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Celebrating LGBTQ+ Poets Then and Now

Join us on June 21, 2024, 7-9PM for Love Forever – Celebrating LGBTQ+ Poets Then and Now, featuring poetry readings by Alicia Mountain, a lesbian poet and a Teaching Assistant Professor at the Writer’s Foundry MFA Program at St. Joseph’s University and Croatian-born poet and writer Ana Božičević, a recipient of the 40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism award from Feminist Press.

The evening will also feature a discussion by Long Island Poet Rusty Rose sharing her personal account of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, a series of spontaneous demonstrations against an early morning police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

An Open Mic will follow; we invite local poets to share one of their Pride-themed poems.

 


 

Alicia Mountain is the author of Four in Hand (BOA 2023). Her debut collection, High Ground Coward (Iowa 2018), won the Iowa Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, The Nation, and elsewhere. Mountain received her PhD at the University of Denver. She serves on the board of Foglifter, a LGBTQIA+ journal based in the Bay Area. Mountain lives in New York City, where she is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Writer’s Foundry MFA program at St. Joseph’s University in Brooklyn and a psychoanalytic candidate at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies.

 


Ana Božičević is a poet and writer. She grew up in Zadar, Croatia before coming to the States. Her new book is New Life (Wave Books, 2023). She is also the author of Povratak lišća /Return of the Leaves, Selected Poems in Croatian (Hrvatsko Društvo Pisaca/Croatian Writers Society, 2020);  Joy of Missing Out (Birds, LLC, 2017); the Lambda Award-winning Rise in the Fall (Birds, LLC, 2013), and Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009). She received the 40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism award from Feminist Press, and the PEN American Center/NYSCA grant for translating It Was Easy to Set the Snow on Fire by Zvonko Karanović (Phoneme Media, 2015). The anthology of translations The Day Lady Gaga Died: An Anthology of Newer New York Poets (Peti Talas/Fifth Wave) she co-edited with Željko Mitić appeared in Fall 2011. Ana has a MFA in Poetry from Hunter College. At the PhD Program in English at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York she studied New American poetics and alternative art schools and communities, and edited lectures by Diane di Prima for Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. Ana has read, taught & performed at Bruce High Quality Foundation University, Bowery Poetry Club, Brooklyn Poets, Harvard, Naropa, San Francisco State University Poetry Center, the Sorbonne, Third Man Records, University of Arizona Poetry Center, and The Watermill Center. Her poetry workshops explore image, performance, and the lyric. Ana is on the board of Ruth Stone Foundation and loves their work at the Ruth Stone House in Vermont — check it out.

“Championing the confessional voice with dynamic lyricism, Božičević offers sonorous texture, rollicking conceits, and unparalleled vision.” Publishers Weekly

 


 

Rita ‘Rusty’ Rose is a globally published poet/author and a beloved iconic LGBTQ+ civil rights activist. Presently, she serves as Poet Laureate of the Long Island LGBTQ+ Community (2018-2024) and has received  The Lesbian and Gay Achievement Award, for all her endeavors. The Suffolk County Legislature also recognizes her poetry and activism and have graced her with a Proclamation. At seventy-two years young she is 2024 Winner Best Poet of Long Island!

Date: Friday, June 21, 2024
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

Freedom to be Fabulous!

Freedom to be Fabulous! In celebration of Juneteenth, Rhonda Gooden, founder and CEO of Chez Lâa Reine Boutique on New York Avenue in Huntington, will host a “fabulous” fashion show on the Great Lawn of the Walt Whitman Birthplace. The event will feature a dozen models showcasing African American styles from today and yesteryear. There will also be a poetry reading and presentation by Melisa Rousseau, an advocate for Social Justice & Racial Equity. Victoria Jackson will exhibit African American artifacts from her private collection.

BBQ from CJ’s Caribbean American Grill Food Truck will be available for purchase!

This event is FREE!

