But the conference was really wonderful, too. I heard many interesting speakers, but the highlight for me was the author presentations. I will blog more about some of what I learned in the next week or so. But today I want to gush a little. I was so excited to get to meet Jane Yolen. She and J. Patrick Lewis were signing Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs. I knew that if I got to meet her I would just babble about how much I love her and ask her to be my best friend and maybe even cry, so I thought beforehand about what I wanted to say to her. I wanted to tell her how impressed I am by her generosity with her writing, the way she shares it so freely. Here's a recent example of what I mean. Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect posted a prompt for her Monday Poetry Stretch, and who was the first commenter but Jane Yolen, with a beautiful poem that brought tears to my eyes.
When I said this to her, Jane Yolen looked up and me and listened. I'm sure she hears stuff like that all day long, but she smiled and said, "I love it. I love participating in the conversation."
I told her that she has inspired me to be more open and generous with my own writing, and then went away with my signed book, feeling thrilled.
Since getting to be a Jane Yolen fangirl was one of the best parts of the conference for me, I'm going to post a poem of hers. It's the only one on the Poetry Foundation site - I wonder why they don't have more? - and it's a good one.
I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.
Here's the rest.
And here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.