Library to Display Whitman Collections, Host 200th Birthday Party, Open House and Film Screening

Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) as photographed by Mathew Brady / Public Domain

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” Walt Whitman



My apologies to the people with email subscriptions for accidentally hitting the publish button before this was properly completed. 

The Library of Congress will celebrate the 200th anniversary of American poet and change-maker Walt Whitman’s birthday with a series of exhibits, public programs and a digital crowdsourcing campaign to showcase the Library’s unparalleled collections of Whitman’s writings and artifacts.

The Library’s Whitman Bicentennial series will be part of the citywide Walt Whitman 200 Festival and other commemorations in the Mid-Atlantic where Whitman spent most of his life. He spent about ten years living and writing in Washington. During the Civil War, he volunteered in military hospitals in the city to offer emotional support to wounded soldiers.

Whitman worked as a schoolteacher, printer, newspaper editor, journalist, carpenter, freelance writer and civil servant, but he is best known as one of America’s most famous poets – and as a poet of democracy.

The Library holds the most extensive array of Whitman and Whitman-related collections in the world, including manuscripts, rare books, prints and photographs. Collection items range from handwritten drafts of poems and early prose writings to rare editions of Leaves of Grass, Whitman’s eyeglasses and walking stick and the most famous studio portraits taken in his lifetime. The manuscript collections are digitized and available online, as are many photographs.

The Whitman Bicentennial series is part of a year-long initiative in 2019 inviting visitors to Explore America’s Change-makers.
___

By the People Crowdsourcing Campaign
April 24 – June

The Library’s crowdsourcing initiative “By the People” will launch a campaign April 24 to enlist the public to help transcribe several thousand pages of Whitman’s writings and papers to make them more searchable and accessible online. Documents selected for transcription will include samples of Whitman’s poetry, prose and correspondence, including versions of poems such as “Oh Captain! My Captain!” and fragments of poems Whitman published in more finished form in “Leaves of Grass.”

This is also a special opportunity for teachers and students to engage with Whitman’s creative process. Drafts and portions of his poems at various stages of composition reveal his active, creative mind, as well as his innovative ways of seeing the world and wordsmithing poetic expressions.

The Library will collaborate with the National Council of Teachers of English to host a Transcribe-a-Thon webinar on April 24 at 4 p.m. Eastern time. The one-hour event will bring together experts from the Library, NCTE and educators to discuss how students can analyze, transcribe, review and tag the Whitman papers. Registration is open to all and available here.
___

Whitman Bicentennial Display
May 16 – Aug. 15

To mark the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birth, the Library will display poetry, images and ephemera from Whitman’s life in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Five cases will display Whitman’s handwritten drafts, published poems, original letters, portraits and other rarely seen materials.

The display will retrace Whitman’s life, from his birthplace on Long Island, New York, his rise as an American poet, his life in Washington – including his intimate relationship with Peter Doyle, his care for Civil War soldiers and his admiration for Abraham Lincoln – his hands-on involvement with the design and publication of his poetry collection “Leaves of Grass” and pop culture references to Whitman and his legacy. It was “Leaves of Grass,” his break-through work of free verse celebrating democracy, sexuality, human potential, universalism and the natural world, that would earn Whitman worldwide fame.
___

Whitman in Culpeper
Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Packard Campus Theater, Culpeper, Virginia.

For two months in early 1864, Walt Whitman resided in Culpeper, Virginia, while serving as a volunteer in the Army of the Potomac’s nearby field hospitals. Despite the ravages the war had visited upon the area, Whitman described Culpeper as “one of the pleasantest towns in Virginia.”

Local historian Bud Hall will present a talk at the Library’s Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper about Whitman’s time in the area, followed by a screening of “Shenandoah” (Universal, 1965). Jimmy Stewart stars as a Virginia farmer intent on keeping his family out of the Civil War, but with the battles being fought almost literally on his doorstep, struggles to maintain his neutrality.
___

Happy Birthday Walt! – Digitized Walt Whitman Collections from the Manuscript Division
Thursday, May 30, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Manuscript Division historian Barbara Bair will host a webinar highlighting the content and research use of three digitized manuscript collections: the Walt Whitman Collection of miscellaneous manuscripts; the Charles Feinberg collection of Walt Whitman Papers; and the Thomas Harned collection of Walt Whitman Papers. She will also discuss programs celebrating Whitman’s birthday at the Library of Congress. More information is available here.
___

