A week after our internship took us to the top of Mount Cheaha, it swept us back down to the beaches of Fairhope for the Gulf Coast Writer’s Association Conference. It was a weekend for literary conversation, sandcastles, and poetry readings–perfect, in other words, for us.
On the first morning, we attended a reading by several incredibly talented writers, including Slash Pine’s own Brent House (his chapbook, The Saw Year Prophecies, was one of Slash Pine’s first chapbooks to publish!)
After the reading, we went to Fort Morgan with our beloved Patti. We explored the gorgeous old caverns and walls, and Laura gave me a very detailed explanation of the term “duportail” that later turned out to be completely fabricated.
We sat in an amphitheatre-shaped cannon turret to write (maybe? I don’t know what it was, and I doubt Laura did either, but it was shaped perfectly for our purposes) and to read what we had written. Patti read to us from her book of poetry, and we were, obviously, rapt. It was hard to leave, but we took lots of pictures.
The next day was our busiest. We attended a panel led by the student editors of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s literary magazine, Pegasus. We were so impressed that we went to lunch with them later, and that led to an entire hour of nonstop chatter about literature. We know we like a group of people when they get as excited about David Foster Wallace and Kurt Vonnegut as we do!
After the ABAC panel, the Slash Pine interns led a chapbook stitching panel, and had our participants assemble copies of Be the Heat. They loved the hands-on, personal aspect of stitching chapbooks, and they were so excited to take home their own copies. We got to talk about why we love Slash Pine, and it made me proud to be part of this group of people.
Between panels, readings (our own and others), and browsing chapbooks from other presses, the interns gathered on the beach to talk about authors we love and things that inspire us to write. We were already close—we spend absurd amounts of time together and pretty much have to love each other—but during the trip we felt like we became a family.
– Alexandra Franklin