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Poetry in the Park set for Saturday at Nashua's Greeley Park

NASHUA — Poet and publisher Sidney Hall Jr. sees poetry as a natural part of life.

“People turn to poetry at important moments, our weddings and funerals are full of it,” said Hall, owner of Brookline’s Hobblebush Books and publisher of the Granite State Poetry Series, an annual publication that showcases the work of one of the state’s accomplished poets.

Hall and the staff at Hobblebush Books will host Poetry in the Park, a community poetry reading on Saturday at Nashua’s Greeley Park. It will feature eight well-known local poets and an open mic session for anyone who wants to share some words. The reading starts at 11 a.m., and people are encouraged to bring lunch and have a picnic with poetry.

“We really wanted to try and make poetry accessible,” said Hobblebush Books’ marketing manager, Kirsty Walker, who has been organizing the event.

Walker and others in the verse business understand that some people might find poetry difficult and intimidating.

“We want to get away from the way poetry is in school where you’re taught to analyze it,” said Walker.

Open mic session

Instead, Poetry in the Park is a listener-friendly event where people can hear and enjoy the sounds, imagery and drama of poetry in a familiar outdoor setting. Along with the readings, there will also be poetry discussions, live music and book signings.

“A lot of people are excited to have a chance to speak to the poets,” said Walker.

In addition to Hall, featured poets include Rodger Martin, Alice Fogel, J. Kates, John Perrault, B. Eugene McCarthy, Patricia Fargnoli and James Fowler.

“They are all people who are pretty local who we feel deserve a national reputation,” said Walker.

The reading will start with four of the eight scheduled poets, and the open mic portion of the event begins at noon. Anyone interested in a turn at the microphone will be able to sign up to read at 11:30.

Hall said that poetry is thriving New Hampshire, and every year Hobblebush receives hundreds of manuscripts for the Granite State Poetry Series.

“It’s a very vibrant, very diverse writing scene,” he said. “We have everything from formal and traditional writing to all kinds of exciting, experimental stuff.”


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