Walt Whitman Bicentennial Reading

Thursday, May 2, 2019, 7 - 10pm

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Walt Whitman, 1848, photographer unknown. Background: first edition of 'Leaves of Grass'. Images courtesy Walt Whitman Archive

Walt Whitman, 1848, photographer unknown. Background: first edition of 'Leaves of Grass'. Images courtesy Walt Whitman Archive

A free, public reading from the work of Walt Whitman in celebration of his 200th birthday and the democratic imperatives of his work. Featuring Mark Doty, Marwa Helal, Major Jackson, D. Nurkse, Alicia Ostriker, Vijay Seshadri, Patricia Smith, Anne Waldman, and more. 

Seating is first come, first served.

Presented by the Academy of American Poets, The Cooper Union, Poets House, and the Poetry Society of America. Co-sponsored by Canto Mundo, CLMP, PEN America, Poets & Writers, and Urban Word. 

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.