The Southern Festival of Books is this weekend, and I went today to see Paolo Bacigalupi, Brian Yansky, Sara Lewis Holmes, Dana Reinhardt and a bunch of people from the writing group, the Nashville Writers’ Alliance. I really enjoyed it–made me a bit homesick for The Word on the Street though, not that I’m not already thinking about home what with seeing Molly Peacock night before last and Thanksgiving being on Monday.

In the Sci-Fi Guys panel with Bacigalupi and Yansky, a conversation broke out about genre and what it all means when a book is labelled science fiction or fantasy or literary or whathaveyou, and Margaret Atwood’s name was floated as somebody who can write science fiction without being put in the science fiction writer box, and I suggested that, being Canadian, and with the market in Canada being so much smaller, writers aren’t expected to stick to one genre in quite the same way they are here. (Peacock had mentioned this cross-genre pollination–though not in relation to Atwood or to science fiction–on Thursday, and when she mentioned it, I was struck by how much more pressure I feel in the US to declare my allegiances. I hadn’t ever put that feeling into words and it was a bit of a revelation for me.)

In other news entirely, I came home to find my poem “Hamiltons” has won the 10-10-10 Poetry Contest, which was a sort of readers’ choice thing. Thanks so much to everybody who took the trouble to comment so thoughtfully on my work.

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