Past Events

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Christina M. Rau: LI Poet of the Year Ceremony

We are delighted to announce that Christina M. Rau has been named WWBA 2020 Long Island Poet of the Year!

An Award Ceremony and Poetry Reading by Christina M. Rau will be held on April 5th, 2020, 2:00 – 4:00 pm at the Birthplace. Free and Open to the Public. Refreshments Served. No Reservations needed.
Join us!

Event Video Link:

Christina M. Rau is the author of the Elgin Award winning sci-fi fem poetry collection Liberating The Astronauts (Aqueduct Press, 2017) and the chapbooks WakeBreatheMove (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and For The Girls, I (dancing girl press, 2014). She is Oceanside Library (NY) ‘s Poet-in-Residence for 2020, and she is the founder of Poets In Nassau, a reading circuit on Long Island, NY. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College where she also serves as Editor-in-Chief for The Nassau Review. Her poetry has appeared on gallery walls in The Ekphrastic Poster Show, on car magnets for The Living Poetry Project, and in various journals both online and in print while her prose frequently appears on Book Riot. She also has conducted poetry readings and workshops nationwide. In her non-writing life, when she’s not teaching yoga, she’s watching the Game Show Network.


Date: Sunday, April 5, 2020
Start Time: 2:00 pm EST

Irish Family Day

Children of all ages will enjoy a performance of Irish dancing by teachers and students from the Mulvihill-Lynch Studio of Irish Dance, known regionally, nationally, and internationally as champions on the competitive circuit. The award-winning dancers will also interact with the audience—answering questions and teaching some Irish dance steps (and find out if Irish dance is in your future). Hear the fascinating history about the costumes and dances. After the show, join us for a guided tour of the Walt Whitman Birthplace! The historic home where Walt Whitman was born in 1819.
$9.00 per child, chaperones free!

Tickets are no longer for sale online, please pay at the door (the same price, $9 per child/chaperones FREE).
All are welcome!!

Date: Sunday, March 1, 2020
Start Time: 1:00 pm EST

Long Island’s Literary Heritage: From Walt Whitman to Steve Israel

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association is proud to  host former United States Congressman-turned-novelist Steve Israel. He will discuss Whitman’s views on democracy as expressed in Whitman’s 1871 book “Democratic Vistas,” as compared to his own views on democracy as depicted in his novels “Big Guns” (2018) and “The Global War on Morris” (2014). How has the tenor of Washington, DC, evolved from Whitman’s political writings to Israel’s satirical novels. Israel will also share his own literary history and the influences of Washington, DC, and beyond.

Free & Open to the Public! Refreshments Will Be Served.

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2019
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

Steve Gittelman’s The Left Behind Cholera Exhibit Opening

The Left Behind – An Exhibition
Steve Gittelman, Designer
Join us for this haunting historical exhibition opening reception & discussion. Perfect for an early Halloween experience.
A Special Exhibit in our Gathering House about the effects of the Cholera Epidemic while Whitman lived in Manhattan at age 13. If you lived in Manhattan and did not own a horse at that time, you were left behind to face the cholera epidemic alone.
Free & Open to All. Refreshments will be served.

Date: Thursday, October 17, 2019
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

Spooky Candlelight Tour

Arrive at 6:00PM for a Spooky Candlelight Tour of the Historic Birthplace. See the house as you never have before!
Featuring Performance by Whitman Personator: Darrel Blaine Ford. Darrel will speak as Whitman and describe his life and times in the house. ($6 admission).
Afterwards, at 7pm enjoy a FREE exhibit and discussion for The Left Behind designed by Steve Gittelman. Open to all, refreshments will be served.

Date: Thursday, October 17, 2019
Start Time: 6:00 pm EST

PATH Jayne’s Hill Guided Hike

“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).

