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Upcoming Events

WWBA 2023 Poet in Residence Kwame Dawes Workshop & Reading

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA) announces a day of poetry featuring our 2023 Poet in Residence, Kwame Dawes, on Saturday, May 20, 2023. Kwame will facilitate a three-hour Master Class in poetry writing from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm and a one-hour poetry reading from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site, located at 246 Old Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station, NY, 11746. The 2023 annual Poet-in-Residence program is proudly sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

Workshop (includes reading) – Members $55/Non-members $65

Class Audit – Members $20/Non-members $25

Reading – Members $10/Non-members $15

Purchase tickets >>


“The poet’s language is vivid and visceral; his courage and honesty blaze a path in poem after poem. This is the music of survival and transcendence. Indeed, the poetry of Kwame Dawes makes the impossible possible.” —Martin Espada

“Kwame Dawes is one of the most important writers of his generation who has built a mighty and lasting body of work…” —Elizabeth Alexander

“Majestic is the word that comes to mind reading the finely wrought poems of Kwame Dawes…a sublime talent is needed to fashion poems of such capacious grace and energy.” —Terrance Hayes

Born in Ghana in 1962, Kwame Dawes spent most of his childhood and early adult life in Jamaica. He is a writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and plays. As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and textures of Ghana, citing in an interview his “spiritual, intellectual, and emotional engagement with reggae music.” Indeed, his book Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius remains the most authoritative study of the lyrics of Bob Marley.

Dawes is an actor, playwright, and producer, an accomplished storyteller, broadcaster, and was the lead singer in Ujamaa, a reggae band. Fifteen of his plays have been produced, and he has acted in, directed, or produced several of these productions himself, most recently One Love at the Lyric Hammersmith in London. Commissioned by Talawa, Britian’s leading black theatre company, and inspired by Rogert Mais’ classic novel Brotherman, One Love takes us to the heart of the Jamaican soul, as actors, dancers, singers, life musicians, and a DJ draw on influences such as Bob Marley and Lee “Scratch” Perry to tell this powerful parable of desire and denial. Through the years, Dawes has collaborated with musicians and artists to create a dynamic series of performances based on his poetry that have proven to be some of the most compelling and challenging presentations of poetry being performed today. Wisteria is a multimedia performance with composer Kevin Simmonds, who set the poems from Dawes’ book of the same name, to music. The result is an evening-length performance that explores the life of women who lived through the Jim Crow period in Sumter, South Carolina.

In 2022, Dawes was named the 2022 Brittle Paper Literary Person of the Year. Until July 2011, Dawes was Distinguished Poet in Residence, Louis Frye Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts, and founder and executive director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative. He was the director of the University of South Carolina Arts Institute and is the Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival, which takes place in Jamaica in May of each year. Dawes is currently the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska, where he is a Chancellor’s Professor of English, a faculty member of Cave Canem, and a teacher in the Pacific MFA Program in Oregon.

In 2009, Dawes won an Emmy for LiveHopeLove.com, an interactive site based on his Pulitzer Center project, HOPE: Living and loving with AIDS in Jamaica. It has also won other accolades, including a People’s Voice Webby Award, and was the inspiration for the music/spoken word performance Wisteria & HOPE which premiered at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina. In 2011, Dawes reported on HIV AIDS after the earthquake in Haiti; and his poems, blogs, articles, and documentary work were a key part of the post-earthquake Haiti reporting by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting that won the National Press Club Joan Friedenberg Award for Online Journalism.

Of his sixteen collections of poetry, his most recent titles include Nebraska (UNP, 2019), Duppy Conqueror (Copper Canyon, 2013), shortlisted for the PEN Open Book Award; Wheels (2011); Back of Mount Peace (2009); Hope’s Hospice (2009); Wisteria, finalist for the Patterson Memorial Prize; Impossible Flying (2007); and Gomer’s Song (2007). Progeny of Air (Peepal Tree, 1994) was the winner of the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection in the UK. Other poetry collections include Resisting the Anomie (Goose Lane, 1995); Prophets (Peepal Tree, 1995); Jacko Jacobus, (Peepal Tree, 1996); and Requiem, (Peepal Tree, 1996), a suite of poems inspired by the illustrations of African American artist Tom Feelings in his landmark book The Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo; and Shook Foil (Peepal Tree, 1998), a collection of reggae-inspired poems. His book, Midland, was awarded the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize by the Ohio University Press (2001). Dawes was a winner of a Pushcart Prize for the best American poetry of 2001 for his long poem, “Inheritance.” His seventeenth collection, City of Bones, was published in 2017 along with two UK releases Vuelo: Poemas, a translation of Gustavo Osorio and Speak from Here to There: Poems written along with John Kinsella. He was also among the 2018 recipients for the Windham-Campbell Prize for Poetry.

