Partners and Participants
“The impalpable sustenance of me from all things at all hours of the day.” —Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
P A R T N E R S
The Walt Whitman Project
The Walt Whitman Project, a Brooklyn-based community arts organization founded in 2000 by Greg Trupiano, is devoted to exploring the life and influence of this great American writer through readings of his poetry and prose and performances of musical compositions based on his works. The Project has co-sponsored Whitman events with American Opera Projects, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Pace University, Brooklyn Heights Public Library, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Walt Whitman Birthplace in Huntington, St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn Historical Society, South Street Sea- port Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum. Greg is the Director of Artistic Administration at the Sarasota Opera in Sarasota, Florida.
The Walt Whitman Initiative
The Walt Whitman Initiative is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to America’s Poet through Whitman-related events and activities in and around Manhattan. Karen Karbiener, PhD, one of the Initiative’s founders, is a Whitman scholar at New York University. She has published widely on Whitman’s life and work, and edited Leaves of Grass: First and “Death-Bed” Editions for Barnes & Noble Classics. She is a recognized public scholar and has been featured in radio, television, and online programs, authored two audiobooks on Whitman’s cultural legacy, and hosts New York City’s annual “Song of Myself” Marathon in Brooklyn Bridge Park. As part of the 2019 Whitman bicentennial the Walt Whitman Initiative is coordinating the efforts of the Whitman 2019 Consortium, a collective of east coast organizations, institutions, venues, and individuals planning events in celebration of the poet’s 200th birthday, including the Academy of American Poets, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Public Library, Library of Congress, Morgan Library & Museum, University of Pennsylvania, and the Walt Whitman Birthplace.
P A R T I C I P A N T S
The Brooklyn Public Library
The Brooklyn Public Library is the fifth largest public library system in the United States. In 2009 the library had the highest program attendance of any public library system in the United States. There are 58 neighborhood branches throughout the borough including, within the Fort Greene Walt Whitman Housing Project, the Walt Whitman Library branch. The predecessor to Walt Whitman Library opened in a storefront on Nassau and Bridge streets in 1900. Eight years later, a beautiful new library, funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and built in the Classical Revival style, opened on St. Edwards Street in Fort Greene. When it opened, the branch boasted a substantial collection on naval architecture and science to serve workers at the nearby Brooklyn Navy Yard. Today, Walt Whitman Library serves the residents of numerous public housing complexes, including the Raymond Ingersoll Houses and the Walt Whitman Houses.
Walt Whitman Library was so named in 1943, to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the poet’s birth. Noteworthy people who grew up or lived near the branch include Richard Wright, Jhumpa Lahiri, Nelson George and, of course, Walt Whitman.
Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn Historical Society was founded in 1863 as the Long Island Historical Society (LIHS) during a time of tumultuous change. In only a few decades, Brooklyn had grown from a tiny agricultural backwater to the third largest city in the country. Civic pride was at an all-time high. Many of Brooklyn’s citizens believed they needed to commemorate their city’s rural past before it quickly faded from memory.
The founders of the LIHS were among the city’s most prominent citizens, whose families could trace their Brooklyn roots back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They established the society as a library committed to preserving the history of America, New York state, and, most important, “the counties, towns, and villages of Long Island.”
Located in Brooklyn Heights and housed in a magnificent landmark building designed by George Browne Post, with a second location at Empire Stores in DUMBO, Brooklyn Historical Society has a long history of thoughtful engagement and community outreach. Over the years, BHS has updated its building to meet twenty-first-century needs, while remaining true to architect George Browne Post’s innovative vision. In October 1999, BHS undertook a full-scale restoration of its landmark building to create new exhibition space and climate-controlled storage for its valuable collections. In 2014, BHS completed a renovation of the first and lower levels to create an even more welcoming public space.
The Academy of American Poets
Founded in 1934 in New York City, the Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization advocating for American poets and poetry. Its mission is to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry. It coordinates the work of the Poetry Coalition, serving as its administrative and fiscal lead. The Poetry Coalition, an alliance of more than 20 independent poetry organizations across the United States, will devote March 2019 to exploring the theme “What Is It, Then, Between Us?: Poetry & Democracy” in a series of programs in eleven cities that will reach an anticipated audience of more than 250,000 individuals nationwide.