 


 

Rhonda Gooden is a longtime resident of Huntington Township and has always had a heart to serve her community. Gooden is the first African American woman in the Town of Huntington’s Assessor’s Office, where she serves as STAR Exemption Specialist. Gooden also serves as the Cultural/Racial Reconciliation Coordinator for her church, Upper Room Christian World Center in Dix Hills, where she has been an active member there for 30 years. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Gooden’s non-profit organization raised funds for families affected by virus in partnership with the Huntington Union Free School District’s PTA, the Got Checked Foundation, the W.I.N. Women in NAACP, and the Tri-CYA.

 

Melisa Chioma Emeghebo Rousseau is a Professor of English and Social Justice with an interest in research that focuses on Black history and de jure and de facto segregation on Long Island from the Middle Passage to the present. Melisa holds three Advanced-Level diplomas from Oxford & Cambridge Universities (Oxbridge) in History, Classical Civilization, and English Literature.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a minor in Black Studies from Boston College; a Master of Science in English Education from LIU Post, a Master of Arts in Sociology from The New School, DEI certification from the University of Chicago, and is completing doctoral coursework researching conceptual, theoretical, and historical critical analyses of intersectional racial stratification on Long Island in New York. Melisa actively contributes to various organizations and boards. She serves on the board of Preservation Long Island and is Chair of their Education Committee. Melisa sits on the Board of the Huntington African American Museum, the African American Historical Designation Council, and the Huntington Historical Society. Melisa’s dedication to community involvement extends to her involvement in the Energeia Program and Leadership Huntington. Melisa is a member of The Links, Incorporated, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated. Through her membership in these organizations, she actively contributes to their charitable missions and works towards their shared goals. Melisa is an avid poet, essayist, and speaker whose work focuses on social justice, race, history, politics, and literature. She has been married 25 years and lives in Huntington with her husband Reggie, son Xavier, daughter Olivia, and her two cats Nubia and Serenity.

 

Westbury resident Victoria Jackson, formerly of Huntington, will exhibit African American artifacts from her private collection. Jackson has exhibited her pieces at the Conklin Barn and various other locations around Long Island.

Date: Thursday, June 20, 2024
Start Time: 5:00 pm EST

Celebrate Father’s Day – Jayne’s Hill Hike

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association is delighted to present a guided hike with WWBA Tour Guide and Educator, Jack Canfora, to Jayne’s Hill, the highest point on Long Island, on Sunday, June 16, 2024.  Participants will see the hike Walt Whitman took when visiting his childhood home in Long Island, New York.

Please meet your guide in the West Hills parking lot at 11AM.

West Hills County Park
Sweet Hollow Road,
Melville, New York 11747

Sea-beauty! stretch’d and basking!” are the opening lines of Walt Whitman’s “Paumanok,” a poem that explores Long Island’s natural beauty, especially the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Whitman’s fascination with the natural water that surrounds Long Island comes from his knowledge of Jayne’s Hill, the highest point on Long Island. Whitman returned to Jayne’s Hill at least twice after moving from West Hills in 1823 with his family. He enjoyed the view that captured the woods, fields, and beaches of Long Island. He was known for venturing out from dawn to dusk taking in Long Island’s scenery with some food, water, and a good book in his hand. What better way to capture Whitman’s spirit than walking the same trail that he would have taken to get up to Jayne’s Hill and take in a few poems about Paumanok (how Whitman referred to Long Island).

 


 

WWBA Docent Jack Canfora will be leading and narrating the hike.  Jack is a wonderful historian as well as an accomplish playwright.  His Off-Broadway plays include Poetic License, (59E59 Theaters), hailed by the Associate Press as “white-hot entertainment,” and Jericho, a New York Times “Critic’s Pick,” deemed “an important contribution to the repertoire of the American Stage.”

