Celebrate the Legacy of Brooklyn’s Bard Walt Whitman With the Brooklyn Historical Society

Walt Whitman in 1891. Photo by Thomas Eakins via New York Public Library

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    Break out the party hats and help celebrate the 199th birthday of writer Walt Whitman this month.

    The festivities, a “multimedia exploration” of Whitman’s life and legacy, will take place at the Brooklyn Historical Society on May 29.

    The lineup includes a mix of scholars, poets and performers, including Greg Trupiano of The Walt Whitman Project, Charles Jarden and Julian Macrone of the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, Karen Karbiener of the Walt Whitman Initiative as well as readers Lonely Christopher and Elizabeth Nunez and opera singer Nicole Mitchell.

    walt whitman house 99 ryerson street wallabout

    Walt Whitman circa 1854. Image via Library of Congress

    One of America’s most influential 19th century poets, Whitman was a Brooklynite for 28 years and went through many changes in career — printer, journalist, teacher. While few physical reminders of his time in the borough remain, the celebration of his birth comes at the same time as a coalition of Whitman fans and scholars are hoping to ensure the remaining house with a Whitman connection survives.

    The coalition is working to get the wood frame at 99 Ryerson Street in Wallabout, where he is believed to have self-published “Leaves of Grass,” designated as a New York City Landmark.

    walt whitman house 99 ryerson street wallabout

    99 Ryerson Street. Photo by Susan De Vries

    You can learn more about Whitman’s time in Brooklyn and the people who are working to keep that legacy alive on Tuesday, May 29 at the Brooklyn Historical Society’s 128 Pierrepont headquarters. Tickets are $5, free for members. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

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