8:30 PM EST
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.