Star of NPR to read area man's poems

BROOKLINE – National Public Radio listeners who enjoy Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac” will have another reason to listen today: the famous radio voice will be reading two poems by Brookline’s Sidney Hall, Jr.

This won’t be the first time that Keillor has read Hall’s poetry, nor will it be the first time Hall’s work has reached a national audience, since he has been published in many literary magazines.

Hall, who owns and operates Hobblebush Books here, is the author of three books of poems, “What We Will Give Each Other,” “Chebeague,” and his newest, “Fumbling in the Light.”

Hobblebush Books was started in 1993 and is a traditional small press. The name of the company is derived from the hobblebush, a plant with heart-shaped leaves that is native to New Hampshire, Hall said.

Hobblebush Books specializes in fine book design and production. Hall has published the work of a number of New Hampshire writers, including poet Roger Martin, who teaches at Keene State College, and humor writer Rick Davis, author of “Totally Useless Office Skills.”

Hall’s latest book represents his dual pursuits, printing poems that have previously been published elsewhere.

“I wouldn’t do that if the poems hadn’t already reached a level of acceptance,” Hall said.

Hall said Keillor plans to read two poems from his latest book, one titled “Something about the Wind,” a poem he wrote during a “writing week” he spent on the coast of Maine in springtime; and another, “McClure’s Beach,” which also came out of a writing retreat.

Asked about the subjects of his poems, Hall said, “You never can tell what poems are about. They have to stand for themselves.”

But he said his poems are influenced by his surroundings: “I usually go to Maine, Cape Cod, near the ocean, where the light is interesting,” the poet said.

Hall is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Reed College, where he studied Greek and Latin classics.

“It’s very nice to reach a wide audience, especially in a listening format because Garrison Keillor is a very good reader. He reads poems beautifully,” said Hall.

Writer’s Almanac airs at 7 p.m. on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in the mornings on Boston-based public radio stations.

For details about when the Writer’s Almanac can be heard, visit To get a podcast of the reading, log on to