Walt Whitman’s Birthday Party
Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Young Readers Center will host a day for families that will celebrate Whitman and his legacy on June 1 in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Activities will include an author talk from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., featuring author Robert Burleigh and illustrator Sterling Hundley discussing their book “O Captain, My Captain: Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War;” a birthday party for Whitman at 11 a.m.; and a book signing at 11:15 a.m. A Whitman butterfly maker activity and handouts of “Walt Whitman’s Guide to Nature Walking” will be available all day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., visiting families are also invited to join in the Library’s crowdsourcing initiative “By the People” and help transcribe selections from Whitman’s writings and papers to make them more searchable and accessible online.
___

Walt Whitman Open House
Monday, June 3, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Library of Congress will present a Walt Whitman Open House display in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, supplementing the ongoing Whitman Bicentennial Display with even more treasures from the Library’s collections. The Open House will feature a special array of rarely seen Walt Whitman collection items from the Manuscript, Rare Book, Music, and Prints and Photographs divisions, as well as Serials and General Collections. The display will include items pertaining to Whitman’s time in Washington, but also other materials from throughout his life, including the walking cane given to him by nature writer John Burroughs, draft poems, artistic renderings of Whitman and rare editions of “Leaves of Grass.”

As part of the celebration, the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center will host a special showing of the new documentary short film “Walt Whitman: Citizen Poet,” directed by Haydn Reiss and Zinc Films and produced in association with the Poetry Foundation. Filmed in part at the Library of Congress, “Walt Whitman: Citizen Poet” features Poets Laureate Tracy K. Smith and Robert Hass, among other poets, discussing Whitman’s life, poetry and legacy.

A reading of Whitman’s poems from his Washington years will follow at the Folger Shakespeare Library that evening.
___

The Library of Congress is inviting visitors to Explore America’s Changemakers in 2019 through a series of exhibitions, events and programs. Exhibitions drawing from the Library’s collections will explore the fight for women’s suffrage, Rosa Parks’ groundbreaking role in civil rights history and artists’ responses to major issues of the day. Other events throughout the year will explore changemakers through music, performances and public programs.

This crowdsourcing initiative “By the People” reflects advancement toward a goal in the Library’s new user-centered strategic plan: to expand access, making unique collections, experts and services available when, where and how users need them. Learn more about the Library’s five-year plan at loc.gov/strategic-plan/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.  Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

This feature is courtesy of the Library of Congress and Wikipedia


ABOUT

THE SUNDAY POESY: Opportunities, Events and Other News

PBD - blogroll

CELEBRATING:

Mohammed Al Ajami, photo courtesy of PEN International
Mohammed Al Ajami, photo courtesy of PEN America

Mohammed al-Ajami Pardoned by Qatari Emir. It seems that the Government of Qatar has finally listened to the concerns of the United Nations and international community,” says ADHRB’s Executive Director, Husain Abdulla, “The Emir’s decision to pardon Mohammed al-Ajami is not only a victory for free expression over the forces of censorship and repression in Qatar, it is also a testament to the power of public, international pressure to improve human rights everywhere.” Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain

Distinguished English Poet, Myra Schneider, celebrates her 80th birthday this June. In honor of the upcoming occasion, The Poet by Day featured an interview with Myra that includes suggestions for novice poets: A Life Immersed  in Poetry: Myra Schneider Celebrating over 50 years as Poet and Writer.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS:

SELF-PUBLISHED WRITERS AND POETS:

  • You can register your book with Publishers Weekly and submit it for review via its BookLife platform HERE.
  •  Writer’s Digest Deadline for WD Self-Published Book Awards: April 1, 2016 … “here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 24th annual self-published competition–the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition, co-sponsored by Book Marketing Works, LLC spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.” Details HERE
  • Information on other self-published book awards is offer by The Book Designer HERE.

EVENTS:

unnamed-1April 16, 7-9 pm.

LITERARY PUB OR PERISH

Stickyz Rock N’ Roll Chicken Shack
107 River Market Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

Join Sharon Frye, Ayara Stein, Silva Zanoyan Merjanian, RJ Looney, Donnie Lamon, MH Clay and Justin Booth. You’ll find the bios of presenters HERE.

APRIL 14-17, The above event is part of the Little Rock, Arkansas Annual Literary Festival.

MARCH 21, 6-7pm in HumSS G27, University of Reading Whiteknights Campus. Poet, playwright, director, producer and teacher Mojisola Adebayo will give a talk on and reading from her work,  Mojisola Adebayo: Plays One (Oberon Books, 2012), on Monday 21 March, Mojisola will discuss her work with the Department’s expert on black British theatre, Nicola Abram. No charge and no reservation needed.

