Visitors tour a special collections display, which includes a screening of the new documentary short film “Walt Whitman: Citizen Poet,” to commemorate the bicentennial of Walt Whitman’s birth, June 3, 2019. Photo by Shawn Miller.
Yesterday, the Library of Congress celebrated Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday with a public open house in the Thomas Jefferson Building. From 2:30 to 5:00, the room buzzed with energy as Library staff showed off a host of rarely seen Whitman collection items from the Manuscript, Rare Book and Special Collections, Prints and Photographs, and Music divisions, as well as from the general collections.
As an additional treat, the afternoon included a screening of “Walt Whitman: Citizen Poet,” a new documentary short film directed by Haydn Reiss and Zinc Films in honor of Whitman’s bicentennial. The film, produced in association with the Poetry Foundation, features Poets Laureate Tracy K. Smith and Robert Hass, along with poet Martin Espada, discussing Walt Whitman’s life, work, and enduring influence on contemporary poetry. Partially shot here at the Library of Congress, the film offers glimpses of the Great Hall and the office of the Poet Laureate as Tracy K. Smith beholds some of the Library’s most treasured Whitman items: the poet’s cane, spectacles, poem drafts from “Leaves of Grass,” and a cast of his hand.
If you weren’t able to stop by the open house yesterday to catch “Walt Whitman: Citizen Poet,” you’ll be happy to know that the film is available to stream online at the Poetry Foundation’s website: Watch it here.
To learn more about the Library’s Walt Whitman collections, exhibits, and resources, visit our new Walt Whitman online guide.
The following guest post is by Abby Yochelson, Reference Specialist in the Main Reading Room, Researcher & Reference Services Division. The Library of Congress will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birthday in spring 2019 with a series of exhibits, public programs, and a digital crowdsourcing campaign to showcase the Library’s unparalleled collections of Whitman’s writings […]
The following guest post is by Sasha Dowdy, program specialist in the Library’s Young Readers Center. To have great poets, there must be great audiences. So said Walt Whitman, the famous 19th century American poet born on this day in 1819. And most would say Whitman became that great poet with even greater audiences: Whitman […]
The following guest post, part of our “Teacher’s Corner” series, is by Rebecca Newland, a Fairfax County Public Schools Librarian and former Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress. At this time of the school year, many of us are preparing to send our students to the next grade level, the next school, or […]
The following cross-post is by Alison Hall, a writer-editor for the Office of Public Information and Education in the U.S. Copyright Office. It also appears on the Copyright: Creativity at Work blog. Not only is the Library of Congress celebrating the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birth all month, but May is also the anniversary […]
The following guest post is by Amanda Zimmerman, reference assistant in the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The Library of Congress will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birthday in spring 2019 with a series of exhibits, public programs, and a digital crowdsourcing campaign to showcase the Library’s unparalleled collections of Whitman’s writings and […]
As From the Catbird Seat readers are no doubt aware from the recent string of Walt Whitman posts we’ve featured, the Library is in the middle of a season-long celebration of the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birthday. As part of this celebration, the Library has launched several new online Whitman-related initiatives and resources, including: […]
The following cross-post is by Paul Sommerfeld, a Reference Specialist in the Music Division of the Library of Congress. It also appears on In The Muse: Performing Arts Blog. Since publishing Leaves of Grass in June 1855, Walt Whitman and his poetry have captured the American imagination. Not until the early twentieth century, however, did […]
The following post was written by Neely Tucker, a writer-editor in the Library’s Office of Communications. It originally appeared on the Library of Congress Blog. Walt Whitman, that most exuberant of poets, the 19th century bard of transcendent sensitivity, sensuousness and epic vision, was given to intimate correspondence in his personal life, too. As the […]
The following guest post is by Barbara Bair, historian in the Library’s Manuscript Division. This is the third in a series of blog posts exploring the life and work of Walt Whitman. The Library of Congress will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birthday in spring 2019 with a series of exhibits, public programs, and a […]