He has published two novels: Bivouac (Akashic Books, 2009 & 2019) and She’s Gone (2007), winner of the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Best First Novel. In 2007 he released A Far Cry From Plymouth Rock: A Personal Narrative. His essays have appeared in numerous journals including Bomb Magazine, The London Review of Books, Granta, Essence, World Literature Today, and Double Take Magazine.

Dawes is also the editor of several anthologies: Bearden’s Odyssey: Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden (Northwestern University Press), A Bloom of Stones: A Tri-Lingual Anthology of Haitian Poems After the Earthquake (Peepal Tree Press), New Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Boxset (Akashic Books), When the Rewards Can Be So Great: Essays on Writing and the Writing Life (Pacific University Press), Hold Me to an Island: Caribbean Place: An Anthology of Writing, Home is Where: An Anthology of African American Poetry from the Carolinas (Hub City, 2011), and Red: Contemporary Black Poetry (Peepal Tree Press, 2010).

He is a regular blogger for the Poetry Foundation; his blogs can be read at www.poetryfoundation.org.



This program is made possible with funds from Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, NY State Parks, Suffolk County, Town of Huntington, and NYS Council on the Arts through Huntington Arts Council.

Date: Saturday, May 20, 2023
Start Time: 1:00 pm EST
$10 - $65

Walking With Whitman: Poetry In Performance

WWBA mourns the loss of beloved poet Wendy Barker. We offer our condolences to her family and friends.

With sorrow, Walking With Whitman: Poetry in Performance on May 5th is cancelled

Date: Friday, May 5, 2023
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

I Love My Park Day

Join us at WWBA for New York State I Love My Park Day on Saturday, May 6, 2023, 10AM-3PM, and help clean up a local park. Clean out garden beds, prune shrubs, plant flower and vegetable gardens, and power wash walk ways.

Registration Link Coming Soon!


Date: Saturday, May 6, 2023
Start Time: 10:00 am EST

Walking With Whitman: Poetry in Performance –  Canio Pavone, Paula Curci, Linda Sussman

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA) presents  “Walking With Whitman: Poetry in Performance,” hosted by Writer-in-Residence George Wallace. The signature series, now in its 13th season, continues to bring the most intriguing figures in contemporary literature on the national scene paired with local poets on the Walt Whitman Stage.

Friday, April 7th Walking With Whitman will feature poets Canio Pavone, founder of Canio’s Books in Greenport, New York, and Paula Curci, the 2022-2024 Nassau County, New York, Poet Laureate. The evening will also feature live music by Singer-Songwriter Linda Sussman.  Join us for this exciting event!

Refreshments will be served. No registration is required. There is a $10 entry fee for this event that will be collected at the door or can be paid in advance, see button below.



Canio Pavone is founder of Canio’s Books, an independent bookstore and one of Sag Harbor’s true institutions. He ran the bookstore from 1980-1999 and can still be found there on select Mondays. The bookstore features new, used and collectibles, is well known as a literary gathering place.

During his tenure at Harborfields High School in Greenlawn, Canio taught romance languages, including Italian and Spanish, and was the first teacher on Long Island to be accredited to teach Japanese.

In 1990, he retired from teaching to start his own small press, Canio Editions, dedicated to publishing Long Island Poets and and writers, a notable venture.  Canio received an honorary doctorate in letters from Southampton College.


Paula Curci was affirmed the 2022-2004 Nassau County Poet Laureate. She is an award-winning performance poet, radio broadcaster and counselor. Paula is a Journal to the Self™ Certified Journal instructor and co-hosts an open mic at the Long Beach, NY, Library where she spearheads the “It’s a Shore Thing” micro-memoir project.

Presently she hosts and produces Calliope’s Corner – The Place Where Poets and Songwriters Meet on WWW. WRHU.ORG and 88.7FM Radio Hofstra University.  Paula also produces What’s the Buzz ®, a public service announcement segment. She currently serves as  the Poet in Residence for WRHU.  Paula is a co-founding member of the poetry and music band, the Acoustic Poets Network ™ and is known for theg esthetic style of poetry she calls Posics™.

Paula has published three chapbooks: “One Woman’s Cathartic Release in Poetry”, “The Gift of Thanksgiving” and a print version of her CD lyrics called “Done That: Poetry and Posics™” and her work has also appeared in several anthologies. She has also produced three spoken word CDs with the Acoustic Poets Network ™.