734866_1188351144510894_2329117433083661482_nMojisola Adebayo: Plays One includes the plays Moj of the Antarctic, Desert Boy, Matt Henson: North Star and Muhammad Ali and Me

Moj of the Antarctic is inspired by the true story of an African American woman who cross-dresses as a white man to escape slavery; taken on a fantastical odyssey to Antarctica.

Desert Boy, a time-travelling a capella musical, offers a sharp twist on the subject of knife crime, black youth and absent fathers.

Matt Henson, North Star is a biographical tale of Arctic betrayal, mixed with Greenlandic folk tales; all about love, climate and change.

Muhammad Ali and Me is a lyrical coming of age story, following the parallel struggles of a gay girl child growing up in foster care and the black Muslim boxing hero’s fight against racism and the Vietnam war.

APRIL 15: Special Poetry Issue of The BeZine. April, National Poetry Month in the United States, is celebrated as an international event at The BeZine. This year Contributing Editor Michael Dickel hosts and The Woven Tale Press is a partner. Poets featured include: Michael Rothenberg, Myra Schneider, Carolyn O’Connell, Terri Muuss, Dilys Wood, Liliana Negoi, Michael Dickel, Jamie Dedes, Imen Benyoub, Natasha Head and Aprilia Zank.

Notes: The Woven Tale Press offers a copy of their first Press Selected Works for free; and National Poetry Month is sponsored by the American Academy of Poets. Link HERE for activities in which you may join and to send for a free poster.

APRIL 21: Litquake Celebrates National Poetry Month at Gardenias: A Poets Supper; 1963 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115; featured poets include Kimberly Grey, D.A. Powell, and Solmaz Sharif. Details HERE.

JULY 3 – 18:  W/rites and Rhapsodies: Israel Writing Tour
Write! Tour! Perform! Listen! Learn! Feast! With tour leaders Adeena Karasick and Michael Dickel. Registration deadline: 15 April 2016 Link HERE Itinerary. Cost: $3,080, which does not include air fare, more details HERE. Register HERE.

SEPTEMBER 24:  is the next Global Event Day for 100,000 Poets for Change (peace, sustainability, social justice). Check out 100TPC.org for details on this initiative, to find events in your area and/or to register an event you’re organizing. Poets Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion are founders and hosts.

In honor of 100TPC, The BeZine is focusing on Environment and Environmental Justice this year. Message G Jamie Dedes on Facebook if you want to join our ongoing Facebook discussion group. Our September 15 issue of The BeZine is dedicated to Environmental subjects and hosted by Associate Editor, Priscilla Galasso. On the global event day, September 24, the Zine will sponsor a virtual event with reader participation. Michael Dickel hosts.

OCTOBER 17: Under the leadership of Terri Stewart, Beguine Again founder and managing editor, will host a 100,000 Beguines for Peace event. This interfaith effort will focus on spiritual topics. Details to come from Terri in months ahead. Beguine Again and The BeZine are sister sites and The Bardo Group Beguines support and often contribute to both sites. Terri Stewart is a Methodist Minister. Her popular Daily Practice posts on Beguine Again feature poetry, art and music to address timely topics in a conscious and prayerful manner.

OCTOBER 20-23: The 30th Annual Dodge Poetry Festival, the largest poetry festival in the United States will be held in Newark, New Jersey. Details HERE. Readings from past festivals are archived on YouTube HERE.

12523073_1671505789771540_1144084924930641637_nSAN FRANCISCO JAPAN TOWN 2016, 110th Anniversary: This is one of the only three remaining Japan towns in the United States. Events are scheduled throughout the year to celebrate culture and history. Of special interest are photographic displays, a book launch, a concert and performing arts nights. Details HERE.

THE POET BY DAY

TESTIMONY:  

“Here be inspiration. There are blogs and there are blogs. There is writing; there is poetry; there is art; there is human endeavour and there is ‘The Poet by Day’. Rarely, if ever, have I come across a web log like this, of such towering integrity. Seldom have I encountered such a willingness to subjugate self for the benefit not only of the art of the written word, but also for the benefit of poets and writers everywhere. Here be a deep well of inspiration.” Poet, essayist and musician: John Anstie (My Poetry Library)

MISSION STATEMENT:

  • to honor the place of poetry in our lives;
  • to acknowledge good poets, both established and emerging;
  • to encourage poetry for social and environmental justice;
  • to shine a light on women and minority poets and poets just finding their voices in maturity;
  • to encourage you in your writing and provide helpful information and resources;
  • to have fun, to laugh, to feel good … and to cry when that’s needed.

Disclosure