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WWBA 2023 Series: Legacy of Long Island’s First Peoples, Program 3 – Long Island Native Americans’ Boarding School Experience

Join us on Thursday, September 21st, for our 3rd program in WWBA 2023 Series: Legacy of Long Island’s First Peoples, Long Island Native Americans’ Boarding School Experience featuring Marguerite Smith, Esq. 

See below for ZOOM link and information.

The Indian Boarding School Movement began with the missionary and charity Indian schools in the New England region in the early 1700s.  Montaukett youth like David, George, and Jacob Fowler experienced being educated by missionaries during the beginning years of the Great Awakening.  By 1819, the US Government got involved and operated 408 Native American Boarding Schools.

These schools were ostensibly created to help “educate” Indian children; however, according to a government report released in 1969, it was a deceptive attempt, “to separate a child from his reservation and family, strip him of his tribal lore and mores, force the complete abandonment of his native language, and prepare him for never again returning to his people.” Moreover, the abuse of these children was so egregious, it is estimated that as many as 40,000 children died in these institutions.   Despite the enormity of these crimes, most people know very little about either the missionary, charity, or the US Government operated schools.

Marguerite Smith, Esq., a respected attorney and advocate for health and justice, will introduce you to the experiences of Shinnecock Nation members, who attended boarding schools in the 1900s. Smith has been a member of the Board of Directors of the First Nations Development Institute, since the mid-1980s and serves as one of its representatives on the Board of First Nations Oweesta Corporation. She is an enrolled Shinnecock, and she maintains her residence on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation.  Smith has been instrumental in advancing Native rights, economic development, cultural preservation and health promotions of her Native Nation and others.

This is a FREE event.

Marguerite Smith is an enrolled citizen of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, involved in many community activities including serving on  “Steering Committee” of Shinnecock Council of Elders”. She was born in Southampton and, after living in NYC, CT, and elsewhere on Long Island, is  residing again on Shinnecock Territory (aka Shinnecock Indian Reservation).  She is a practicing attorney who has long been involved in advocacy on issues concerning Native people, women, children, people of color, for the environment and  involving workplace issues, with individual, corporate, tribal & other governmental clients. She is also Vice-President of the Board of Directors of  First Nations Development Institute, which supports Native projects across United States and promotes  philanthropic efforts of  others.

Zoom Information:

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Meeting ID:
858 6637 3768

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This event is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by The Huntington Arts Council, Inc.


Date: Thursday, September 21, 2023
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

Y.A.W.P.: Young Artists and Writers Party

Join us at the Walt Whitman Birthplace for an open mic night, Y.A.W.P.: Young Artists and Writers Party, Thursday, September 14, 7:00 to 9:00PM.

Come share your poetry, prose, short plays, music, and visual art with other like-minded creatives. Performances are on a first come, first served basis. Performers may come up on stage, briefly introduce themselves, and present their piece(s). Performances are approximately 5-7 minutes each. Easels are available to display visual art pieces.

RSVPs are suggested through the Google Form below but are not required!

$5 donation suggested upon entry

Date: Thursday, September 14, 2023
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST
Suggested Donation: $ 5

Fall Reading & Discussion Book Group – The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of US History

WWBA is delighted to present our Fall Humanities Book Series, The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of US History by Ned Blackhawk. A sweeping and overdue retelling of U.S. history that recognizes that Native Americans are essential to understanding the evolution of modern America. The most enduring feature of U.S. history is the presence of Native Americans, yet most histories focus on Europeans and their descendants. This long practice of ignoring Indigenous history is changing, however, with a new generation of scholars insists that any full American history address the struggle, survival, and resurgence of American Indian nations. Indigenous history is essential to understanding the evolution of modern America. Ned Blackhawk interweaves five centuries of Native and non‑Native histories, from Spanish colonial exploration to the rise of Native American self-determination in the late twentieth century.

