April 07, 2009, 7:00 PM
"Cohered out of Tumult and Chaos": The Poetry of Walt Whitman
Participants: Matt Miller & Cody Walker
This conversation between poets Matt Miller and Cody Walker will consider Whitman's creation of the first edition of Leaves of Grass. Whitman, it could be said, found a way of making collage long before the word "collage" was coined. In addition to exploring his creative process, the discussion will address Whitman as an urban bard and as an under-appreciated comedian. Miller and Walker will read selections from the following poems: "Song of Myself," "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," "The Sleepers," "Song of the Broad-Axe," "Respondez!," and "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer." They will also read some of their own poems that owe a debt to Whitman
No prior registration or fee is required. To view the poems, please click on the links below. Please bring a printed copy to the class. Copies of the poem will not be provided at the event.
Whitman Poems (PDF)
Cody Walker Poems (PDF)
Cody Walker lives in Lenox, Massachusetts, where he serves as the 2009 Amy Clampitt Resident Fellow. His first poetry collection, Shuffle and Breakdown, a two-time finalist for the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, was published in 2008 by The Waywiser Press. The book includes a series of poems addressed to Walt Whitman, two of which received the 2003 James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry from Shenandoah. He has taught seminars on Whitman at Seattle's Richard Hugo House and at the University of Washington, where he received a 2005 Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2007 he was elected Seattle Poet Populist. His work appears in The Best American Poetry, Slate, Parnassus, Shenandoah, Light, and elsewhere. He blogs for The Kenyon Review.
Matt Miller is Assistant Professor of English for Yeshiva University's Stern College for Women, where he teaches American literature and creative writing. He holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Iowa and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His book, Collage of Myself: Walt Whitman and the Making of Leaves of Grass, will be published in 2010 by the University of Nebraska Press. Miller's poetry has appeared in many journals, including Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, New Letters, Open City, and Prairie Schooner.
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