A Word from AWP's Chair

Kathleen Driskell

Dear AWP Members and Supporters, 

It’s my honor to have been elected to serve as the Chair of AWP’s Board of Directors for 2019-20.  

Though we have been in a period of transition as the board and staff have adjusted to greater responsibilities, moving from an organization with an advisory board to one governed by a fiduciary board, I am confident that we have the talented and dedicated staff, the experienced and enthusiastic board members, both new and returning, and the deep tradition and mission focus for a bright future. We have more hard work ahead of us, but I’m enthusiastic for what’s to come for our membership.

As we look ahead, one of my main goals is to build a more inclusive organization, one that provides opportunities for meaningful participation for all members who want to be involved. I also promise to work hard to help AWP do a better job of telling our marvelous stories.

When one of our new board members made the observation that so many of us seem to have grown up—at least professionally--with AWP, I couldn’t help remembering that I have attended nearly every annual conference since 1999 in Albany, New York. I came there so many years ago with the hope of finding a publisher for my first book of poems. I also hoped to find support for my fledgling careers as an adjunct teacher of creative writing and director of a literary organization I had just founded in Kentucky. Each morning as I boarded a big yellow school bus that had come to pick us up at a Ramada Inn, tucked under a noisy highway overpass, I thought the whole conference, albeit modest then in comparison with our conference today, was a marvel. I still do, but I’m also awed by all the other programs and resources our organization offers to constituents today. I promise I’ll do my best to build on the important legacy of AWP.

All best wishes for you and your work,

Kathleen DriskellSignature

Kathleen Driskell, MFA
Chair, AWP Board of Directors, 2019-20
Mid-Atlantic Regional Council Chair