Whitman, Neruda, Ginsberg: A Reading and Conversation with Indran Amirthanayagam and Dan Vera in partnership with the Walt Whitman 200 at Union Market

Upcoming Event
Saturday, May 25, 2019 - 1:00pm

There are father poets and mother poets, poet prophets and poet founders. These three poets, in American English and Chilean Spanish, sired and husbanded and founded American idioms. In them, and from them, we discover the American line, the democratic voice, the liberty to roam through fields and cities, from the heights of Machu Picchu to San Francisco Bay, and to the rivulets in the skin of a blade of grass. Whitman wrote A Song of Myself, Neruda The Heights of Machu Picchu, Ginsberg Howl. Taking off from, but not limiting ourselves to these three poems, we will set off on the open road of the imagination, learning about democracy and liberty and sexuality and identity along the way. A discussion with Indran Amirthanayagam and Dan Vera.

Indran Amirthanayagam (www.indranmx.com) writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. He has published fourteen poetry collections thus far, including the just released Coconuts on Mars (www.paperwall.in), The Elephants of Reckoning (Hanging Loose Press, NY, 1993) which won the 1994 Paterson Prize in the United States, Uncivil War (Tsar/Mawenzi House, Toronto, 2013) and The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems (Hanging Loose Press, NY, 2008) Other books include Il n’est de solitude que l’île lointaine (Legs Editions, Haiti, 2017), and Ventana Azul (El Tapiz del Unicornio, Mexico City, 2016), In music, he has released Rankont Dout (available to download from all the music stores). He has written on poetry for the blog http://indranamirthanayagam.blogspot.com. He directs Poetry at the Port, a monthly spoken word series at Port Au Prince restaurant in Silver Spring. He is on the Board of Directors of DC-ALT, an association of literary translators. He writes a weekly column featuring poems for the newspaper Haiti en Marche. Amirthanayagam is a past recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The US/Mexico Fund for Culture and the Macdowell Colony.

Dan Vera is a writer, editor, watercolorist, and literary historian. The recipient of the 2017 Oscar Wilde Award for Poetry and the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, he’s the co-editor of Imaniman: Poets Writing In The Anzaldúan Borderlands (Aunt Lute Books) and author of two books of poetry, Speaking Wiri Wiri (Red Hen Press) and The Space Between Our Danger and Delight (Beothuk Books). His work is featured by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and included in college and university curricula, various journals including Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly; and in anthologies including the forthcoming Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology, The Travelers Vade Mecum, and The Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on the American South. A featured reader around the country including the Poetry Foundation, New York City’s Poets House and the Dodge Poetry Festival.

The Walt Whitman 200 Festival celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of America’s most significant and enduring poets, who was a resident of Washington, DC for ten years during and after the Civil War. Over the course of twelve days, this city-wide celebration will emphasize the poet’s continuing influence on American culture and the city’s culture, and showcase the themes closest to the poet’s heart: unity, democracy, and healing. With events in all of DC’s eight wards, the festival includes multiple opportunities for residents to engage with Whitman’s legacy through readings, discussions, workshops, family events, exhibits, and more.

5015 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
Union Market