Poet of the Body: New York’s Walt Whitman

The Grolier Club, New York City, May 15 – July 27, 2019

A celebration of Whitman’s enduring relationship with the metropolis that sired and inspired him, the exhibition is curated by collector Ms. Tane  and Dr. Karen Karbiener, NYU Clinical Professor and President of the Walt Whitman Initiative.

Learn more about this exhibition!


“Celebrating Walt Whitman the Long Islander, 200 years after he was born”
Newsweek, John Hanc, May 10, 2019

An article on Whitman’s connection to Long Island throughout his life, featuring insights and Whitman walking tours by Karen Karbiener!


“Preserving Walt Whitman’s Clinton Hill house: Poet’s 200th birthday improves odds”
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Lore Croghan, May 9, 2019

Learn about the fight to save Whitman’s Ryerson house and the important role that the Walt Whitman Initiative is taking in that effort!



The Walt Whitman Initiative, along with Brad Vogel (Executive Director of the New York Preservation Archive Project), a team of historic preservationists (including Andrew Dolkart and Simeon Bankoff), and the NYC LGBTQ Historic Sites Project, have formed a “Coalition to Save Walt Whitman’s House” in an effort to draw attention to Whitman’s historical home at 99 Ryerson Street, Brooklyn, and its  need for protection and preservation.

Please help support our efforts to protect 99 Ryerson Street, Brooklyn— his only New York City home that is still standing, and the very place he completed the first edition of Leaves of Grass in 1855.  The plain appearance of this 1850s wood frame house appearance contrasts sharply with the grand homes of Longfellow in Cambridge MA and Emerson in Concord, MA, reminding pilgrims of the urban, working-class roots of America’s greatest poet.

Please sign your name to the petition to designate the site a landmark and/or write directly to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (RFE@lpc.nyc.gov). Contact us for other ways to help in this effort.  Thank you!

Sign to Save Walt’s House!


Full Calendar of Events

Walt Whitman: America’s Poet

March 29 @ 8:00 am - July 27 @ 5:00 pm

Walt Whitman: Bard of Democracy

June 7 - September 15


This year will be the 16th annual Song of Myself Marathon! We are calling it the “StoneWalt Edition” in honor of Whitman’s 200th birthday and the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.

If you’d like to “yawp,” please email your favorite three sections of “Song of Myself” (using the 1891-’92 edition’s breakdown of 52 sections) to Karen Karbiener at songofmyselfmarathon@gmail.com. Original interpretations of your passage are encouraged– particularly with a birthday or Stonewall theme for this year’s celebrations!

Event Information