 

Date: Sunday, June 16, 2024
Start Time: 11:00 am EST
Suggested Donation: $ 10

POETS BUILDING BRIDGES – June 8, 2024 – Long Island Poets, Maltese Diaspora, Romanian Diaspora

George Wallace and Walt Whitman Birthplace proudly present season three of POETS BUILDING BRIDGES: A TRIANGULATION PROJECT, inaugurated in March 2022 with the purpose of enhancing dialogue between communities of writers across the US and internationally. Based on a shared small-group experience, these Saturday zoom sessions engage three distinct and well defined communities of poets with each other to share work and foster further interaction. In Season Three, POETS BUILDING BRIDGES will build on that experience, triangulating national and international groups based not only on location but additionally offering key small press publications an opportunity to form a participating group.

THIS IS A ZOOM ONLY EVENT. 

Find Zoom Information Below.

Live on zoom. archived on Youtube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1ojTE8VsJU&t=72s 

Long Island Poets: Judy Turek  |  Deborah Hauser  |  Madeline Artenberg  |  Tony Policano

J R (Judy) Turek, LI Fair Superintendent of Poetry, 2020 Hometown Hero, 2019 LI Poet of the Year, Bards Laureate 2013-2015editor, mentor, workshop leader, author of seven poetry books. Recipient of two Pushcart Prize nominations and the Conklin Prize For Poetry; translated into Korean, Romanian, Italian, and French.  ‘The Purple Poet’ has written a poem a day for 19 years; she lives on Long Island with her soul-mate husband, Paul, her dogs, and her extraordinarily extensive shoe collection. msjevus@optonline.net


Deborah Hauser, Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, NY 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 BooksThe Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Bellevue Literary Review, and Calyx. deborahhauser.com


Madeline Artenberg was photojournalist and street-theatre performer before falling for poetry.  Her work appears in such publications as Rattle.  She was a finalist in Mudfish 2020 contest.  A poem was nominated as Best of the Net 2020 by Poets Wear Prada.  Her poetry book, Naming a Hurricane, from Pink Trees Press, is available on Amazon Books.


Tony Policano is an Italian American poet and photographer, born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and Long Island. He is a board member of the Long Island Poetry Collective and managing editor of Xanadu a national anthology of poems. He currently moderates a weekly Zoom workshop for poets of all levels which he started during the pandemic to support writers displaced from “in-person” workshops.

 


Maltese Diaspora: Marianne J. Sciberras  |  Nadia Mifsud Mutschler  |  John Peter Portelli  |  Imelda Serracino Inglott

Marianne J Sciberras is a native New Yorker of Maltese descent. She discovered her talent for writing at age 12, when she won a song writing contest for the Girl’s Club of New York. She knew she could sing when chosen as the lead singer in her grammar school production of The Music Man. When life got tougher, writing helped her cope. She began reading her poems and singing at open mics at age 54, after getting divorced and feeling free. A recently retired and well-seasoned Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist of 35 years, she now focuses on entertainment through poetry and singing, with or without her guitar which she taught herself to play.


Born in Malta in 1976, Nadia Mifsud Mutschler moved to France in 1998. She currently lives in Lyon, where she writes, teaches and sometimes translates. To date, she has published three books of poetry, one chapbook, one novel and a collection of short stories. As a member of the Maltese cultural organization Inizjamed, she has been involved in the organization of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival since 2011, which takes place every summer towards the end of August.


John Peter Portelli is professor emeritus at OISE, University of Toronto. Besides 11 academic books, he has published eight collections of poetry two collections of short stories, and a novel. Originally from Malta, he now lives between Toronto and Malta, and beyond.


Imelda Serracino Inglott was born in Haz-Zebbug, Malta on Jan 4 1946. She studied at the University of Malta and two years at Cincinnati University, worked as a pharmacist and has since retired. A member of the Latese Poets Society and International Society of Poets, her work may be found in anthologies of Maltese poets and in her book Metamorfosi.

