Poetry Reading With John L. Wright, MD 

Poetry reading and music with John L. Wright, MD and Linda Sussman. WWBA is delighted to present a live poetry reading with Physician and Poet John L. Wright with Singer-Songwriter Linda Sussman. The evening focused on poetry exploring humanity’s relationship and place among the fauna and flora of the natural world.

Event Video Link: https://youtu.be/pwlM1kpBA0s

John L. Wright, MD practiced internal medicine and endocrinology at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington from 1964 to 1989, during this time he was also Associate Medical Director with responsibilities for, among other duties, the residency training programs and the continuing education conferences presented by the medical staff. From 1989 to 1994 he served as Vice President for Medical Staff Affairs. He is a Clinical Professor Emeritus in Medicine at the University of Washington, and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. John L. Wright, MD is a retired physician who wrote his first poem as an assignment for a short story writing class; It was 1988, He was 59 years-old. For the next 30 plus years, the making and sharing of his poetry has enriched his life beyond measure. During this time he published five collections of poems, the last, The Loveliness of this World, was published in 2020 by Finishing Line Press. His poems have appeared in 13 anthologies. And In February of last year, his poem “What Poetry Taught me About Hope” was published by Passager Books. As a physician, his early poems arose from life experiences with patients and colleagues, Then, when he began experience his own illnesses, his poems became “songs of myself.” Over the last decade he has become more interested in nature, more specifically in man’s place amongst the fauna and flora. Working with a photographer, they have created a book entitled Our Connected Lives: Birds, Flowers, and Poetry. They are looking for a publisher.

Linda Sussman is a Long Island, NY-based recording artist whose music blurs the lines of contemporary folk and blues. Linda’s music has received international airplay–from New York stations WFUV and WUSB to other parts of the US, UK, Europe, Israel and elsewhere. Just 6 weeks after its February 2021 release, Linda’s latest album, titled These Walls, ranked #1 on the Roots Music Report’s “Top 50 Alternative Folk Album Chart” (wk 4/3/21). Pre-pandemic, Linda was touring the East Coast as a solo artist and at times performing with her studio musicians under the name the Linda Sussman Collective, including gigs at NYC’s iconic The Bitter End. Linda’s music is available on all streaming sites; much more on her website at lindasussman.com

Date: Thursday, April 29, 2021
Start Time: 6:30 pm EST

Pioneers of Poetry & Paint: Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Walt Whitman Live Virtual Zoom Museum Tour

Pioneers of Poetry and Paint: Virtual tours of Walt Whitman Birthplace House and the Pollock-Krasner studio with a poetry workshop.

Event Video Link:  https://youtu.be/nNNLcoTsvlc

This special live virtual event takes Zoom visitors on a tour through the homes of Long Island’s world famous creative pioneers, poet Walt Whitman and painters Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. (See all links mentioned in this video below). Visit the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton and the Walt Whitman Birthplace Museum in South Huntington. Tour guides discuss innovative approaches to creativity, such as tapping into one’s stream-of-consciousness for inspiration and exploring abstraction, physicality, rhythm, metaphor, and free verse. Following the virtual tours, participants were prompted to write Whitmanesque free verse poetry inspired by Pollock’s painting. The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center tour guide is Education Coordinator, Joyce Raimondo. Leading the tour through Walt Whitman Birthplace is Docent Guide Supervisor Iris Jumper. The poetry workshop leader is Christina M. Rau, poet and professor.

Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Start Time: 3:30 pm EST

2021 Long Island Poet of the Year Cliff Bleidner

Poetry reading and awards ceremony for 2021 Long Island Poet of the Year Cliff Bleidner.

Event Video Link: https://youtu.be/aX72R5spKGw

The Long Island Poet of the Year Award is an annual award given by WWBA to honor a notable and distinguished local poet who actively promotes poetry on Long Island. This year Cliff Bleidner was nominated and selected as WWBA LI Poet of the Year. (All links mentioned in this video are below) WWBA Trustee President Jack Coulehan, MD presented Board salutations, WWBA 2019 LI Poet of the Year J R Turek offered personal remarks, and Trustee Richard Bronson, MD, introduced Honoree Cliff Bleidner who will offered a live virtual poetry reading.

Cliff Bleidner writes haiku poetry and has received recognition among local writers as a distinguished poet and organizer in the Long island poetry community. He was a cofounder and coordinator of the Performance Poets Association (PPA), Long Island’s largest poetry organization. He also manages the annual PPA poetry contest, now in its 25th year. He has co-hosted PPA poetry events at more than a dozen different locations across Long Island. Due to his dedication for the PPA, it has been a successful outlet for the many Long Island poets. Cliff also assembles the PPA Literary Review manuscript from the judge’s decisions of submissions; the most recent publication in 2020, its 24th consecutive year. Cliff Bleidner has presented lectures on Dante and has held Haiku workshops, and formalist poet seminars. Cliff’s poems have been published in, 24 issues of the PPA Literary Review, The Haiku Calendar, Long Island Sounds, Paumanok I: Poems and Pictures of Long island, Paumanok II: Interwove and Writing Outside the Lines, among many others.