EVERY OTHER Thursday evening 7:00-8:30PM
ZOOM: 9/14, 9/28, 10/5, 10/19, 11/2

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 899 4709 4190

Book: The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of US History



Educator Mandy Jackson is a member of the Montaukett Indian Nation and facilitator/discussion leader of the Montaukett Indian Nation Book Club. She is a member of the Montaukett Womens Circle, served as a member of the Suffolk County Native American Advisory Board, and is an advocate for the Montaukett people. Additional outreach includes participation in the virtual presentation “Exploring the Spring Sky: A Northeastern Native American Perspective” in collaboration with the Hamptons Observatory and Amagansett Library. As facilitator/moderator of discussion related to an Indigenous film documentary, including book and panelist discussion Bayshore- Brightwaters Library, New York “Communication, interaction, discussion…”(Newsday, “The Pages of History, February 27, 2023, pg.E3).


Syllabus and Schedule

Week 1:  September 14th – Part 1- Intro, Chapters 1 & 2

Introduction   1

American Genesis: Indians and the Spanish Borderlands   pg. 17
The Native Northeast and the Rise of British North America   pg. 48

Week 2:  September 28th – Chapters 3 & 4

The Unpredictability of Violence: Iroquoia and New France to 1701   pg. 73
The Native Inland Sea: The Struggle for the Heart of the Continent   pg. 106

Week 3:  October 5th – Chapters 5 & 6

Settler Uprising: The Indigenous Origins of the American Revolution   pg. 139
Colonialism’s Constitution: The Origins of Federal Indian Policy  pg. 176

Week 4:  October 19th – Part II- Struggles For Sovereignty – Chapters 7 & 8

The Deluge of Settler Colonialism: Democracy and Dispossession in the Early Republic   pg. 211
Foreign Policy Formations: California, the Pacific, and the Borderlands Origins of the Monroe Doctrine   pg. 250

Week 5:  November 2nd – Chapters 9 & 10

Collapse and Total War: The Indigenous West and the U.S. Civil War  pg. 289
Taking Children and Treaty Lands: Laws and Federal Power during the Reservation Era  pg. 329

Week 6:  November 16th – Chapters 11 & 12 Wrap / Roundtable (In-person at WWBA)

Indigenous Twilight at the Dawn of the Dawn of the Century: Native Activists and the Myth of Indian Disappearance   pg. 365
From Termination to Self-Determination: Native American Sovereignty in the Cold War Era   pg. 408



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




Date: Thursday, September 14, 2023
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST
Suggested Donation: $ 5

Walking With Whitman: Poetry in Performance – Lola Koundakjian, Anna C. Martinez, Linda Sussman – Open Mic added – Bring your Poems!

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA) presents  “Walking With Whitman: Poetry in Performance.”  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, September 1st, Walking With Whitman will feature Armenian poet Lola Koundakjian, and slam poet Anna Martinez. The evening will also feature a special guest host, the new Suffolk County Poet Laureate, Deborah Hauser, and have 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.



Lola Koundakjian ( is an Armenian poet, editor and translator living in New York City since 1979. She runs the Dead Armenian Poetry Society and curates and produces poems and audio for the online Armenian Poetry Project. Lola’s translations from Western Armenian to English are in Ararat Quarterly, Rattapallax, Poetry International at SDSU, with more scheduled in Wassafiri in 2024. Since 2010, Lola has read her work at six international poetry festivals. In 2021 her third book — The Moon in the Cusp on my Hand — won the Minas and Kohar Tololyan Prize in Contemporary Literature. Lola serves on the board of the International Armenian Poetry Association (

Anna Martinez is a mother, grandmother, performance/competitive/slam poet, and civil rights attorney. Born in Los Angeles at the height of its civil rights movements, she was then raised from school age in Española, New Mexico. Anna Martinez has been named the 2022-2023 Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, NM. She is also the in-house poet at Las Pistoleras Instituto Cultural de Arte in Taos and has held titles as ABQ Chicano/a City Slam Champ, XXX Haiku City Champ, and 2019 City Slam Champ for team Mindwell Slam. She is also on the board of directors for Burque Revolt Poetry Slam and opens her home for free to touring poets. She lives in Albuquerque.

Linda Sussman ( 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.