As a School Counselor for more than thirty years, Paula directed several youth development service-learning programs. She is a Steer Clear of Bullies© elementary school presenter. Steer Clear is an anti-bullying and violence prevention program provided to schools from the Safe Center of Long Island.  She is also  a certified Journal to the Self ™ journal writing instructor and has presented Poetry as a Therapeutic tool to counselors at LICAC. She was also a presenter at the WWBA-Pow Wow.

Paula has worked in broadcasting for over twenty  years and was awarded a GRACIE from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, for her informational broadcast on the “Female Face of Alzheimers.”

Paula studied Psychology and Communications at Adelphi University, where she is a proud alumnus of both the WE CARE Crisis Hotline and WBAU.  She received her Master’s in School Counseling Education and an Advanced Professional Diploma in Educational Leadership from C.W. Post-Long Island University.


Linda Sussman (LindaSussman.com) is an award-winning singer-songwriter whose versatile vocals and guitar style cross boundaries of alternative-folk and blues. Her music, which has ranked #1 on the Roots Music Report’s weekly Alternative Folk Album Chart, spans universal topics from heartache and triumphs to calls for social justice and can be heard on radio programs in both the US and abroad. The many stages she has played range from the iconic New York City venue The Bitter End to Radio Bean in Burlington, VT. Over the past five years, Linda has released four full-length albums and several singles, all of which are available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, etc.



Make a meaningful gift to support our poetry programs:  https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/2197152


This program is made possible with funds from Poets and Writers, Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, NY State Parks, Suffolk County, Town of Huntington, and NYS Council on the Arts through Huntington Arts Council.

Date: Friday, April 7, 2023
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

Cost: $ 10

Diverse Voices in May

On Sunday, May 7, 2023, 1:00PM, Walt Whitman Birthplace Association presents an in-person event, “Diverse Voices in May,” featuring three distinct poetic voices, Indran Amirthanayagam of Washington D.C., Sara Cahill Marron of Long Island, and Natalie E. Amazan, 2016 WWBA Student Poetry Writing Contest First Place winner. Drawing from their cultural backgrounds and infused with their personal philosophies, these three poets of diverse age, profession, and poetic style will join their voices to reflect the HOPE that each May brings for growth, new life, and change.

Indran Amirthanayagam, who holds a “world record” for publishing three poetry collections written in three different languages, reads from his book “Ten Thousand Steps Against the Tyrant.” Sara Cahill Marron, Associate Editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly and publisher at Beltway Editions, reads from her book “Call Me Spes.” Natalie E. Amazan, published in anthologies, journals, and other publications, reads from her first published poetry collection, “Still.” 



Indran Amirthanayagam produced a “world record” in 2020 publishing three poetry collections written in three different languages. He writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. He has published twenty two poetry books, including Isleño (R.I.L. Editores)Blue Window (translated by Jennifer Rathbun) (Diálogos Books), Ten Thousand Steps Against the Tyrant (BroadstoneBooks.com), The Migrant StatesCoconuts on MarsThe Elephants of Reckoning (winner 1994 Paterson Poetry Prize), Uncivil War and The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems. In music, he recorded Rankont Dout. He edits the Beltway Poetry Quarterly (www.beltwaypoetry.com); writes https://indranamirthanayagam.blogspot.com; writes a weekly poem for Haiti en Marche and El Acento; has received fellowships from the Foundation for the Contemporary Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, The US/Mexico Fund for Culture and the Macdowell Colony. He is the IFLAC Word Poeta Mundial 2022. In 2021, he won an Emergent Seed grant. His poem “ Free Bird” has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and he hosts The Poetry Channel https://youtube.com/user/indranam. His new book, Origami: Selected Poems of Manuel Ulacia, has just been published by Dialogos Books. Another collection, Powèt nan po la (Poet of the Port), is forthcoming. Indran publishes poetry books with Sara Cahill Marron at Beltway Editions (www.beltwayeditions.com).

Sara Cahill Marron is the author of Reasons for the Long Tu’m (Broadstone Books, 2018), Nothing You Build Here, Belongs Here (Kelsay Books 2021), and Call Me Spes (MadHat Press 2022), and is the Associate Editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly and publisher, with partner in poetry Indran Amirthanayagam, at Beltway Editions (www.beltwayeditions.com). Her work has been published widely in literary magazines and journals such as Gravel, Atlas + AliceMeniscus, Cordella, Newtown Literary, South Florida Poetry Journal, Golden Walkman, Lunch Ticket, and other anthologies, available at www.saracahillmarron.com.