Date: Sunday, April 25, 2021
Start Time: 2:00 pm EST

Corona: An Anthology of Poems – Live Poetry Reading

Poetry reading to celebrate the release of Corona: An Anthology of Poems edited by Gayl Teller, the Nassau County Poet Laureate for 2009-11 and the 2016 Walt Whitman Birthplace Poet of the Year.

Event Video Link:  https://youtu.be/tzDGcH_nHhI

A live poetry reading to celebrate the release of “Corona: An Anthology of Poems” edited by Gayl Teller, the Nassau County Poet Laureate for 2009-11 and the 2016 Walt Whitman Birthplace Poet of the Year. (All links mentioned in this video are below). This luminous collaboration of 98 poets, including many poets laureate from the US and abroad, evinces a kaleidoscope of perspectives and experiences during our historic and traumatic time of pandemic and racial strife. Celebrate Poetry Month with us on Zoom during a live reading with a diverse group of poets sharing their reflections on the quarantine, social distancing, masks, and other aspects of the global pandemic.

Date: Sunday, April 18, 2021
Start Time: 1:00 pm EST

Reading & Discussion Series – The Fire THIS Time

The reading and discussion series The Fire THIS Time, led by Indran Amirthanayagam, about race in America through the perspective of James Baldwin’s essays.

Sponsored by Humanities New York CARES Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES act. 


Date: Saturday, April 17, 2021
Start Time: 2:00 pm EST

O Captain! My Captain! Discussion

O Captain! My Captain! A discussion led by Dr. David S. Reynoldsand Dr. Barbara Bair about Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman.

WWBA is delighted to present “O Captain, My Captain!”, a discussion about Abraham Lincoln’s life and times, and Walt Whitman’s poetry & speeches following Lincoln’s untimely passing. On April 15th, 1865 President Abraham Lincoln succumbed to his injuries after being assassinated by well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth. Upon hearing a first-hand account of the assassination, Walt Whitman immediately sat down and penned a poetic elegy to the fallen leader. “O Captain! My Captain!” is now one of America’s most beloved poems.

Event Video Link:  https://youtu.be/Yv9RXMDmnpk

David S. Reynolds, Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, will discuss his book Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times, winner of the prestigious Lincoln Prize and selected as one of the Wall Street Journal’s Ten Best Books of the Year in 2020. The discussion will explore Lincoln in a culturally biographical context. David S. Reynolds: http://davidsreynolds.com

Barbara Bair, Curator of Literature, Culture, and Arts in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress will present items from the Library of Congress’ collection that relate to the many public lectures Whitman gave while simultaneously mourning and celebrating Lincoln. She will show the “Death of Lincoln” tickets, printed programs, and the actual reading copy that Whitman used to give his lectures. Barbara Bair & Library of Congress: https://crowd.loc.gov/campaigns/walt-whitman


Date: Thursday, April 15, 2021
Start Time: 6:30 pm EST

Walking With Whitman – Afric McGlinchey and Richard Bronson

Walking With Whitman Poetry in Performance series featuring Afric McGlinchey and Richard Bronson with music by Josie Bello.

Event Video Link: https://youtu.be/b0dPRQr9NNg

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA) is pleased to present the 11th season of Poetry in Performance: Walking With Whitman, hosted by Writer-in-Residence George Wallace. (See links mentioned in this video below). The signature series continues to bring the most intriguing figures in contemporary literature on the national scene paired with local poets on the Walt Whitman Stage. April’s featured readers are Ireland-based Poet Afric McGlinchey and Long Island Poet Richard Bronson. This series is funded by Poets & Writers Inc. with funds from NYS Council on the Arts with the Support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature. Visit https://PW.org​ to learn more.

An award-winning poet, reviewer, and journalist, AFRIC MCGLINCHEY has worked as a freelance editor for twenty years, in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ireland. Author of Ghost of the Fisher Cat (Salmon Poetry, 2016), and The lucky star of hidden things (2012), both of which have been translated into Italian and published by L’Arcolaio, she has won several prizes, including the Hennessy poetry award, two Arts bursaries, a Faber Academy Fellowship, and selection for an Italo-Irish Literature Exchange. A native of Ireland who grew up in Zimbabwe, Afric is a graduate of Rhodes University and the University of Cape Town. She has lived in Paris, London and Spain prior to her return to West Cork, Ireland. Elected as one of Ireland’s ‘Rising Poets ’by Poetry Ireland Review, Afric’s work was also selected for a Poetry Series on ‘Dislocation’ at Bologna University in Italy. She was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland bursary to complete a hybrid flash memoir, forthcoming this year from Broken Sleep Books.

