Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman

Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman

Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman is a Squarespace website I built to support a project by the same name that I developed as part of the 2019 Walt Whitman bicentennial. The project invites people to participate in a public reading of his inspiring poem Crossing Brooklyn Ferry at any time during 2019. For poetry and book groups, public libraries and bookstores, scholars and teachers who want to celebrate the anniversary the project and website provide a simple, accessible, and meaningful way to do so. By joining in the project participants will not only be supported and guided by the national project, but will contribute to a national conversation about Whitman and the barbaric yawp he sounded over the rooftops of the world — particularly in regards to our interconnectedness and our American democracy.

Participants are invited to read Crossing Brooklyn Ferry out loud at their libraries, in a poetry club, in class, in public, or at a panel discussion event organized by an arts organization. Participants hosting public events are encouraged to inform us of them in advance so we can share dates and location on our calendar and social media. And those documenting their readings with a photo or video are invited to upload those to our Instagram and Facebook pages.

To help broadcast our vision we’re partnering with numerous local Brooklyn organizations to read Crossing Brooklyn Ferry throughout 2019. For example, on Whitman’s May 31, 2019 birthday, the Brooklyn Public Library is hosting simultaneous readings of the poem at all 58 of their branch libraries. Beyond these initial events participants are encouraged to envision and plan their own programming, creating a democratically run celebration across the country. As Whitman writes in CBF: “Who was to know what should come home to me? Who knows but I am enjoying this?”

  • Client Stefan Killen
  • Date February 27, 2019
  • Tags Web Development
  • URL View Project