Deborah HauserPoet, feminist, activist, certified ennui therapist, and fairy tale revisionist. Deborah Hauser is the author of Ennui: From the Diagnostic and Statistical Field Guide of Feminine Disorders. Her poems and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Ms. MagazineWomen’s Review of BooksKenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Bellevue Literary Review, and Calyx. Her work explores the intersection of poetry and activism. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has taught literature and writing at Stony Brook University and Suffolk County Community College. She has featured at the Northeast Modern Language Association, New York University, Newman University, KGB Bar, Walt Whitman Birthplace, and Bowery Poetry Club. She has presented her academic work at conferences including the Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference and graduate conferences at The City University of New York and Stony Brook University. She curates and hosts a monthly reading series at Jack Jack’s Coffee House for the Babylon Village Arts Council, is an Associate Editor at Poetrybay, the Secretary of the Suffolk County Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and a Long Island Poetry and Literature Repository Board Member. She leads a double life on Long Island where she works in the insurance industry.



Make a meaningful gift to support our poetry programs:


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, September 1, 2023
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

Cost: $ 10

WWBA 2023 Series: Legacy of Long Island’s First Peoples, Program 2 – Eugenics Study Of Long Island’s Native Americans

Join us on Thursday, August 17th, for the second event in our WWBA 2023 Series: Legacy of Long Island’s First Peoples: Eugenics Study Of Long Island’s Native Americans featuring Dr. John Strong, PhD.

This event is Zoom only.

Eugenics is the discredited 19th century pseudoscience dedicated to “perfecting” humanity by limiting the reproductive rights of those deemed genetically “inferior.”  Emphasis was placed on various ethnicities and races.  Among the many groups oppressed was the Long Island Native American Community.  Between (1910-1939), the Eugenics Record Office was located at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.


Dr. John Strong, PhD. a noted historian and scholar of American studies has been hailed as “The leading ethnohistorian on Long Island.”  After more than 50 years of teaching, researching, lecturing, and publishing he wrote, America’s Early Whalemen: Indian Shore Whalers on Long Island, 1650-1750.  Strong is also the author of numerous other books, including The Montaukett Indians of Eastern Long Island and The Unkechaug Indians of Eastern Long Island, as well as many scholarly articles about the history, culture, and heritage of the Long Island Native American community.

John A. Strong is a Professor Emeritus of History and American Studies at Long Island University. He has authored numerous journal articles on the Indian peoples of Long Island, and is the author of four major books, including: The Algonquian Peoples of Long Island From Earliest Times to 1700; “We Are Still Here”: The Algonquian Peoples of Long Island Today; The Montaukett Indians of Eastern Long Island; and The Unkechaug People of Eastern Long Island .


This event is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by The Huntington Arts Council, Inc.

Date: Thursday, August 17, 2023
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

Walt Whitman and Chinese Poetry | Wang Jiaxin 王家新

Discover the Role Whitman Played in the Chinese Modern Poetry Revolution
Poet, essayist, and translator Wang Jiaxin presents Whitman’s influence in China and introduces contemporary Chinese poetry. He reads his own poetry along with Chinese/English readings by Wang Yin, Jialu Mi, Jiaoyang Li, Liang Jing, Xie Jiong, and Zhang Shiran. “During the era of the May Fourth Student Movement in 1919, a group of Chinese youth were studying in Japan and there they were attracted by the poetry of Whitman, ‘the sworn poet of every dauntless rebel the world over’ as Whitman called himself.  The Chinese youths found his ideas especially congenial to the iconoclastic spirit which characterize their turbulent time.  Years will not stop the appeal of the great immortal poet.  Whitman made his debut in China when he was a hundred years old.”   – XiLao Li, “Whitman in China.”

Power Point Presentation:

This is a FREE, in-person event and will be live streamed on our YouTube channel:  @WaltWhitmanBirthplace 

Experience Whitman in China, featuring eminent Chinese Poet, Wang Jiaxin Parts 1, 2 and 3

Link to Power Point Presentation with Chinese and English translations: 

Featured Poet Bios:

Wang Jiaxin 王家新  is a poet, essayist, critic, and translator. He was born in 1957 in Hubei Province and enrolled in Wuhan University, studying Chinese literature in 1978. In 1985 he moved to Beijing and began working as an editor for the influential Poetry journal. Since 2006 he has been a Professor of Literature at Renmin University of China. Wang has published numerous books of poetry: Commemoration; Moving Cliff; Poetry by Wang Jiaxin; Unfinished Poems; Tarkovsky’s Tree; Rewriting an Old Poem; Marginalia; Memory of the Future. Collections of literary and critical essays include A Meeting of Man and the World; A Nightingale in Its Own Time; Poems Without a Hero; Finding a Perch for the Phoenix; The Snow’s Regalia; Before Your Late Face; Translations as Recognition; The Master Who Taught My Soul to Sing; The Poet and His Time. His translations include Selected Poetry and Writings of Paul Celan; With the Book from Tarussa: Translations by Wang Jiaxin; New Year’s Greetings: Poems by Marina Tsvetaeva; My Age, My Beast: Poems by Osip Mandelshtam; Died at Dawn: The Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca; Deaf Republic: Poems by Ilya Kaminsky; Door in the Mountain: Collected Poems by Jean Valentine (forthcoming). Wang has also edited many poetry anthologies: 20th Century Foreign Poets on Poetry; Collected Works of W.B. Yeats (3 volumes); Poems from Modern European and American Poets (3 volumes); Chinese Poetry in the 1990s; An Introductory Guide to Modern Poetry around the World.

Wang is one of China’s most eminent contemporary poets. He is highly regarded not only for his poetry but also for his essays, criticism and translation. “Since beginning his writing career, Wang Jiaxin has exerted a far-reaching influence over contemporary Chinese poetry not just as a poet but also for his role as a critic and translator. Wang’s poetic voice stands out for the gravity, clarity, and resolve with which it explores the individual’s relation to history, destiny, cultural inheritance, and humanity. His authoritative critical and editorial work has subtly but powerfully guided the development of Chinese poetry, while his celebrated translations of Russian and Eastern European poets have, like his poems, expressed a deep-rooted identification with universal themes of existence and marginalization.” (John Crespi, “Wang Jiaxin,” in Chinese Poets Since 1949, eds. Christopher Lupke and Thomas E.Moran (Gale: A Cengage Company, 2021). He has been invited frequently to attend international literary festivals and hold readings in different countries. A collection of his poems in German, Dämmerung auf Gotland, was published in Austria in 2011 and Nachgereichte Gedichte, published in Austria in 2017; Night Train, was published in Croatia in 2017 in Croatian translation. Een asgrauwe dageraad was published in the Netherlands in 2021 in Durtch translation. His collection of poems in English, Darkening Mirror, Translated by Diana Shi and George O’Connell, with a foreword by Robert Hass, was published in the United States in 2017 and was shortlisted for the 2018 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize.

Wang has received various domestic and international poetry awards. He has also been a poet-in-residence in several countries, such as Solitude Schloss Akademie in Stuttgart (1998), Villa Walberta Literature House in Munich (2001), Colgate University in New York State (2007), The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa (2013), Dutch Literary Foundation in Amsterdam as Poet-in-Residence (2022). Wang retired in 2021 and now shares his time between Beijing and New York. His poetry has been published in The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, and Chinese Literature Today (Oklahoma University Press). In recent years, Wang has led poet translation workshops at the Hudson Valley Writers Center and has given talks at Wellesley College and other American universities.



Wang Yin is a poet, photographer. His photography has been exhibited both in China and internationally and he has curated the international “Poetry Comes to the Museum” reading series at the Minsheng Museum in Shanghai since 2012. Wang Yin’s 2015 collection, Limelight, won two of China’s top poetry prizes, and his poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Japanese, and Polish, among other languages. In 2022 NYRB Poets published his A Summer Day in the Company of Ghosts. This collection was longlisted for the inaugural National Book Critics Circle Award for a translated book. He lives in New York.



Jialu Mi is an Associate Professor in the departments of English and World Languages & Cultures at The College of New Jersey where he teaches Asian American Literature, Chinese Language cinema, cyberpunk technoculture and cultural study of music and media . He is the author of Self-Fashioning and Reflexive Modernity in Modern Chinese Poetry, 1919-1949 (2004) and Chinese Ecocinema in the Age of Environmental Challenge (2009, co-edited with Sheldon Lu) and the editor of  Poetry Across Oceans: An Anthology of Chinese American Diaspora Poetry (2014); works in Chinese include The Dao and the Routes: Mirage and Transfiguration in East-West Poetics (2017) and The Dao and the Routes: Enchantment and Spectrality in East-West Poetics (2017), Deep Breaths (2018), and  Poetics of the Body (2021). His Chinese-English bilingual collection of poems Deep Breaths was published in 2019. He is completing a book project in English titled Heteroscape: Topography and Poetics of Navigation in Modern Chinese literature, Art and Film to be published by Brill. He lives in Princeton with his family.



