An intersection in Clinton Hill got a new name this weekend as Brooklyn’s poet was honored with street co-naming.
A sign was unveiled on Saturday, November 2 for “Walt Whitman Way” at the intersection of Dekalb and Ryerson Streets. Members of the Walt Whitman Initiative, City Council Member Laurie Cumbo, representatives from other local organizations as well as poets, musicians and Walt Whitman aficianados gathered for the ceremonial unveiling.
The new sign is across from Ryseron Walk, on the Pratt Institute Campus, not on the block where Whitman’s home is to be found at 99 Ryerson Street. Whitman — one of America’s most influential 19th century poets — was a Brooklynite for 28 years, working as a printer, journalist and teacher. He moved frequently during his years in Brooklyn, and few physical reminders of his time in the borough remain.
The house that has managed to survive at 99 Ryerson Street in Wallabout is where he is believed to have self-published Leaves of Grass, now considered a masterwork of American literature. Advocates have been attempting to get the house designated a New York City landmark.
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