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Starlight Lounge: Remembering Willits at Playhouse Reading, WJ Ray and Dan Hibshman

March 9, 2024 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Starlight Lounge, March 2024

WJ Ray and Dan Hibshman will be reading works that focus on Willits at an event at the Willits Community Theatre Playhouse on Saturday March 9.

Ray will be reading his long elegy on Willits, entitled “The Willits Farewell.” Hibshman will be reading two stories from his recently published book, Of a Lifetime: Stories 1963-2023.

“The Willits Farewell” is an elegy of 220 lines, nearly the same length as Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed.” In the poem, Ray catalogs scores of Willits old-timers who flourished here in the second half of the last century.  The poet also offers brief comments about each person, telling how they fit into the life of Willits, at least, as the poet perceived it. The cumulative effect is quite wonderful and powerful. When poet Robin Rule heard Ray read the poem in October of last year she said of the poem, “It’s a classic! You just told part of the Willits story!”

Dan Hibshman has been a resident of Mendocino County since 1969. He’s worked in the county as an English teacher, a clerk in a natural foods store, and as a librarian in the Mendocino County Law Library. He is the author of two books, Disquiet and Of a Lifetime: Stories 1963-2023. Hibshman will read two stories, “Catch” and “Lost Puppy.” The later story is set on the streets of a fictionalized Willits.

The reading begins at 7:30. Entry is by donation; however no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. An open reading will follow the featured readers.  This  event is sponsored by NC Financial Group, sponsor of WCT’s  2024 season.

Contact person (press only) :

Mike A’Dair, (707) 200-2462,

The Willits Community Theatre Playhouse is located at 37 West Van Lane, a block west of Mazahar Clothing Store and a block south of Pizza To Go.


March 9, 2024
7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Event Category:


Mike A’Dair
(707) 200-2462


Starlight Lounge, Willits Community Theatre
37 W Van Lane
Willits, CA 95490 United States
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(707) 459-0895
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