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"What did people say to you afterwards?"

"Oh, gosh. I don't know, now that I think about it. Erica Funkhouser, the poet, was there, and we talked. She was wonderful. I've always liked her work. We talked about what poets talk about, poetry politics. We're both recluses or outsiders; we both are living in our worlds and trying to write and we don't have a whole lot of connection to the poetry world. So we were talking about that and how that's ultimately freeing. Once you get past feeling outcast, you come to realize how freeing it is. We're not in any cliques is what I mean -- and then finally you begin to realize, 'That's wonderful, I can think anything I want to think.'

"Then my roommate from Iowa City from 30 years ago, who lives in Boston and is a historian for the city government there, has written a book about the history of Boston. He came. I look over and here's this guy in a beard whose eyes are twinkling, trying to fool me, but I knew it was him."

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