BROOKLYN CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS CELEBRATE WALT WHITMAN, BROOKLYN'S POET LAUREATE, ON THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF LEAVES OF GRASS

March 24, 2005

BROOKLYN CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS CELEBRATE WALT WHITMAN, BROOKLYN'S POET LAUREATE, ON THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF LEAVES OF GRASS

Events Scheduled Throughout Brooklyn in April


BROOKLYN, NY – Several of Brooklyn's cultural institutions will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass with special events throughout the month of April. Originally published in July of 1855 in Brooklyn Heights, Whitman's masterpiece is considered among the world’s greateast literary works. To honor this body of work, a range of events are being sponsored by The Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Brooklyn Public Library, and The Walt Whitman Project.

APRIL EVENT LISTINGS:

BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY

WALT WHITMAN'S BROOKLYN HEIGHTS
Saturday, April 30, 2 pm

Walk in Walt Whitman's footsteps in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Leaves of Grass and National Poetry Month. Explore sites significant to Whitman's life and consider the places that inspired him as you engage in readings of his poetry and prose. This tour will include visits to the sites of the Rome Printing Shop, the Brooklyn Eagle, and more. Your guide is Lynda Kennedy, Educator, Historian, and Director of Family Programs at New York Society for Ethical Culture. This walking tour is presented in partnership with The Walt Whitman Project.
Admission: Brooklyn Historical Society members $10/non-members $15/ children $5
Meet at the Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont Street, Information & Reservations: 718.222.4111

LEAVES OF GRASS FIRST EDITION ON DISPLAY
April 27 – August 28

Celebrate National Poetry Month and the 150th anniversary of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass by viewing an original first-edition. In 1855, Whitman published Leaves of Grass, which consisted of 12 untitled poems and a preface. See this original first-edition, from the BHS collection, on display through August.
Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont Street

BROOKLYN MUSEUM

FREE TARGET FIRST SATURDAY EVENTS

On the first Saturday of every month, the Museum is open free to the public from 5 to 11 p.m. Galleries, cafes, and bars are open, and free special events are programmed, including a family art activity, gallery talks, films, live music, and a dance party. For details, visit www.brooklynmuseum.org. The following are Whitman-related events at the April 2 Target First Saturday:

WHITMAN TALK: DEIRDRE LAWRENCE
Saturday, April 2, 7 pm

Principal Librarian Deirdre Lawrence discusses Walt Whitman's connections to the Brooklyn Museum. Space is limited. Free tickets available at the Visitor Center in the Grand Lobby beginning at 6 p.m. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway

MODERN VOICES: WHITMAN PUBLIC READING
Saturday, April 2, 8 pm

An interactive public reading of selections from Whitman's Leaves of Grass features Lon Black from the Walt Whitman Project and Dr. Karen Karbiner, NYU professor and editor of the newly abridged Leaves of Grass: First and Death Bed Editions. Space is limited. Free tickets available at the Visitor Center in the Grand Lobby beginning at 7 p.m. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway.

BROOKLYN PHILHARMONIC: LEAVES OF GRASS AT 150
Saturday, April 2, 9 pm and 10 pm

Readings of Walt Whitman's poetry will be presented on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Leaves of Grass. The music being performed includes Charles Ives' Piano Trio and Jennifer Higdon's Piano Trio along with songs featuring the poetry of Walt Whitman. This event highlights the chamber music of composers featured in Brooklyn's Ode to Joy at BAM Saturday, April 16, 2005. Free tickets available at the Visitor Center in the Grand Lobby beginning at 7 p.m. For concert information, call the Brooklyn Philharmonic at 718-488-5913 or visit www.BrooklynPhilharmonic.org. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway.

ONGOING PROGRAM: WEBSITE PRESENTATION
Spring 2005

The Brooklyn Museum Website, www.BrooklynMuseum.org, will feature Walt Whitman and his interaction with the arts, an online presentation of writings by Walt Whitman with images from the Brooklyn Museum's collection of objects that Whitman saw and described. This feature will focus on Whitman's interest in the arts in Brooklyn while he lived here.

BROOKLYN PHILHARMONIC

The Brooklyn Philharmonic will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass with poetry readings and musical performances. The music program includes Charles Ives' Piano Trio and Jennifer Higdon's Piano Trio along with songs featuring the poetry of Walt Whitman. These events also serve as a preview to the Brooklyn Philharmonic's concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 16. The BAM concert will feature the world premiere of a new composition by Higdon, Dooryard Bloom, based on Whitman's poem "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" as well as Beethoven's majestic Symphony No. 9.