Nathalie E. Amazan (she/her) is a Haitian American poet and writer from Long Island, New York. Nathalie’s writing strives to move people to recognize the power within our souls to love, be loved, and change to create more peaceful ways of being. When Nathalie was 17, she was a Grand Champion of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association Poetry Contest. Since then, she has performed in several venues and has been published in anthologies, journals, and other publications including in the Poetic Justice: An Anthology of Poems by Muslims (Strange Inc. Press), Button Poetry’s 2021 Video Contest, Jabberwocky Undergraduate Literary Journal at UMass Amherst, and the Falastin Magazine by the Palestinian American Community Center (PACC). One can find her writings at natamazan.com andnatamazan.medium.com. One can connect with her by looking up her handle, @natamazan, on all social media platforms.



This program is made possible with funds from Poets & Writers, NY State Parks, Suffolk County, Town of Huntington, and NYS Council on the Arts through Huntington Arts Council.

Date: Sunday, May 7, 2023
Start Time: 1:00 pm EST

WWBA & David Mills Present “Boneyarn” – Poems & Narratives About Slavery In New York City

Join us in-person or Livestream on YouTube @WaltWhitmanBirthplace – March 24th, 7:00 – 8:30PM

David Mills reads from his poetry collection, Boneyarn, and shares his poems and narratives about three prominent Black figures who are buried in New York’s City’s African Burial Ground, America’s oldest and largest slave cemetery. Through the voices of the departed slaves, Mills shares stories about George Johnson (the first negro recording star, recording songs with Thomas Edison’s record label), Victoria Matthews (writer for the NY Times), and Millie Tunnell and their historic legacies along with those of Jupiter Hammon (first published negro poet who was enslaved in Oyster Bay, NY).  The burial ground, opened from 1712 to 1795, is located in the vicinity of current day Wall Street and holds fifteen thousand enslaved and free Blacks, some Native Americans and poor whites.  Boneyarn includes writings about childhood chimney sweeps, sailors of the Atlantic, fighters in the Revolutionary War, and those who built the “wall” where Wall Street gets its name.

Mr. Mills holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and NYU. He’s published four collections: Boneyarn ( award -winning and first book of poems about slavery in NYC), The Dream Detective, The Sudden Country and After Mistic. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Brooklyn Rail, Colorado Review, Crab Orchard Review, Jubilat, Callaloo, The Common, Worcester Review, Brooklyn Rail, Rattapallax and Fence. He has received fellowships from NYFA, Breadloaf, the Poetry Society of Virginia Book Award, a Flushing Town Hall Grant, a Schomburg Library Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship, the Lannan Foundation, the Queens Council on the Arts, the Bronx Council on the Arts, Washington College and The American Antiquarian Society. He lived in Langston Hughes’ landmark home and was a recipient of the Langston Hughes Society Award. He wrote the audio script for the Whitney Museum exhibition: Reflections in Black:100 Years of Black Photography. The Juilliard School of Drama commissioned his play The Serpent and the Dove. He has recorded his poetry on ESPN and RCA Records and had a poem displayed at the Venice Biennale.

Admission is Free.

This program is made possible with funds from NY State Parks, Suffolk County, Town of Huntington.

Date: Friday, March 24, 2023
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

ZOOM Six-Week Reading & Discussion Series: “Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War”

Sponsored by Humanities NY – Six Wednesday evenings, 6:00-7:30PM – April 12, 19, 26 & May 3, 10, 17  (2023)  – ZOOM only

Theme – “Land, Liberty & Loss: Echoes of the American Revolution”

Book – Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War by Lisa Brooks

  • One time registration fee:  $10 Registration Fee
  • Watch for the ZOOM link from  events@waltwhitman.org. The link will be sent the first week of the book discussion. The same link will be used for all 6 sessions.
  • You can purchase a copy of Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War online, or borrow a copy from your local library.

Sarah Kautz is an archaeologist, historical anthropologist, and preservation planner with nearly 20 years of professional experience. She has worked collaboratively with stakeholders and governments in the United States, Japan, and South Africa to study and preserve heritage sites. Her work seeks to make understandings of the past relevant and useful in our everyday lives. Click here for Sarah Kautz bio.



Facilitator Sarah Kautz presents Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War, a book selection by Humanities NY for their Series “Land, Liberty & Loss: Echoes of the American Revolution.” Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War offers a thought-provoking account of conflict, captivity, resistance, and survival from an Indigenous perspective. Focusing on the experiences of Weetamoo (a female Wampanoag leader) and James Printer (a Nipmuc scholar), this book gives readers fresh insight into commonly heard stories about the period, such as Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, in which both Weetamoo and James Printer appear. In this discussion group, we will consider how legacies of settler colonialism frame American history. We will also explore how Our Beloved Kin opens up new possibilities for re-telling American history.