RICHARD BRONSON is on the Faculty of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care & Bioethics at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. He has received the Poem of the Year Award of the American College of Physicians and is the author of Search for Oz (2006), Silent Music (2009), Passage: Poems New & Selected (2014), and Wearing Masks (2015). He is on the Board of Trustees of Long Island Poetry Collective (LIPC) and facilitates poetry workshops with a group of LIPC members.

JOSIE BELLO is a Singer-Songwriter from Huntington. Her songs tell stories that are relatable, and explore issues that are both timely and timeless. Her newest release “Have Purpose Live Long” (2020) and her debut album “Can’t Go Home” (2018) have both had extensive U.S. & International radio play with the albums and individual tracks appearing on an impressive number of radio charts. Josie performs solo and with her band, “The Kit House Band”. Her music is available everywhere including Spotify, Bandcamp, iTunes and Amazon. For more information about Josie, you can visit her website at https://josiebello.com/

Date: Friday, April 9, 2021
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

Walking With Whitman – Larry Beckett and Ed Luhrs

Walking With Whitman Poetry in Performance series featuring Larry Beckett and Ed Luhrs with music by Bryan Gallo. Now in its 11th season!

Event Video Link:  https://youtu.be/70HEoWW2fdw

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA) is pleased to present the 11th season of Poetry in Performance: Walking With Whitman, hosted by Writer-in-Residence George Wallace. The signature series continues to bring the most intriguing figures in contemporary literature on the national scene paired with local poets on the Walt Whitman Stage. March’s featured readers are Portland, OR-based poet Larry Beckett and local poet Ed Luhrs.

Larry Beckett, born April 4, 1947, is an American poet, songwriter, and literary critic. While attending high school in Anaheim, he made friends with classmate Tim Buckley, which launched them into writing songs, including the modern standard, Song to the Siren. His poetry ranges from brief lyrics and songs to blank sonnets, collected in Songs and Sonnets, to 100-page narrative poems: Paul Bunyan, Wyatt Earp, and Amelia Earhart are in print. His book Beat Poetry is an anthology and study of the poetry of the fifties San Francisco renaissance. For 47 years, Beckett worked on the epic American Cycle, a series of long poems, including: U. S. Rivers: Highway 1, Old California, Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Chief Joseph, Wyatt Earp, P. T. Barnum, Amelia Earhart, Blue Ridge, U. S. Rivers: Route 66. American Cycle will be published in April 2021 by Running Wild Press in Los Angeles.

Ed Luhrs started his craft years ago and remains an active participant at events on Long Island and in New York City. His interests, reflected in his writing and performance, include theatrical monologue, humor, dialect, folklore, ancient history, as well as orchestral, jazz, and traditional folk music.

Bryan Gallo is a Long Island based singer-songwriter who is inspired by the pressures and consequences of living life romantically. Intrigued by both the sounds of alternative country-rock and wistful pop music, he embarked on a career as a performing singer-songwriter and began to pen songs that would be deeply personal but still readily accessible. Steeped in reflective heartache, the lexicon of Gallo’s lyrics stands as a testament to his raw talent as a musician while weaving a flush and relatable narrative. In 2014, he self released The Party Guest, a debut full length album of all original material produced by Pete Mancini which featured the Roots-Rock band Butchers Blind who served as the album’s session musicians. At the tail end of 2015, Gallo recorded and released an EP of Christmas themed original songs and standards titled Santa Songs, that was self produced with production and engineering assistance from Mick Hargreaves. Bryan is currently at work on new recordings which he hopes to release to the public in 2021. For all further information, including performance dates, recordings, social media links, and more, please visit Bryan’s official website at bryangallo.com

Date: Friday, March 5, 2021
Start Time: 7:00 pm EST

Whitman in Washington Book Release Event

Book Release: Professor Kenneth M. Price, PhD presents Whitman in Washington: Becoming the National Poet in the Federal City. 

Event Video Link: https://youtu.be/25sIKKqOqZg

WWBA is delighted to welcome Professor & Co-Director of Walt Whitman Archive Kenneth M. Price, PhD, for a live Zoom discussion about his newly released book Whitman in Washington: Becoming the National Poet in the Federal City. Explore Whitman’s writing while he worked as a government clerk and journalist, sat by the bedside of thousands of wounded soldiers, and observed the tumultuous effects of the Civil War while he lived in the nation’s capital.

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2021
Start Time: 6:30 pm EST