Jiaoyang Li is a poet and interdisciplinary artist. Her book project, Gatsa 乳牙, is forthcoming from Accent Sisters in October 2023.



Liang Jing, was born in March 2002. Chinese poet, and New York based artist. currently studying at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has published poems in Chinese literature journals such as Shi Kan, Xing Xing and Poetry Monthly. Published poetry collection Long Night (2022, Unity Press). He won the 8th Youth Literature Award and the First Prize of Anhui Province, 2021.


Date: Sunday, August 6, 2023
Start Time: 3:00 pm EST

Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday at Walt Whitman Birthplace

The Hogwarts Express is making a special journey this July to the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association. This Harry Potter-themed tour takes place in the home Walt Whitman himself was born on May 31, 1819 (come to think of it, Walt does look suspiciously like Dumbledore, doesn’t he?). The house has Quidditch brooms, the “real leaky cauldron”, Flourish and Blott’s books, “The other Mirror of Erised”, and a Vanishing Cabinet to name a few! Take a trip up the Weasley family’s staircase and peer into the creepy attic.

Answer questions on the Harry Potter series as you go, to earn a certificate and bag of Walt Whit’s Beans, and learn from Walt’s own sorting hat which House you belong in! Bring in your poem about Harry Potter and we’ll display it!

We solemnly swear you will have a great time!

Date: Monday, July 24, 2023
Start Time: 11:00 am EST
Children 15 and under free with adult admission

WWBA 2023 Series: Legacy of Long Island’s First Peoples, Program 1 – Walt Whitman & Native Americans

Join us on Sunday, July 16th, on ZOOM for our first program in WWBA 2023 Series: Legacy of Long Island’s First PeoplesWalt Whitman & Native Americans featuring Ed Folsom, Whitman Scholar and Sandi Brewster-walker, Executive Director of the Montaukett Indian Nation & Government Affairs Officer.

This is a ZOOM only event. 

Walt Whitman’s relationship with the Native American community of Long Island will be discussed. Whitman often referred to Long Island by its Native American name of Paumanok, and his reverence for the natural world was very much in keeping with the ethos of Long Island’s first inhabitants.



Ed Folsom is the Roy J. Carver Professor of English at The University of Iowa, editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, co-director of the online Walt Whitman Archive, and editor of the Whitman Series at The University of Iowa Press. He is the author or editor of numerous books and essays on Whitman and other American writers. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Archives.  His work has been chosen four times as a Choice “Outstanding Academic Title,” and he has been featured on numerous national radio and television programs about Whitman. He was a Senior Fulbright Professor at the University of Dortmund in 1996, and he has taught seminars and lectured on Whitman in numerous countries, including Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Israel, China, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico.



This event is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by The Huntington Arts Council, Inc.

Date: Sunday, July 16, 2023
Start Time: 1:00 pm EST

Gwenn A. Nusbaum / WWBA “Poets To Come” Award Ceremony

Join Us on ZOOM for the 2023 Gwenn A. Nusbaum/WWBA Poets to Come Award Ceremony on Wednesday, July 12 at 7:00PM EST to celebrate Scholarship Honoree, Susan Nguyen.

Susan Nguyen is a poet currently based in Arizona whose debut collection, Dear Diaspora, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in 2021. As a full-time Senior Editor for the literary journal Hayden’s Ferry Review, Susan currently spends her days publishing writers and mentoring students on the journal’s staff. As a poet, she adds her voice to the literary landscape of Vietnamese diasporic authors and poets. Last year’s honoree, Hua Xi, will be joining the celebration and will speak of how the Scholarship has supported her poetic endeavors.


For more information on the Gwenn A. Nusbaum/WWBA Poets to Come Scholarship visit:


Date: Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST