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These Whitman 200th Anniversary "lightning lectures" examine the vast scope of Whitman's legacy on poetry in the 20th century and beyond, and explore critically and swiftly where his vision and style came from. Lightning lecturers include Eric Conrad on Whitman and the Manicule, author Mark Eisner on Whitman and Neruda, scholar Karen Karbiener on the moment Whitman became a poet, scholar Matt Miller on Whitman's creative process, Jesse Merandy on Whitman and an app of Whitman's Brooklyn, and musician Greg Trupiano on Whitman and opera. 

Eric Conrad ("Whitman's use of the manicule--a little pointing hand") is a dean at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School (NY) and serves on the board of directors for the Walt Whitman Initiative, a NYC-based nonprofit. The essay-length version of his talk today--"I announce what comes after me": Walt Whitman and the Poet as Printer's Fist"--will appear in the June 2019 issue of Nineteenth-Century Literature. His work has also appeared in The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, The Walt Whitman Archive, and Jacket2. His current book project examines the images, symbols, and promotional strategies that Whitman developed to brand himself and his distinct textual products.

Mark Eisner ("What Neruda owes Whitman") is the author of Neruda: The Biography of a Poet, which was a finalist for the PEN/Bograd Weld Prize for Biography. He conceived, edited, and was one of the principal translators for The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (City Lights, 2004). He wrote the introduction to City Lights’ first ever English translation of Neruda’s venture of the infinite man, a project he developed. He is producing a documentary film on Neruda, with support from Latino Public Broadcasting. An initial version, narrated by Isabel Allende, won the Latin American Studies Association Award of Merit in Film.

Karen Karbiener ("On the complicated moment Whitman became a poet") is a Whitman scholar and teaches at New York University. Winner of the Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress and a Fulbright recipient, she has published widely on Whitman, including an edition of Leaves of Grass, two audiobooks on Whitman’s life and influence, a children’s book, and collaborated with illustrator Brian Selznick on Live Oak, with Moss, a new edition of Whitman’s secret same-sex love poems. She is the co-curator with collector Susan Tane of Poet of the Body: New York’s Walt Whitman, a major exhibition at the Grolier Club that will open on May 15, and the author of a forthcoming book of the same title. Karbiener is the president and founding member of the Walt Whitman Initiative, a 501c3 nonprofit organization serving as an organizing center for cultural activism and poetry-related events. 

Jesse Merandy (on "Vanishing Leaves, a mobile app of Whitman's Brooklyn") is the Director of the Digital Media Lab at the Bard Graduate Center. He recently completed CUNY’s Graduate Center’s first all-digital dissertation, “Vanishing Leaves: A Study of Walt Whitman Through Location-Based Mobile Technologies.” He is the Vice President of the Walt Whitman Initiative and member of the New York City Digital Humanities (NYCDH) Steering Committee.

Matt Miller ("Whitman and the creative process") is Associate Professor and Assistant Chair in the English Department at Yeshiva University in Manhattan, where he teaches nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature and creative writing. His book, Collage of Myself: Walt Whitman and the Making of Leaves of Grass, was published in 2010 by the University of Nebraska Press. He is currently completing a manuscript relating Whitman to some surprising twentieth century influences, including Gertrude Stein and George Oppen.

Greg Trupiano ("Whitman & opera") is the founder and artistic director of Brooklyn-based The Walt Whitman Project, a community arts organization started in 2000. It is devoted to exploring the life and influence of Whitman through readings of his poetry and prose and performances of musical compositions based on his texts. Past events of The Walt Whitman Project have been produced in cooperation with: American Opera Projects, Fort Greene Park Conservancy, and Hudson Guild Theater Company, among many others. An avid opera fan, Greg is the Director of Artistic Administration at Sarasota Opera, Florida.

This series of lectures and other events during the weekend are co-presented with Poetry Society of America.

Whitman at 200 is made possible with generous support from the Poetry Foundation.

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