Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs, a
kosmos. Disorderly, fleshy and sensual…eating,
drinking, and breeding.
No sentimentalist, no stander above men and
women or apart from them, no more modest
Unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the
doors themselves from their jambs!
On July 4, 1855, an anonymous poem entitled
Leaves of Grass was published in Brooklyn.
Nothing like it had ever been seen before: big,
sprawling, sexual, democratic, ecstatic, both rough
and gentle. It was, its author claimed, "America
singing." In commemoration of this landmark literary
event, and in celebration of Whitman's large-hearted
vision, the Aurora Forum hosts a dramatic reading
of "Song of Myself" directed by Kay Kostopoulos.
After the performance—accompanied by music and
historic images—a panel of Whitman scholars and
poets will discuss the poem's meanings and what it
says about democratic ideals today. Facsimile editions
of the 1855 version of "Song of Myself" will be given
to all who attend.
Professor of English and poet.
SHELLEY FISHER FISHKIN
Professor of English.
Coe Professor of American Literature, Emeritus.
Lecturer in English and novelist.
Admission InfoDoors open at 6:00 p.m. Seating is Limited. Please Arrive Early.