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 complicated, imperfect legacy.

For this occasion, Brooklyn Public Library will offer a variety of live programs and commemorative events, including publishing a series of Whitman’s poems with accompanying “responses” from people whose work and thoughts are important to us. We will also team up to produce several events celebrating Whitman’s work with short readings, tributes, and mixed media responses with music and poets reading favorite Whitman poems. 

Additionally, Brooklyn Public Library celebrates the bicentennial of Walt Whitman's birthday with a full recitation of "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" featuring Brooklynites reading Whitman's iconic words aloud in locations all across the borough he loved, and in our libraries.


Whitman Weekend starts May 18!

A weekend of poetry, music and debate about the life and cultural legacy of Walt Whitman. Featured events will include a keynote with Mark Doty, a tribute panel with poets Vijay Seshadri and Kimiko Hahn, a critical rereading of Leaves of Grass with Rigoberto Gonazalez, Harmony Holiday and Timothy Liu, as well as Brooklyn Art Song Society performing Tom Cipullo’s setting of "I Hear America Singing" and Jennifer Higdon’s setting of “Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,”  and a Compagnia de' Colombari’s music-theater piece More Or Less I Am. The weekend includes family friendly programs on Saturday and an exhibition of Whitman-related materials from the Brooklyn Collection archives. 

Upcoming Events

Walt Whitman's Brooklyn - Then and Now

Fri, May 24   12:00 pm to 1:00 pm   Paerdegat Library

developmental disabilities lectures and discussions whitman 200

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman's birth

 

Come to Paerdegat Library...

Whitman 200 program by Walt Whitman living historian, Darrel Blaine Ford

Fri, May 24   3:30 pm to 5:00 pm   Ulmer Park, Meeting Room

performance whitman 200

Celebrate Walt Whitman's 200th birthday!

Walt Whitman living historian, Darrel Blaine Ford reciting Walt Whitman poetry, which will include "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" and selections...

Walt Whitman living historian, Darrel Blane Ford

Walt Whitman's Brooklyn - Then and Now -The People

Tue, May 28   12:00 pm to 1:00 pm   Paerdegat Library

developmental disabilities lectures and discussions whitman 200

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman's birth

 

Come to Paerdegat Library...

The American Experience: Walt Whitman

Tue, May 28   4:00 pm to 6:00 pm   Walt Whitman, Auditorium

film whitman 200

The American Experience: Walt Whitman 2008, 120 mins. Screening: Tuesday, May 28th 4:00pm - 6:00pm*

This series documents various luminaries that have shaped the American experience and...

Open Mic: Celebrate Walt Whitman's

Wed, May 29   6:00 pm to 7:30 pm   Jamaica Bay Library

adult learning whitman 200

Poetry Cafe Open Mic Night for adults

Join us in celebration of the poetic life of Walt Whitman - an American icon - at Jamaica Bay Library.

Auditions will be held on Wednesday May...

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