Brooklyn Poets is a nonprofit organization celebrating and cultivating the poets, poetry and literary heritage of Brooklyn, the birthplace of American poetry. Over the years, Brooklyn has served as home to and inspired some of the most original and influential poets on the world stage, from Walt Whitman, Hart Crane and Marianne Moore in the American tradition to expatriate masters such as W. H. Auden and Joseph Brodsky; visiting visionaries such as Vladimir Mayakovsky and Federico García Lorca; and hip-hop pioneers such as Big Daddy Kane, MCA, Guru, Digable Planets, Biggie Smalls, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Jay Z. Since their inception in 2012, their core program of small, intensive poetry workshops taught by award-winning poets in their own homes has served over 1000 students and employed over 40 teachers, and they’ve grown to host 22 regular events per year attracting over 1400 attendees annually, fostering a more homegrown, close-knit, diverse community of poets and readers than what is traditionally offered by graduate writing programs and the American literary community at large.
The Fort Greene Park Conservancy
First designated a park by the City of Brooklyn in 1847 at the urging of Walt Whitman, and designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1867, Fort Greene Park is one of the most storied neighborhood parks in America. The Fort Greene Park Conservancy proudly serves Fort Greene Park and its community through free programming, park planting and maintenance materials, staff support, and a comprehensive advocacy effort. They have for many years hosted Greg Trupiano’s Walt Whitman walking tours of the park, Fort Greene, and Clinton Hill.
Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop
Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop is New York's only all poetry bookstore. They are: a bookstore that sells poetry books and chapbooks; a space that celebrates art, creativity, performance, and the handmade; a partner to many small presses local to Brooklyn, around the country, and worldwide; a place for readers of all ages; a passion project; an experiment; a gallery for books; a home for words; and a place to read, to hear poets read, to meet poets and readers, and to join a community. They are also, incidentally, located across the street from one of the addresses Whitman lived at as a child, and just down the street in Dumbo, Brooklyn, from the Fulton Ferry Landing.
The Missoula Public Library
Since 1894, the Missoula Public Library has been working to provide programs, materials, and services to meet the informational, cultural, recreational, and educational needs of its patrons. Much has changed in the intervening years but two things have not changed: the library’s commitment to providing useful and relevant materials and the staff’s commitment to providing great service. Missoula Public Library offers free wireless internet access, 20-plus public internet stations, and two study rooms in addition to our print and audio-visual collections available for check-out. We also have a dedicated Young Adult Room for teens with computer access and lots of books and graphic novels. We recently added self-check out stations, self-hold pickup, and roving librarians to help you find what you need.
The Evergreen State College
The Evergreen State College is a public liberal arts college located in Olympia, Washington, between Seattle and Portland, in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. Evergreen attracts students inspired by the complexity of the world. Our model of learning prepares students for the way the world happens now, layering academic disciplines so students can focus on how they want to uniquely impact our ever-changing world. On a forested campus on the shores of Puget Sound, Evergreen offers two undergraduate and three master’s degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Environmental Studies, Master of Public Administration, and Master in Teaching.
Canadian devotees of the Good Gray Poet. As Flora MacDonald Denison said in 1916, "Not that Whitman needs monuments but Canada needs Whitman!"
New York Harbor Channel
New York Harbor Channel is a website dedicated to informing and educating travelers and tourists about special events and activities in New York City. NYHC Alerts lets you know of concerts; Interactive broadcasts or edgy educational podcasts; The Harbor is home to Navy tales, marine tracking and Right whales; Sea captains and ships perform the Harbor dance on an International platform; Inbound container traffic beam radio waves to the ocean galactic; Appealing to fanatic aquatics, from seasoned Tugboat crews; Bring news up and down the seaboard to freighters of Santa Cruz.
Parachute Literary Arts
Parachute Literary Arts celebrates, preserves and encourages Coney Island’s rich literary heritage through public performance, education, and outreach. We do this through our site-specific readings and events in iconic Coney Island locations and through our writing workshops and lending libraries. Founded in 2009, Parachute Literary Arts celebrates the literature of Coney Island. Parachute is the only organization entirely dedicated to the purpose of presenting Coney Island authors to the general public.