 


Romanian Diaspora:  Claudia Serea  |  Adina Dabija  |  Ioana Ieronim  |  Mihaela Moscaliuc 

Claudia Serea is a Romanian-American poet with poems published in Consequence, Field, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, The Puritan, Oxford Poetry, among others. Her poems have been translated in Russian, French, Italian, Arabic, and Farsi, and have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac. She is the author of seven poetry collections, most recently In Those Years, No One Slept (Broadstone Books, 2023). Serea won a Pushcart Prize, the Joanne Scott Kennedy Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of Virginia, and the New Letters Readers Award. She is a founding editor of National Translation Month, serves on the board of The Red Wheelbarrow Poets, and co-hosts their monthly readings.


Adina Dabija was born in Aiud, Romania. She worked as a journalist in Bucharest before she pursued her studies in journalism in Quebec, Canada. She now lives in New York, where she practices acupuncture and hypnosis. Her first book, poezia-papusa, was awarded the Bucharest Writers’ Association Guild Prize in 1998. She published Stare nediferentiata in 2010 for which she was awarded Tomis prize in Constanta, Romania. In 2011 she published Beautybeast (North Shore Press), her first collection of poetry in English, and in 2012 her first novel, Saman (Polirom Publishing). Some of her recent writings and interviews can be found at www.sol.center.


Ioana Ieronim is a Romanian poet, essayist, and translator. She is the author of narrative poetry in Triumph of the Water Witch (multiple editions, including in the U.K. and Germany) and Lavinia and Her DaughtersA Carpathian Elegy (U. S.), as well as the online Omnivorous SyllablesWhen Big Is Not Beautiful. (Ceaușescu’s) House of the People. Her poetry and essays were published in translation in more than 10 countries. She wrote studies on the Balkan and Israeli theater and translated poetry and drama from Shakespeare to Tony Kushner. Ieronim won the Poetry Prize of the Romanian Academy. She is a member of the PEN Center and of the Writers’ Union in Romania.


Mihaela Moscaliuc  is the author of the poetry collections Cemetery InkImmigrant Model, and Father Dirt, translator of Liliana Ursu’s Clay and Star and Carmelia Leonte’s The Hiss of the Viper, as well as editor of Insane Devotion: On the Writing of Gerald Stern and co-editor of Border Lines: Poems of Migration. She is associate professor of English at Monmouth University, NJ, and translation editor at Plume.

 

 


 

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Support Our Literacy Programs >>

POETS BUILDING BRIDGES is produced by Poetrybay Productions for the Walt Whitman Birthplace.

Date: Saturday, June 8, 2024
Start Time: 12:00 pm EST

Celebrate Pride Month – June 2024

6/9 Huntington Pride Parade – We are looking for marchers! Contact director@waltwhitman.org if you are interested.  Lineup starts at 10:30am

6/15 Northport Pride – Come visit our booth in the park  12-5pm

6/21 Love Forever – Celebrating LGBTQ+ Poets Then and Now, featuring poets Alicia Mountain , Ana Božičević, and activist Rusty Rose (at the Birthplace 7-9pm)

Date: Thursday, June 6, 2024

Art in the Barn: Summer has arrived!

Art in the Barn: Storytime and hands-on art project for Pre-schoolers  is a new workshop for pre-schoolers at Walt Whitman Birthplace. Taught by Lena Massari Sawyer, former Museum Educator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Come and join us every week awe read various stories including the award-winning Caldecott books.  Learn about artists of the past and create your own artwork.

June 1, 2024
June 1st – Summer has arrived!
Let’s go sailing with the artist Edward Hopper and look for Lighthouses. We will be painting and reading “Edward Hopper Summer at the Seashore” by Deborah Lyons.  Makeup class for May 11th.

Register NOW for the full series and SAVE! (Space is limited)
Members: $13  Non Members: $15
(Per workshop, tickets can be purchased at the door)
Click here to register >>

See Spring Calendar below.

Picture Books are a crucial tool for developing a child’s literacy and language skills in their early years.  They help build self-confidence as the child learns to read through visual thinking. The children will read a book, then tell their own story through collage and other multimedia materials. They will look at the different elements of art such as changing perspective, scale, as well as multiple points of view through drawing and using collage materials. In addition, each child will be given a small plastic magnifying glass to explore a tinker box filled with objects from nature such as seashells, rocks, etc.