The Digital Companion website for Our Beloved Kin includes visualizations and additional content developed by the author, including links to Maps (the full color maps created for each chapter), Documents (images of original manuscripts and other documents associated with each chapter) and/or Connections (maps and documents in historical and geographical context, contemporary images of places and other related media).


April 12

Introductions, review the reading list, and discuss the major themes of our readings.


  • Our Beloved Kin “Introduction: The Absence of Presence”
  • Our Beloved Kin “Prologue: Caskoak, the Place of Peace”

Recommended (videos):

  • We Still Live Here–Âs Nutayuneân, documentary about the revitalization of the Wampanoag language https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3h1myn. As you read Our Beloved Kin, you’ll encounter many Wampanoag words. Does language matter in the stories we tell? Why?
  • Partnership of Historic Bostons lecture: Whose Name, Whose Place? Native Placenames In Southern New England (September 2022) https://historicbostons.org/events/1


April 19

Our Beloved Kin–Part 1, The Education of Weetahmoo and James Printer: Exchange, Diplomacy, Dispossession


  • Chapter 1: Namumpum, “Our Beloved Kinswoman,” Saunkskwa of Pocasset: Bonds, Acts, Deeds
  • Chapter 2: The Harvard Indian College Scholars and the Algonquian Origins of American Literature
  • Interlude: Nashaway, Nipmuc Country, 1643–1674


April 26

Our Beloved Kin–Part 2, No Single Story: Multiple Views on the Emergence of War


  • Chapter 3: The Queen’s Right and the Quaker’s Relation
  • Chapter 4: Here Comes the Storm
  • Chapter 5: The Printer’s Revolt: A Narrative of the Captivity of James the Printer


May 3

Our Beloved Kin–Part 3, Colonial Containment and Networks of Kinship Expanding the Map of Captivity, Resistance, and Alliance


  • Chapter 6: The Roads Leading North: September 1675–January 1676
  • Interlude: “My Children Are Here and I Will Stay” Menimesit, January 1676
  • Chapter 7: The Captive’s Lament: Reinterpreting Rowlandson’s Narrative

Recommended (video):


May 10

Our Beloved Kin–Part 4, The Place of Peace and the Ends of War


  • Chapter 8: Unbinding the Ends of War
  • Chapter 9: The Northern Front, Beyond Replacement Narratives


May 17

At our last meeting, we will have an open discussion of Our Beloved Kin. We will also discuss how Our Beloved Kin inspires retelling Long Island’s colonial history from an Indigenous perspective.





This Series is Sponsored by a Humanities New York Reading and Discussion Grant.

This program is made possible with funds from NY State Parks, Suffolk County, Town of Huntington, and NYS Council on the Arts through Huntington Arts Council.

Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Start Time: 6:00 pm EST

Cost: $ 10

ENTRY DEADLINE – Gwenn A. Nusbaum/WWBA Poets to Come Scholarship

Poetry Scholarship – Ages 25–35!

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA) invites applications for the annual Gwenn A. Nusbaum / WWBA “Poets To Come” Scholarship Award. The $1500 scholarship is offered in the spirit of Walt Whitman’s poem of that title: “POETS to come!

Deadline April 3, 2023

Applications are sought from those poets at the beginning of their careers, ages 25–35 years. Finalist notified May 15, 2023.

Learn more >>

Date: Monday, April 3, 2023


We can keep our weekly online programs and community engagement going only with the support of individuals like you. Contributions in any amount are greatly appreciated! To donate by phone using your credit card, call (631) 427-5240 on Wednesday or Thursday to speak to the office administrator. To donate by mail, write out your check to Walt Whitman Birthplace Association and include the reason for your donation in the memo line. Mail your check to:

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association
246 Old Walt Whitman Road
Huntington Station, NY 11746


Members Receive:

  • Free admission to the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site and Interpretive Center
  • Exclusive WWBA seasonal newsletter
  • Members-only emails with programs and offers at member prices
  • 10% discounts on museum shop purchases
  • 10% discounts on museum space rentals for private events

2022 Student Poetry Contest

The year 2022 brings a sense of renewal, especially after one of the world’s worst pandemics. Renewal is defined as replenishing or to fill with inspiration. Renewal makes us think of rebirth, growth, or re-growth. Renewal allows us to imagine and dream. Renewal gives us hope. Click below to learn more about this year’s poetry contest focused on Renewal!