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James H. Gipson and the Effort to Free Ezra Pound
Idaho Center for the Book Newsletter (2018)
  • Alessandro G. Meregaglia, Boise State University
On May 3, 1945, armed partisans arrested Ezra Pound in Italy. This began the extradition process to the United States, where, two years earlier, Pound had been indicted in absentia for treason. The charges were based on the content of radio broadcasts he made in Italy, where he had lived for the past twenty years. Pound was brought to the United States, declared mentally insane, and sent to St. Elizabeths, a government hospital in Washington, D.C. Pound vehemently maintained his innocence; his wife, Dorothy Shakespear Pound, moved to D.C. and rented a room near the hospital so she could visit him daily. He would remain incarcerated there for more than a dozen years. During his time at St. Elizabeths, Pound continued to write and publish new poems for his Cantos, his life's work. He also received visitors on an almost daily basis. Well-known artists and poets and writers—T.S. Eliot, Robert Lowell, Marianne Moore, and Allen Tate, among others—all visited Pound in his cell. (See Daniel Swift's 2017 book The Bughouse: The Poetry, Politics, and Madness of Ezra Pound [Farrar, Straus and Giroux] for an excellent account of Pound's years at St. Elizabeths.) But Pound also received less famous visitors. These included James H. Gipson of Caldwell, Idaho, founder of Caxton Printers.
Publication Date
November, 2018
Citation Information
Alessandro G. Meregaglia. "James H. Gipson and the Effort to Free Ezra Pound" Idaho Center for the Book Newsletter Vol. 25 Iss. 2 (2018)
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