15th Annual “Song of Myself” Marathon

This event is part of the Walt Whitman Initiative, in celebration of Walt Whitman’s 199th Birthday.

This year’s “Song of Myself” marathon will be held on Saturday, June 9 at the Granite Prospect at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1.  There is a 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 free and will begin at 4:30 pm; readers, please arrive by 4:45 for a check-in.

You’re invited to stay for the whole two (or so) hours it usually takes us to read “Song of Myself,” or you can come and go as you please.

If you’d like to “yawp,” please email songofmyselfmarathon@gmail.com 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!  Folks have recited their passages in other languages, to music, in dramatic performance, by heart, in costume, with lassos, in yoga positions… celebrate Walt in your own way!

All the details are included on the poster below, designed by Megan Lee of the fabulous Pratt Design Corps team.  Please display and distribute to your poetic heart’s content!

If you’d like to start celebrating a little earlier, there is an event at the Brooklyn Historical Society this May 29th for “Walt Whitman Turns 199: Harbors, Heights, and a Brooklyn Celebration”— an immersive, multimedia exploration of Brooklyn’s role in Whitman’s coming-of-age as a poet:


The campaign to help protect Whitman’s only standing residence in NYC is still going strong!You can sign the petition, or spread the word if you’ve already done so:


 Stay tuned for more plans for Whitman’s 200th birthday next year, hosted by a new nonprofit, the Walt Whitman Initiative! Website will be up soon: http://waltwhitmaninitiative.org/