, Talking Writing, Juked, and Santa Monica Review. D’Vine Wine Cellar, 821 S Flower St, Los Angeles, California 90017

Friday, April 1, 2016 at 8:00pm. Two Dollar Radio, Civil Coping Mechanisms, Entropy, Action Books, and Writ Large Press @ These Days Gallery. Indian Alley, 118 Winston Pl, Los Angeles, California 90013

Saturday, April 2nd, 7:30pm. Books & Booze. Los Angeles Center of Photography, 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, California 90028

Manuel Gonzales

Manuel Gonzales headshotThursday, March 31, 2016 from 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm. It Ain’t What They Call You, It’s What You Answer To: Peeling Off Genre Labels. Room 502 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm. Speculative Fiction: Defining the Rules of a Rule-Breaking Genre. Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level.

William VanDenBerg’s AWP off-site event picks

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been posting about and previewing different happenings at the upcoming AWP Conference in Los Angeles, including our panel, book signings, and recommendations from Rita Bullwinkel and Caitlin Scarano.

William VanDenBerg joins the conversation, offering his top AWP off-site event choices. Check out the list below, and be sure to stop by our table (#1238) for William’s author signing on Saturday, April 2nd, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm and hear him read during the Caketrain and Solar Luxuriance off-site reading on Saturday, April 2nd starting at 7:00pm.


Outside the AWP Conference itself, a multitude of readings, parties, and activities will be taking place. Here are a few highlights among the many offsite events:

March 29th, 7:30pm to 9:00pm

The Tuesday before AWP begins, tNY Press will be hosting a pre-show party at The Last Bookstore. Expect stand-up, lit karaoke, and Mad-Libs, as well as readings by Zachary Cosby, Bridget Dooley, Uzodinma Okehi, and more.

March 31st, 7:00pm

On Thursday at Monty Bar, Tumblr, Catapult, Unnamed Press, Writing Workshops Los Angeles and Nouvella Books will be teaming up for LAwp!, a party with free drinks and absolutely no readings whatsoever.

April 1st, 12:30pm to 10:00pm

Camp Real Pants, taking place at Astroetic Studios on Friday, features a summer camp experience compressed into a single day. Includes a publishing talk by editor Calvert Morgan, readings by Dark Fucking Wizard and Green Mountains Review authors, s’mores, singalongs, hot cocoa, and relatively little poison ivy.

April 1st, 4:00pm to 5:30pm

On Friday, Wave Books, POOL Poetry Journal, and Saint Mary’s College MFA will be celebrating some big anniversaries (10, 15, and 20 years respectively). The event, also at The Last Bookstore, will feature Molly Bendall, Candace Eros Díaz, Brenda Hillman, and others along with host Matthew Zapruder.

April 1st, 6:00pm to 8:00pm

At R Bar, a Koreatown karaoke bar, Bennington Review and Black Warrior Review will launch their most recent issues. This Friday night event includes Dorothea Lasky, Mark Baumer, Kendra Fortmeyer, and many others.

April 2nd, 7:00pm

On Saturday evening, The Poetic Research Bureau will host an event for Essay Press, Siglio Press, Ugly Duckling Presse, and Dorothy: A Publishing Project. Features readings from Amina Cain, Will Alexander, and work by John Cage read by Richard Kraft and Joe Biel.

Book signings at The Conium Review’s AWP Conference table

The Conium Review will be exhibiting at the 2016 AWP Conference, and we’re featuring three signings at our table. We’re located at table number 1238, and we hope you’ll swing by to meet these talented authors. Please share the details invite others to the Facebook event pages for each event. We hope to see you there!

Caitlin Scarano — Thursday, March 31st, 2016, 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Caitlin will be signing copies of her Conium Press micro-chapbook, Pitcher of Cream. This story won our 2015 flash fiction contest, judged by Laura Ellen Joyce, author of The Luminol Reels and The Museum of Atheism. Pitcher of Cream is also scheduled to be anthologized in the Best Small Fictions 2016 (forthcoming from Queens Ferry Press). Laura Ellen Joyce calls Pitcher of Cream “haunting and beautiful.” Copies of this micro-chapbook are free during the signing! We’ve done a limited-run of just 50 copies, so be sure to snag one for free while supplies last. Find this event on Facebook.

