In Loving Memory: Greg Trupiano, 1955-2020
I have perceived that to be with those I like is enough,
To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,
To be surrounded by beautiful curious breathing laughing flesh is enough,
To pass among them . . to touch any one . . . . to rest my arm ever so lightly round
his or her neck for a moment . . . . what is this then?
I do not ask any more delight . . . . I swim in it as in a sea.
Our cherished friend and fellow Whitmanite Greg Trupiano passed away on February 18, 2020.
Greg made a life’s work of bringing people together, joyously and energetically, through music and poetry. He worked at the Sarasota Opera (FL) for more than thirty years, and was the founder and director of the Walt Whitman Project, a Brooklyn-based community arts organization. A lifelong Brooklynite, Greg built community wherever he went and was beloved for his lively information-packed Whitman walking tours; he organized and hosted countless public concerts and events and regularly (and magnificently) read formidable Section 33 since the inception of New York’s “Song of Myself” Marathon in 2003.
Greg was a major force in bringing poetry to public life. He brought Whitman home to his America. We already miss his excellent company, Brooklyn charm, electric enthusiasm for the opera and all things Whitman.
Greg’s husband Lon is planning a memorial service in Brooklyn later this year, and the Whitman Initiative is hoping to hold the first annual Greg Trupiano Whitman Walk during the weekend of our seventeenth annual “Song of Myself” Marathon (to be held on Sunday, May 31st this year).
We love you, Greg. And we know that you, our intrepid tour guide, are stopping somewhere waiting….
Each year Whitmaniacs gather on the shores of Brooklyn to recite Whitman’s “Song of Myself ” in its entirety. Persevering through the unyielding heat and epic storms, nothing mother nature has thrown at us has been able to halt this incredible tribute to Whitman’s life and work. Now the Corona virus and the city-wide regulations enacted to battle its spread have confronted us with a new challenge, one that will, as it has for so many events and gatherings, alter the very fabric of our humble endeavor. But do not fear, there WILL be a marathon this year! We are devising a plan to bring the marathon online and to gather everyone, as best we can, through the tools of technology. We will be revealing our plans and starting a call for readers shortly and we hope you will join us. Perhaps this will be the biggest marathon ever! Maybe there will be participants from across the country and around the globe! Something tells us Walt would love that.
WWI IN THE NEWS
“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!
“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!
PAST WHITMAN INITIATIVE ACTIVITIES
On Nov. 2nd we celebrated the co-naming of the intersection of Ryerson Street and DeKalb Avenue as Walt Whitman Way! Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, poets, and Whitman enthusiasts were on hand to celebrate this milestone marking the 200th Anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birth and the work to landmark his former home at 99 Ryerson Street.
In 1855, Walt Whitman would travel from his house on 99 Ryerson St. to the Rome Print shop on 98 Cranberry St. and back again to work on the publication of his masterwork Leaves of Grass. During the Walt Whitman Way Day ceremony we retraced Whitman’s footsteps between these two locations, learning about his connection to the neighborhood along the way, and arriving just in time for the amazing ceremony speakers and performers!
Walt Whitman Birthday Bicentennial Publication!
Interested in finding out what this Whitmania is all about?
Want to find a Whitman event near you?
Want to learn more about Whitman and his work?
The Walt Whitman Birthday Bicentennial Publication has got you covered!
Thanks to all the Whitman Consortium members that made this publication possible.