Category Archives: Whitman Illuminated

“Flash Tour” in NYC: Friday, Sunday


To express my appreciation of the independent book stores of the NY metro area for their support of my book, I’ll be conducting a lightning-fast “flash tour” (blame me for the awful term, but it gets to the point) of Manhattan on Friday, June 6th, and Brooklyn on Sunday, June 8th–after which I’ll be attending the Brooklyn Bridge Park marathon reading of “Song of Myself”.

I’ll be dropping into select New York bookshops to sign their copies of my book, express my thanks to the staff, and then bugger off so they can get on with their lives. (If you see a debonair but tragically short man defacing a copy of “Whitman Illuminated” at your local bookshop, please say hello.)

I appreciate the business of indie bookstores as much as they appreciate yours, so kindly support them!

June 8: Song of Myself Marathon Reading

Contribute Your Barbaric Yawp to the 11th Annual Marathon Reading of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”

Sunday, June 8, 2014, 4-6PM at the Granite Prospect in Brooklyn Bridge Park (Pier One)

Creator and Organizer: Karen Karbiener
Special Guest: Martín Espada

For more information, click here.

There are still a few openings left for treaders, so send an email if you’d like to participate!

See you there.


DSC04487The signing and “birthday party” at BEA went well. I was signing BLADs for three hours straight yesterday afternoon. I was happy to have met an awful lot of people who championed the book, which was gratifying. And of course, my trusty agent Peter and the folks at Tin House were there to lend their support.

You may be wondering who “Walt” is. The gentleman who has been so gracious as to serve as our “Walt” in the video and at yesterday’s little party is one of my best friends, Bill. Bill lives on the other side of my town, out in the woods running along Rancocas Creek. Over the winter he grew out his beard, and I think we were all amazed when we popped the hat onto his head for the first time. His resemblance to Whitman has certainly come in handy.


He’s a very quiet, thoughtful man, which only accentuates his Whitmanesque aura. Anyway, he’s been such a good sport over the past couple months, so the least I could do was make sure he got some cake and beer yesterday while I manned my table. I think he enjoyed the attention, too.

(I also think he enjoyed “loafing” on the new omnibuses.)




Horace Traubel

DSC04469 I stopped by Walt’s place at Harleigh Cemetery today, and woke him up. He was a bit grumpy about it at first, given the rainy weather, but his mood lightened when I offered him a beer. We then walked over to the resting place of his amanuensis and biographer, Horace Traubel, to see how he was doing. He’s at Harleigh too, but it had been a while. After the initial awkwardness, it was like old times again.

Housing Works


Last night was the biggest venue of the tour, and I’m pleased to say that we sold all of our copies. Huge thanks to David Kessler, Laura Baird, Ben Warfield, and John Pettit for accompanying me onstage last night at Housing Works. The screening of scenes from David’s film-in-progress, Pines, paired beautifully with the live score performed by Laura, Ben, and John, AKA the Ruins of Friendship Orchestra. We did Philly proud. And a huge thank-you to Amanda at Housing Works, Word Bookstores, and all of my NYC friends who made it out last night. I’m very grateful.

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Tuesday, May 27: Housing Works, NYC


Tomorrow evening will be my biggest planned event for New York! We will kick things off at 7PM with my friend, filmmaker David Kessler (he made my book trailer), who will be screening a short selection of scenes from his current film-in-progress, Pines. Our friends The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra will accompany David’s short film with a beautifully atmospheric, live score. This will be their first show in New York.

After the twenty-minute interlude of film and music, I will give a brief five-minute overview of my book, followed by an impromptu slideshow presentation about the making of Whitman Illuminated, during which audience members are invited to ask whatever questions they like. After this, I will be signing books.

The event will be taking place at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street, just off Houston). Housing Works Cafe is a non-profit bookstore. All proceeds go towards their mission to fight AIDS and homelessness.

See you on Tuesday night!