Introducing Previously Unpublished Work by Butte, Montana’s Celebrated Poet

Moving On: The Last Poems of Ed LaheyEd Lahey (1936 – 2011) achieved renown as one of Montana’s finest poets. His poetry reflects a deep commitment to Butte, to Montana, to the working class, and to an intellectual tradition that reaches back to the ancient Greeks. His books The Blind Horses and Birds of a Feather received much critical acclaim, leading to his Montana Governor’s Arts Award in 2008.

This is a stunning book of poetry by one of Montana’s finest poets — known as the “Bard of Butte” and “The Old Miner King of Poetry.” Lahey received the Governor’s Arts Award in 2008 in honor of his poetic genius. When he died in 2011, his friend and fellow poet Mark Gibbons cleaned out his apartment and saved every scrap of paper he found, sorted through boxes of them, and distilled the last of Ed Lahey’s writings into this amazing collection.   

Lahey’s fellow poets and close friends Mark Gibbons, Dave Thomas, Robert Lee, Roger Dunsmore, and Sheryl Noethe, along with Aaron Parrett (Executive Director of Drumlummon and author of the introduction to Moving On), have been traveling the state promoting Lahey’s work to Montana audiences.

They’ve recited at standing-room-only events in Missoula, Butte, and Helena, as well as in the Babcock Theatre in Billings for a special Ed Lahey-focused event as part of the High Plains Book Awards.

“It took me a very long time to get through the text of your work, but when I did, I was deeply, deeply moved. It is your great good fortune to have real subject matter for your poems instead of a make-believe world to write about.”  — Leslie Fiedler

“You can’t separate the dancer from the dance. The voice and the poetry are one and the same thing. He’s unique. There’s no one like him in the state, there’s no one like him in the country. Hey, there’s no one like him in the world. He’s a singular manifestation of poetic genius, period.”   Rick DeMarinis

“Ed Lahey is the de facto Poet Laureate of Montana, the place, not the state.”  Roger Dunsmore

“Any way you look at it, this is poetry at its literary, earthly, Montana, otherworldly best.”  Paul Zarzyski