Andrew Rimby is a Ph.D. Candidate in the English department at Stony Brook University. He researches nineteenth-century American and Victorian literature from a queer trans-Atlantic perspective. He is the 2019 inaugural recipient of the Guiliano Global Fellowship which allowed him to go to the British Library, in July, to look at the Lady Eccles Oscar Wilde collection. He is a 2019-2020 Public Humanities Fellow and a 2019 Stony Brook Graduate Fellow in the Arts, Humanities, and Lettered Social Sciences. Recently, he was on the organizing committee for International Whitman Week (IWW) which was held at NYU, in May 2019. At Stony Brook, he was on the organizing committee for the May 3 Whitman Bicentennial symposium where he spoke about Whitman’s homoerotic poetry.

Date: Monday, October 14, 2019
Start Time: 1:00 pm EST
Suggested Donation: $ 5

Whitman Scholar Zachary Turpin Oct 5th

Missing Me One Place, Search Another’: Thoughts on Finding More Whitman (and Even More Whitman) in the 21st Century

Saturday, Oct 5th
7:00-8:30 PM

Whitman Scholar Zachary Turpin will be presenting a slideshow about his discovery of Whitman’s pen-name and subsequent discovery of previously unknown Whitman writing.
Free and Open to All–Refreshments will be Served

In 2016, Zachary Turpin, then a doctoral student at the University of Houston, uncovered something the world had long ago stopped expecting: a new book by Walt Whitman. Titled Manly Health and Training and published in 1858 under a pen name, this long-lost, book-length men’s wellness treatise totally upends the traditional understanding of what Whitman wrote, published, and pursued during the infancy of Leaves of Grass. This discovery was followed, in 2017, by Turpin’s recovery of another priceless treasure: Life and Adventures of Jack Engle (1852), a novel Whitman wrote and serialized anonymously while he was first composing Leaves. Now, the Walt Whitman Birthplace is proud to host Turpin as he details the lost Whitman books that may still be at large; the exciting new methods that empower anyone and everyone to search for them; and the old-fashioned pleasures of reading in the archives.

Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

USPS Whitman Bicentennial Stamp Release Event

The Walt Whitman Birthplace Association is delighted to be hosting this event in our Interpretive Center on September 12th, 2019 at 11:00AM.  Free and open to the public. All are welcome.


Walt Whitman

First Day of Issue Stamp Dedication Ceremony

32nd Stamp in the Literary Arts Series

Thursday September 12, 2019 11:00 A.M. EDT

Master of Ceremonies

Michael Gargiulo, WNBC Co-Anchor of Today in New York

National Anthem

Heather Knoch

Presentation of Colors

Welcome Remarks

Cynthia L Shor

Executive Director

Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site

Board Member

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association

George Gorman

Regional Director

NY State Parks.

Official Stamp Dedication

Thomas J. Marshall

General Counsel and Executive Vice President

United States Postal Service

Poem Reading

Darrel Blaine Ford

Walt Whitman Personator


Professor David S. Reynolds Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor

Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Closing remarks

United States Postal Service® will issue the Walt Whitman stamp (Non-denominated priced at the 3-ounce rate) in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive pane of 20 stamps (Item 120300). The stamp will go on sale nationwide September 12, 2019, and must not be sold or cancelled before the first-day-of-issue.

With this stamp, the 32nd issue in the Literary Arts series, the Postal Service™ honors poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892) on the bicentennial of his birth. The stamp features a portrait of Whitman based on a photograph taken by Frank Pearsall in 1869. In the background, a hermit thrush sitting on the branch of a lilac bush recalls “When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom‘d,” an elegy for President Abraham Lincoln written by Whitman soon after Lincoln‘s assassination on April 14, 1865. Considered by many to be the father of modern American poetry, Whitman broke away from dominant European poetic forms and experimented with free verse and colloquial expressions, writing powerfully about nearly every aspect of 19th-century America. The artist for the stamp was Sam Weber. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp. The words “THREE OUNCE” on this stamp indicate its usage value. Like a Forever® stamp, this stamp will always be valid for the rate printed on it.

Date: Thursday, September 12, 2019
Start Time: 11:00 am EST