TARGET'S FIRST SATURDAYS: LEAVES OF GRASS AT 150
Saturday, April 2, 9 pm and 10 pm
Tickets: FREE and open to the public; for information, call 718-488-5913 or visit www.BrooklynPhilharmonic.org.
Location: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn

BROOKLYN PHILHARMONIC AND BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY PRESENT MUSIC OFF THE SHELVES: LEAVES OF GRASS AT 150
Saturday, April 9, 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm
Tickets: FREE and open to the public; for information, call 718-488-5913 or visit www.BrooklynPhilharmonic.org.
Locations: Brooklyn Public Library:

1:30 pm New Utrecht Library, 86th Street at Bay 17th Street
4 pm Central Library, Grand Army Plaza

BROOKLYN'S ODE TO JOY
Saturday, April 16, 8:00 pm

Beethoven's epic and majestic Symphony No. 9, the Ode to Joy will be performed along with the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon's song cycle for baritone, Dooryard Bloom. Commissioned by the Brooklyn Philharmonic as a centerpiece to its 50th Anniversary Season, Higdon's work illuminates one of Walt Whitman's greatest poems, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." Walt Whitman, Brooklyn's great 19th century poet-laureate was also a music reviewer of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Ms. Higdon is a native of Brooklyn.
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Jennifer Higdon Dooryard Bloom (World Premiere)

Michael Christie, conductor; Helen Donath, soprano; Gigi Mitchell-Velasco, mezzo-soprano; Richard Clement, tenor; Charles Temkey, bass; Nmon Ford, baritone; The Canticum Novum Singers; The New York Virtuoso Singers, Harold Rosenbaum, artistic director; and The University at Buffalo Choir
Tickets: $20, $40, $55, $60; $10 Student Rush Available; Call 718-636-4100 or visit www.BrooklynPhilharmonic.org.
Location: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn

BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY

POET GALWAY KINNNELL: A TRIBUTE TO WALT WHITMAN
Sunday, April 10, 2 pm

BPL salutes Brooklyn's beloved poet Walt Whitman with a presentation by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Galway Kinnell. Kinnell will read his own poems in tribute to Walt Whitman, and talk about how Whitman’s work has influenced his own writing.
Central Library, 2nd Floor Meeting Room, Grand Army Plaza, 718.230.2100

WALT WHITMAN: BROOKLYN POET, BROOKLYN JOURNALIST
Sunday, April 17, 2 pm

The Walt Whitman Project presents readings from the first edition of Whitman's poetic masterpiece, Leaves of Grass, and newspaper articles and editorials Whitman wrote for local publications, including The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and The Standard. With live performances of music from Whitman's day and specially commissioned new works.
Central Library, 2nd Floor Meeting Room, Grand Army Plaza, 718.230.2100

THE WALT WHITMAN PROJECT

WALT WHITMAN – POET OF CHANGE
Thursday, April 7, 11:30 am

This event features the presentation of academic papers by three students, readings of Whitman's poetry by members of the St. Francis College community, and concludes with a roundtable discussion, How Does Walt Whitman Speak To Us Today? Gregory F. Tague, Ph.D., Event Director; and Ian S. Maloney, Ph.D., Event Curator and Keynote Speaker
Admission: Free
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn (Founders Hall); Information: 718.489.5225 / 718.489.5457


This program is presented by the English Department of St. Francis College and the Walt Whitman Project

WALT WHITMAN IN BROOKLYN
Monday, April 25, 7 p.m.

In its second appearance at Freebird Books and Goods, The Walt Whitman Project reads from the author's prose and poetry selections focusing on Whitman's beloved city of Brooklyn.
Admission: Free
Freebird Books and Goods, 123 Columbia St. between Kane and Degraw Streets, Brooklyn; Information: 718.643.8484


The Brooklyn Historical Society is a museum, library and educational center dedicated to encouraging the exploration and appreciation of Brooklyn's rich heritage. The Brooklyn Historical Society fulfills this mission by collecting, preserving and making available important materials representative of Brooklyn's diverse peoples and cultures both past and present. The Brooklyn Historical Society places the materials it collects in a meaningful context by presenting innovative exhibitions and public programs.

The mission of the Brooklyn Museum is to act as a bridge between the rich artistic heritage of world cultures, as embodied in its collections, and the unique experience of each visitor. Dedicated to the primacy of the visitor experience, committed to excellence in every aspect of its collections and programs, and drawing on both new and traditional tools of communication, interpretation, and presentation, the Museum aims to serve its diverse public as a dynamic, innovative, and welcoming center for learning through the visual arts.

The Brooklyn Philharmonic is a nationally recognized symphony orchestra, introducing the best new music of our time while shining light on the great repertoire of the past. The Brooklyn Philharmonic is committed to education and serving the needs of diverse communities of New York’s most populous borough.

Press Contacts:

The Brooklyn Historical Society, 718.222.4111
Brooklyn Museum,718.501.6334
Brooklyn Philharmonic,718.488.5757
The Walt Whitman Project,718-596-5305

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Brooklyn Public Library is an independent New York City library system serving the borough of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest in the United States. Its Central Library, Business Library, and 58 neighborhood libraries offer free information, programs and computer access to people of all ages. You can reach the Library's resources of over 70 reference databases, catalog information and news 24 hours a day at www.bklynlibrary.org