Images courtesy of Ed Centeno.
2014 Song of Myself Marathon, Brooklyn, New York.
Image from Allen Crawford’s book, Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself
The 11th Annual Song of Myself Marathon will be held in Brooklyn, NY on Sunday, June 8th!
I’m delighted to announce the eleventh anniversary of our annual reading of
Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”!
This year’s marathon will be held on Sunday, June 8 at the Granite Prospect
at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1. We’ll be led off by thunder-voiced poet
Martin Espada, who can evoke Whitman like none other. If you were with us
last year, you’ll remember our spectacular view of Manhattan, the Brooklyn
Bridge, and New York Harbor from this spot. We’re open to the elements and
we (and Walt) like it that way– so please bring your umbrella if it rains.
The event is of course free and will begin at 4 pm; readers, please arrive
no later than 3:30.
If you’d like to read, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with
your favorite three sections of “Song of Myself” (using the 1891-’92
edition’s breakdown of 52 sections). I’ll be in touch with you as the
event draws closer, to provide the final list of readers. Original
interpretations of your chosen passage are encouraged! Last year we had
several folks read in different languages; we also had our youngest reader
yet (go forth 9 year old Emmanuel!), Jesse strumming his interpretation of
#4 on guitar, Connor reciting #s16 and 17 from memory, and not one but TWO
Walt Whitmans. Please do have fun out there! You know Walt would love
For more information on the site of the reading (and some great photos of
last year’s event), please visit:
Smorgasburg, the fabulous weekly food market, will be held that Sunday
beginning at 11am at the Pier 5 Uplands; it’s a great place to pick up a
snack before, after, or even during the event:
Hope you can make it! Please spread the word to fellow poetry lovers.
Warm Whitmanic wishes always,
Today, March 26th, is the anniversary of Whitman’s death. While it has been 122 years since he passed as this article highlights, he is still very much alive today!
With big thanks to Stephanie Blalock for sharing, presented below is an NYU article on the brilliant and wonderful Karen Karbiener doing what she does best–searching for Walt Whitman! Karen and her students visit the location of the former Pfaff’s beer cellar in New York city, Whitman’s bohemian, pre-Civil War hangout.
I love Karen’s suggestion that a place “has memory—that it continues to cultivate a certain feeling… it takes on an aura of maybe what it once was.”
You can read lots more about Pfaff’s beer cellar and the many people who frequented it here on this wonderful website:
And one last gem, unfortunately this establishment is no longer open, but around 2011 the former Pfaff’s space was remodeled and restored to what it may have been like in Whitman’s day. Take a look at the menus, you could even order a drink called “Leaves of Grass.”
Too bad it closed, it looks like it was a wonderful restoration! I would like to have visited.