Carmiel Banasky — Friday, April 1st, 2016, 4:15 to 5:00pm

Carmiel Banasky will be signing her Dzanc Books novel, The Suicide of Claire Bishop, directly after The Conium Review‘s innovative fiction panel. Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin and TransAtlantic, calls Carmiel’s book “Daring, precise, and linguistically acrobatic,” and Publishers Weekly says The Suicide of Claire Bishop is “A memorable, intricate, and inventive debut. . . . both an intellectual tour de force and a moving reflection on the ways we try to save ourselves and others.” Find this event on Facebook.

William VanDenBerg — Saturday, April 2nd, 2016, 2:00pm to 3:00pm

William VanDenBerg will be signing copies of Lake of Earth (Caketrain Press) and Apostle Islands (Solar Luxuriance). Brandon Hobson, author of Deep Ellum, says Lake of Earth is “a terrific and daring book, and Michael Kimball, author of Big Ray, says “William VanDenBerg writes so much story into so few lines that it’s easy to get lost in these bright fictions.” Find this event on Facebook.

Rita Bullwinkel’s Top Ten AWP 2016 Panels

The annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference is less than a month away, and we’re getting amped up for the obligatory tote bags. Our staff and contributors will be sharing their favorite AWP happenings on our blog over the coming weeks, and we hope to see you at the conference (stop by table #1238 and say “hello” to The Conium Review staff).

First up, Rita Bullwinkel (Vol. 4 contributor) shares her top ten panels.


“The Violence of the Page”

Thursday, March 31, 2016, 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Room 403 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

(Lucy Corin, Maggie Nelson , Brian Evenson, Ben Weissman, Fred D’Aguiar)

This panel explores the various tones, reasons, genealogies, and methodologies writers might choose to employ when representing violence, cruelty, and bodies on the page. The writers on this panel have explored these issues in a variety of genres (fiction, scholarship, and poetry) and in a variety of registers (comedic, elegiac, outrageous, conceptual, documentary, and more), and are uniquely capable of discussing the aesthetic, political, and metabolic effects of such writing.

“It Ain’t What They Call You, It’s What You Answer To: Peeling Off Genre Labels”

Thursday, March 31, 2016, 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Room 502 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

(Daniel Orozco, Doug Dorst, Maureen McHugh, Kelly Luce, Manuel Gonzales)

How does fantasy fiction (or sci-fi, or detective or horror fiction) become literary fiction? Who decides how/when the genre label gets affixed, or peeled off? Why is the move from genre to literary always somehow a narrative of progress, implying a lesser realm left behind? Hear firsthand as writers with varying affinities to genre fiction reflect on how they negotiate with (wrestle, embrace, sidestep) genre conventions in the creation of their work.

“Translation as Animation: New Poetry from Japan”

Friday, April 1, 2016, 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

(Kyoko Yoshida , Forrest Gander , Sawako Nakayasu, Goro Takano, James Shea)

Beginning with a short reading, this panel of translators and writers explores the formal problems, aesthetic choices, and political implications of translating contemporary Japanese poetry. Panelists discuss the diversity of Japanese poetry and consider how the pleasures and challenges of translation animate their own writing. Poets under discussion include Takashi Hiraide, Sayumi Kamakura, Shirō Murano, Kiwao Nomura, and Gozo Yoshimasu.

“Korean Feminist Poetics and Translation”

Friday, April 1, 2016, 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Gold Salon 3, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor

(Eunsong Kim, Johannes Goransson, Ji Yoon Lee, Don Mee Choi, Joyelle McSweeney)

South Korea’s contemporary history has been deeply impacted by US imperial policies. Yet its history remains relatively unknown: its war, dictatorships, and 47 Free Trade Agreements. We poets and translators discuss feminist Korean poets and propose poetry-as-activism and translation-as-resistance to colonizing power.

