Readings by several of the contributing poets of the book Paumanok: Poems and Pictures of Long Island will be held in the Interpretive Center. Paumanok was the name given to Long Island by Native Americans. It is also the name Walt Whitman chose to use for the the fish-shaped island of his birth and of his poem, Starting from Paumanok.

The book is an compilation of over 300 poems written by 101 poets who either live on Long Island or are originally from Long Island and is a celebration of the beauty and the wildlife that can be found here if you scratch a bit beneath the suburban surface. The book, compiled and edited by Kathleen Donnelly, is itself a beautiful object containing 330 photographs which are skillfully matched with the poetry.

“It is an anthology of “poetography,” says Ms. Donnelly, claiming creative credit for that word, meaning “a collection of poems and photographs, married to each other.” She added that “The book is a walk through the seasons, each day of the year, and an opportunity for you to find a new way of expression, if you haven’t found your voice already.”

Ms. Donnelly will be hosting the event and introducing several of the contributing poets. There will also be live musical interludes and a poet’s open mic following the reading. A light snack of wine and cheese will be served.

Praise for Paumanok: Poems and Pictures of Long Island

“Paumanok is a beautfiful book, whether judged by its visual appearance of its words—the superb quality of the images, the sound of the poems. This anthology, which celebrates the cycle of the seasons, documents an aspect of Long Island far removed from the intensity of expressways, frenetic pace of contem­porary life. Paumanok! The name evokes a magic. We must each find our own Paumanok, discover our secret place. Entering the pages of this book, we are transported there.

— Richard Bronson, author of Search for Oz


“What is unusual about this charming anthology is how well the poems and poets—some well-known, others not—all fit together, as if the Long Island they celebrate so beautifully has a sensibility they all share, even though some of the poets write about everyday life and some about sea and sky. The more than 300 photographs that accompany the poems make a perfect embellishment. The book demonstrates how Long Island is, and has been, a nest of singing birds.”

— Harvey Shapiro, author of The Sights Along the Harbor: New and Collected Poems


Copyright ©2018 Walt Whitman Birthplace Association. All Rights Reserved.