And I read a poem myself, The Making of a Man, which I read because it's one of the few political poems I have which I think is pretty good. It got a warm reception, especially because I was able to explain that it was about Floppy, whom many people there had met early in the morning and well-remembered. Naomi Shihab Nye stopped me afterwards to say that it was a beautiful way to bring the day full circle for her; other people came and thanked me for the poem or offered me hugs, both then and later in the weekend.
At the open mike I sat at first with a slam poet named Ashley Cole, from Pittsburgh, and then later with Susan Brennan and another poet, a woman born in Guyana, now a professor emeritus in Economics, living in Bethesda. Her first name was Camille, but I don't remember her last name if she ever told me. We talked happily and companionably all night, and when we left, after one, DH kindly met Susan and Camille and I and gave both of them rides home. I loved the feeling of effortless connection that happened over and over for me at this conference. Any of these women would be people I would love to have as friends, and it was wonderful to sit and drink and talk with them even for a little while.
I went home exhausted, but happy and excited for Day 3.
(ETA: I should note that the version of the poem of mine that I've linked above isn't actually the version I read; it's undergone some revision, and is a much improved poem now, although I liked the draft enough to revise it, so I guess that's saying something.)