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2019 marks the 200th birthday of Walt Whitman, America’s literary radical and great poet of democracy. New York will be enlivened by conversations about his brilliant work and his enduring legacy.

Following up on our partnership with PortSide NewYork in the Brooklyn Public Library video reading of Whitman’s iconic “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” poem, we partner with them once again to celebrate Whitman’s 200th birthday and Pride Month in a reading of his maritime-inspired poems (from Sea Drift)along with selections from the Calamus poems. Join poets, librarians and fellow Brooklynites on the MARY A. WHALEN for an evening of poetry, sea breeze, kinship, and sunset.

Our special guest readers are Julia Guez, Sam Ross, Chase Bergunn, Ricardo Alberto Maldonado, Hafizah Geter, Amber Galeo and Jayson P. Smith!

Julia Guez's poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and translations have appeared in POETRY, The Guardian, Boston Review, PEN Poetry Series, BOMB, The Seattle Reviewand Hyperallergic. Her debut collection, In An Invisible Glass Case Which Is Also A Frame, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in September.

Sam Ross’s poems have appeared in Tin House, New Republic, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Guernica, and other journals. His book Company was selected by Carl Phillips for Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry and is available now.

Chase Bergunn is a trans woman poet and the author of R E D (Birds LLC, 2018). Her work has appeared in jubilat, Poetry Magazine, American Poetry Review, Poem-A-Day, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from New York University.

Ricardo Alberto Maldonado was born and raised in Puerto Rico. A CantoMundo, Queer|Arts|Mentorship and NYFA fellow, he is the translator of Dinapiera Di Donato's Collateral and the author of The Life Assignment.

Born in Zaria, Nigeria, Hafizah Geter‘s poetry and prose have appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s Indelible in the Hippocampus, Tin House, Narrative Magazine, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Longreads, among others. She is an editor for Little A and TOPPLE Books from Amazon Publishing and serves on the poetry committee for the Brooklyn Book Festival

Amber Galeo's poems have appeared in Guernica, The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, Women Arts Quarterly and more. A recipient of prizes from the Academy of American Poets and Columbia University, she currently teaches creative writing at Purchase College. 

Jayson P. Smith is an artist, educator, & curator from the Bronx. Jayson’s work appears in West Branch, Gulf Coast, & The Offing, among others. A 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Poetry, J has received additional fellowships from The Poetry Project, Callaloo, The Conversation, Crescendo Literary, & Millay Colony for the Arts. J currently lives in Brooklyn as founder of NOMAD Reading Series and a teaching artist at 92Y.

*** This event will take place on the deck of the tanker MARY A. WHALEN (PortSide’s home), as she stays at the dock, Pier 11, next to the NYC Ferry Red Hook Atlantic Basin stop. Closest street address is 159 Pioneer Street, see directions. In the event of rain, the readings will take place in the warehouse beside the ship.

PortSide NewYork is a living lab for better urban waterways that connects New Yorkers to the benefits of their harbor with culture, education, workforce and resiliency programs. PortSide runs programs on and off their historic ship, the tanker MARY A. WHALEN, and has created an inclusive digital museum about the past and present of their neighborhood Red Hook, Brooklyn at

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