Lena Massari Sawyer has been an educator for over 25 years. She taught Art History and Studio Art to children for over two decades at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  While at the Met, she specialized in early childhood education, creating and teaching numerous art history and children’s literature classes.   Lena has been a long-time resident of Long Island. She teaches art history, painting and other multimedia classes both at the Birthplace at the Little Studio in Northport Village.  Lena holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and performed her graduate studies in Museum Education at New York University.

 


 

Art in the Barn Spring Calendar

April 6th – Come and celebrate National Poetry Month at Walt Whitman Birthplace!
Explore the work of British Textile designer, poet and artist William Morris. We will be reading “Beautiful Useful Things: What William Morris Made” by Beth Kephart and end the session making your own print designs.

April 13th – Spring has arrived! Celebrate National Garden Month with us at the Birthplace.
We will walk through Walt’s Garden and find some Whitman Lilacs blooming. Back in the Art Barn, we will explore the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The session will end with a stained glass inspired project and “In the Garden” by Carin Berger.

April 20th – Come and explore the work of Architect Frank Loyd Wright!
In the Art Barn, we will be building with wood and reading “My first Shapes with Frank Lloyd Wright” by Mudpuppy and L. Ortiz.

April 27th – “The Wave” by Hokusai!
Let’s explore how the world of Japanese prints affected Nineteenth Century artists. We will be painting and reading “Hokusai: He saw the world in a Wave” by S Hodge and K. Ekdahl.

May 4th – The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
Get ready, get set, we will be looking at The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh and reading Vincent’s “Colors” by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Bring your smock and lets paint!

May 11th – No Class

May 18th – Cezanne’s Apples!
Put on your smocks and grab a paint brush. We will be painting in The Art Barn and reading “Orange Pear Apple Bear” by Emily Gravett.

May 25th- Let’s travel to Monet’s Garden!
We will be planting our own herbs in the Art Barn and reading Lena Anderson and Christina Björk’s book “Linneas’s Windowsill Garden”.

June 1st – Summer has arrived!
Let’s go sailing with the artist Edward Hopper and look for Lighthouses. We will be painting and reading “Edward Hopper Summer at the Seashore” by Deborah Lyons.  Makeup class for May 11th.

Date: Saturday, June 1, 2024
Start Time: 11:00 am EST
Members: $13  Non Members: $15

2024/2026 Suffolk County Teen Poet Laureate Award Ceremony

Announcing 2024/2026 Suffolk County Teen Poet Laureate Sarah Goodman

An Awards Ceremony will be held at WWBA on Saturday, June 1, 2024 at 3:00PM. The public is invited to attend. 

Sarah Goodman has been selected as the Suffolk County Teen Poet Laureate 2024-2026. She is completing her freshman year at Commack High School where she serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Pathways Literary and Art Magazine. Her notable accomplishments include receiving Grand Honors from Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, achieving 2nd place in the 2021 Empower Solar Student Scholarship Competition, placing in the November 2023 Regional Debate for the Commack Political Debate team as well as receiving the Commack Middle School Extraordinary Achievement Art Award in 2023. Sarah is committed to philanthropy and community service, as demonstrated by her founding of Sarah’s 1 Minute Challenge, a five-year annual fundraiser committed to supporting pediatric cancer patients. She also volunteers at the SYJCC Community Pantry/Garden and Temple Beth David.

 


 

In 2022, County Legislators created the position of Teen Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, a non-funded position with an inaugural term of June 1, 2022 through May 31, 2024. The Teen Poet Laureate creates opportunities to promote and bring poetry by and for young residents of Suffolk County into the community as a positive force and encourages others to reach their potential.

Date: Saturday, June 1, 2024
Start Time: 3:00 pm EST

Celebrate Walt’s Birthday with us!

