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Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site and Interpretive Center

Walking with Whitman:Poetry in Performance Featuring Ray McNiece & Pramila Venkateswaran

Saturday, November 2, 2013
7:00 - 9:00


Walt Whitman Birthplace Association is pleased to present the third season of its signature series Walking with Whitman: Poetry in Performance, a series of performances and presentations by some of the most intriguing figures in contemporary literature and the arts on the national scene, paired with respected voices on the regional scene. The series is hosted by Walt Whitman Birthplace Writer-in-Residence George Wallace.

This year WWBA is offering an optional poetry writing workshop series:

Writing with Whitman: Poetry Writing Workshops

Workshops will take place on the afternoons of the evening reading from 3 - 5 PM. The workshops will be conducted by the evening reading's regional poet and will give participants at all levels an opportunity for a more shared experience of poetry.


Saturday, November 2 (7-9 PM)

featuring Ray McNiece

with Pramila Venkateswaran

"Meet the Poets" Reception at 6:15 PM

Ray McNiece has earned a national reputation as a poet and performer for almost two decades through his solo theater pieces, his poetry and music shows, his captaining of two National Poetry Slam Championship teams, his "edutaining" children's shows and workshops, and his yearly country-wide tours of performance poems, stories and songs.

Ray is the author of six poetry books – Dis, The Bone-Orchard Conga, The Road that Carried Me Here, Song that Fathoms Home, Wet Sand Raven Tracks – New Haiku, and Us? Talking Across America, two solo theatre works – DisVoices From a Shelter, Us? Talking Across America, two music/poetry collaborations – Mouth Music, A Rust bowl Hootenanny, and one collaborative theatre work – Homegirl meets Whiteboy -- with Shawn Jackson. He also co-edited the anthology of Contemporary Buddhist Poetry, America Zen. The Orlando Sentinel reporting on Ray’s solo show at the Fringe Festival called him “a modern day descendant of Woody Guthrie. He has a way with words and a wry sense of humor.” In a review of his second theatre work, Us? Talking Across America, the Star-Phoenix said, “His thoughtful writing combines with perfectly timed delivery to create a powerful wordscape that owes as much to jazz as drama.” He was the voice of Woody Guthrie in WCPN/NPR’s award winning radio documentary, Hard Travellin’.

Ray is also an accomplished actor and has appeared in plays at Ensemble, Dobama, Cleveland Public and Cleveland Playhouse theatres.







Pramila Venkateswaran is the author of Thirtha (Yuganta Press, 2002), Behind Dark Waters (Plain View Press, 2008), Draw Me Inmost (Stockport Flats, 2009), and Trace (Finishing Line Press,2011), has a doctorate from George Washington University and teaches English and Women’s Studies at Nassau Community College, New York. A finalist for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award in 1999 and a recipient of a Hedgebrook residency in 2002 and a Norcroft residency in August 2003, she has published in Paterson Literary Review, Ariel: A Review of International English Literature, Atlanta Review, Prairie Schooner, Xanadu, Long Island Quarterly, Calyx: Journal of Art and Literature by Women, California Quarterly, Kavya Bharati, and Nassau Review, among several other print and electronic journals. Recent anthologies, A Chorus for Peace, En(Compass) and Writing the Lines of Our Hands, include her voice among poets from around the world. She reads her poems internationally, most recenly at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Her essays on literature, gender, and politics, appear in Women's Studies Quarterly, Socialism and Democracy, and Journal of Postcolonial Writing, among many others.

Ms. Venkateswaran will be conducting a poetry writing workshop as part of the Writing with Whitman series from 3-5 PM in the Interpretive Center.



For tickets call 631-427-5240 ext. 115

purchase tickets online


Walking with Whitman: Poetry in Performance:
Reading Tickets  $10     

Reading Event with Workshop   $15    

Tickets for individual events are also available at the door.




This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. with public funds from New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.