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Free Range Poetry Society Launches Poetry Night
Sunday, November 5, 2023


The Hailey Public Library and the ad-hoc Free Range Poetry Society will host Free Range Poetry Night at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, at Town Center West. 

Readers will include Florence Blanchard, Sue Bailey, John Fox, Susan Fierman, Kristin Fletcher, Les Shanahan, Mark Spenser and Cit Ananda. 

 “Our valley has a long history of poetry readings, some by acclaimed Beat poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti,” said Blanchard, who is organizing the poetry night. “Other readings were by not-so-famous locals who participated in numerous poetry slams, Beat Nights and high school poetry nights. They were held all around the community in churches, schools, bookstores and theaters.  We hope to bring that back.”

Blanchard added that the Free Range Poetry Society helps keep the art of poetry alive in the spirit of the influential poet and essayist Ezra Pound, who was born in Hailey in 1885.

“His motto, ‘Make it New,’ inspired a generation of poets to free themselves from conventional form and subject matter, creating modern poetry which speaks directly to the individual. Free Range poets have permission to roam wherever the words take them,” she said.

Blanchard conceived of the Society to remind Wood River Valley residents of the power and importance of poetry, said Kristin Fletcher, programs and community engagement manager at the library.

She approached the Library about co-sponsoring a poetry night, and we were all in!” she added.

For more information, call 208-788-2036 or visit

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