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Yale GALA Ivy-Plus Virtual Book Club. Discussing Leaves of Grass (12-poem first edition)
written by Natasha, 6/9/20 2:26am
edited by Natasha, 3/7/21 12:03pm

Thurs, Feb 18, 2021 8 PM EST (5 PM Pacific) Join us to discuss Leaves of Grass (the 12-poem, first edition. 90 pages. freely available for download) -- and Walt Whitman's vision of American life, compared to today -- on a lively Zoom call.

Join us Thursday, February 18, 2021 8-9:30 PM EST (5-6:30 PM Pacific Time) 

RSVP for event: TBA

Meeting ID: 969 1080 7160
Passcode: 177437

What: Yale GALA Ivy-Plus Virtual Book Club. Discussion of Leaves of Grass (12-poem, first edition 1855), by Walt Whitman.  Everyone welcome. 
When: Thursday, February 18, 2021. 8-9:30 PM EST (5-6:30 PM Pacific Time).  
RSVP: Please check back for url

Optional: submit book ideas for next session (during RSVP or email to Jim and Natasha anytime) 
Cost: FREE 
Enjoy a lively and engaging discussion with old and new friends, about our February book: Leaves of Grass (the original, 12-poem first-edition 1855 - 90 pages) by Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman is an unusual poet, as he worked as a carpenter, journalist and teacher and had no formal eduction.  The original edition of Leaves of Grass -- self-published in 1855 -- grew to be a large compliation over time, as he continuely revised it. It speaks of people in day-to-day life and American democracy. 
Leaves of Grass (1855) is freely available on-line in PDF from Rosings Digital Publications (with no copyright notice -- and the copyright from 1855 would be expired, anyway)


1. Wikipedia entry: Great entry. Describes history, versions, themes, analysis, importance and popular cultural references.

2. The Atlantic article: "Walt Whitman's Guide to a Thriving Democracy" (May, 2019) by Mark Edmundson 

"America had a mind shaped by its Founders, but the country needed the poet to discover its spirit."

3. Commentary on the 1855 edition, from the Walt Whitman Archive 


“The importance of the first edition of Leaves of Grass to American literary history is impossible to exaggerate. The slender volume introduced the poet who, celebrating the nation by celebrating himself, has since remained at the heart of America's cultural memory because in the world of his imagination Americans have learned to recognize and possibly understand their own. As Leaves of Grass grew through its five subsequent editions into a hefty book of 389 poems (with the addition of the two annexes), it gained much in variety and complexity, but Whitman's distinctive voice was never stronger, his vision never clearer, and his design never more improvisational than in the twelve poems of the first edition.” 


Publishers' Reading Guide and Discussion Questions. (We do not need to use these): TBA

We may discuss both Whitman's vision of American life and compare and contrast it to what we’re experiencing now 

Yale GALA FB Event page: TBA


Zoom info:

Meeting ID: 969 1080 7160
Passcode: 177437

Next date: Thursday, March 18, 2021. 8-9:30 PM EST (5-6:30 PM Pacific Time). Book The Native Country of the Heart (2019), by Cherrie Moraga

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