We invite the community to drop in and celebrate Walt’s Birthday, by planting flowers and listening to live music at the Birthplace!

Friday, May 31, 2024
12PM-5PM

Annuals will be planted on the grounds in front of the Interpretive Center and Walt’s house. Feel free to bring some planting tools if you have them available.

A birthday cake will be provided in honor of Walt!

 

Date: Friday, May 31, 2024
Start Time: 12:00 pm EST

Art in the Barn: Let’s travel to Monet’s Garden!

Art in the Barn: Storytime and hands-on art project for Pre-schoolers  is a new workshop for pre-schoolers at Walt Whitman Birthplace. Taught by Lena Massari Sawyer, former Museum Educator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Come and join us every week awe read various stories including the award-winning Caldecott books.  Learn about artists of the past and create your own artwork.

May 25, 2024
May 25th- Let’s travel to Monet’s Garden!
We will be planting our own herbs in the Art Barn and reading Christina Björk’s book “Linneas’s Windowsill Garden”.

Register NOW for the full series and SAVE! (Space is limited)
Members: $13  Non Members: $15
(Per workshop, tickets can be purchased at the door)
Click here to register >>

See Spring Calendar below.

Picture Books are a crucial tool for developing a child’s literacy and language skills in their early years.  They help build self-confidence as the child learns to read through visual thinking. The children will read a book, then tell their own story through collage and other multimedia materials. They will look at the different elements of art such as changing perspective, scale, as well as multiple points of view through drawing and using collage materials. In addition, each child will be given a small plastic magnifying glass to explore a tinker box filled with objects from nature such as seashells, rocks, etc.

Lena Massari Sawyer has been an educator for over 25 years. She taught Art History and Studio Art to children for over two decades at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  While at the Met, she specialized in early childhood education, creating and teaching numerous art history and children’s literature classes.   Lena has been a long-time resident of Long Island. She teaches art history, painting and other multimedia classes both at the Birthplace at the Little Studio in Northport Village.  Lena holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and performed her graduate studies in Museum Education at New York University.

 


 

Art in the Barn Spring Calendar

April 6th – Come and celebrate National Poetry Month at Walt Whitman Birthplace!
Explore the work of British Textile designer, poet and artist William Morris. We will be reading “Beautiful Useful Things: What William Morris Made” by Beth Kephart and end the session making your own print designs.

April 13th – Spring has arrived! Celebrate National Garden Month with us at the Birthplace.
We will walk through Walt’s Garden and find some Whitman Lilacs blooming. Back in the Art Barn, we will explore the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The session will end with a stained glass inspired project and “In the Garden” by Carin Berger.

April 20th – Come and explore the work of Architect Frank Loyd Wright!
In the Art Barn, we will be building with wood and reading “My first Shapes with Frank Lloyd Wright” by Mudpuppy and L. Ortiz.

April 27th – “The Wave” by Hokusai!
Let’s explore how the world of Japanese prints affected Nineteenth Century artists. We will be painting and reading “Hokusai: He saw the world in a Wave” by S Hodge and K. Ekdahl.

May 4th – The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
Get ready, get set, we will be looking at The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh and reading Vincent’s “Colors” by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Bring your smock and lets paint!

May 11th – No Class

May 18th – Cezanne’s Apples!
Put on your smocks and grab a paint brush. We will be painting in The Art Barn and reading “Orange Pear Apple Bear” by Emily Gravett.

May 25th- Let’s travel to Monet’s Garden!
We will be planting our own herbs in the Art Barn and reading Lena Anderson and Christina Björk’s book “Linneas’s Windowsill Garden”.

June 1st – Summer has arrived!
Let’s go sailing with the artist Edward Hopper and look for Lighthouses. We will be painting and reading “Edward Hopper Summer at the Seashore” by Deborah Lyons.  Makeup class for May 11th.

Date: Saturday, May 25, 2024
Start Time: 11:00 am EST
Members: $13  Non Members: $15