“What the Heck Does Innovative Fiction Actually Mean?: Authors Cut Through the Jargon”

Friday, April 1, 2016, 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

Scott James Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

(James R. Gapinski, Ashley Farmer, Manuel Gonzales, Matt Bell, Carmiel Banasky) Innovative fiction is fast becoming a literary buzzword. It’s often a placeholder term for experimental or avant-garde, but what does it really mean? It’s time for a down-to-earth chat that eschews all the labels and jargon. In this panel, presented by The Conium Review, several authors cut through the marketing ploys and hype for a candid talk on the strange, weird, and new in contemporary fiction.

“Kelly Link, Emily St. John Mandel, and Ruth Ozeki: A Reading and Conversation, Sponsored by Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau”

Friday, April 1, 2016, 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Concourse Hall, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

(Emily St. John Mandel, Ruth Ozeki, Kelly Link)

This event brings together three brilliant contemporary female writers—Kelly Link, Emily St. John Mandel, and Ruth Ozeki—to read and discuss their craft and experiences as genre-bending authors. Kelly Link is the recipient of an NEA grant and is the author of Get in Trouble. Emily St. John Mandel is the author of Station Eleven, a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award. Ruth Ozeki is the author of A Tale for the Time Being, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

“In the Realms of the Real and the Unreal”

Saturday, April 2, 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

AWP Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

(Katharine Beutner, Sofia Samatar, Carmen Machado, Alice Sola Kim, Kelly Link)

This panel explores genres of fiction that juxtapose the real and the unreal in experimental ways: historical fiction, literary fantasy/science fiction, weird fiction, and satire. Where do we draw the line between a secondary world and a distorted reflection of our own world’s beauty, violence, and diversity? Can we discern a poetics of the unreal in contemporary fiction? How have the continual debates over generic boundaries—and/or their irrelevance—affected the ways contemporary writers work?

“In Whose Image: Trans and Genderqueer Writers on Magic, Spirituality, and (the Bodies of) G-d”

Saturday, April 2, 2016, 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

(CA Conrad, Joy Ladin, Ryka Aoki, Ian Ellasante, TC Tolbert)

Spirituality, like writing, hinges on transformation. Similarly, trans and genderqueer writers have unique experiences with transformation on and off the page. This dynamic panel explored the intersections between ritual, myth, magic, magical realism, and even end-rhyme as they shape our various embodiments and faiths. We don’t want to save you, but we hope you are ready to be changed.

“New Directions in Contemporary War Fiction”

Saturday, April 2, 2016, 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Room 510, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

(Peter Molin, Matt Gallagher, Andria Williams, Jesse Goolsby, Elliot Ackerman)

This panel features short readings and commentary by four first-time novelists in the burgeoning field of contemporary war literature. The authors’ novels, each published in either 2015 or 2016, highlight new possibilities for representing combat, war, and military culture in fiction. Building on recent critically acclaimed fiction depicting conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, the panel authors refine our understanding of the human dimensions of war overseas and on the home front.

“Fables, Fibs, and Flat-Out Lies: The Material of Making, Sponsored by Copper Canyon Press”

Saturday, April 2, 2016, 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Concourse Hall, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

(Michael Wiegers, Richard Siken, Laura Kasischke, Roger Reeves)

Whatever the chosen form, making is a dominant force in any artist’s life. For writers, the creative material—language—is simultaneously precise and slippery, irreducible and expansive; metaphor is a lie that tells the truth, and image a construct made from the sound and meaning of language. This reading features three writers who practice various literary and artistic forms—fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and painting—and will be followed by a conversation moderated by their editor.


Rita Bullwinkel is a Conium Review Vol. 4 contributor. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a fiction MFA candidate at Vanderbilt University and the Fiction Editor of the Nashville Review. Her writing has appeared in several publications including VICENOONSpork anHayden’s Ferry Review. She is a graduate of Brown University, a Vanderbilt Commons Writer in Residence, a Sewanee Writers’ Conference Tennessee Williams Scholarship Award winner, and a Helene Wurlitzer Foundation grantee. Her story “In the South the Sand Winds are Our Greatest Enemy” was selected by Joyland Magazine as one of their top five favorite stories published in 2015. The Nashville Review will be exhibiting at AWP at booth #1500.