Now, for a little sumptin’ on the academic side:

Call for Papers: Whitman & The Beats
March 26-28 2010
St. Francis College Brooklyn, NY

The English and Communication Arts Departments at St. Francis College calls for papers that celebrate the influence of Walt Whitman on Beat writers including but not limited to Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac.

We seek papers that break new ground in addressing Whitman’s presence in the works of Beat writers, the reception of Whitman’s poetry by the Beats, and papers which address how the legacy of the Beats, their perspectives of their era and artistic innovations, may be traced to whitman’s influence on American literary culture. Topics may include (but are not limited to)areas of inquiry such as “the road”, “gender and sexuality”, “mysticism”, “religion and spirituality”, “America”, and “transcendentalism”. Examples of possible papers include (but, again, are not limited to)

“The Beats and the Search for Authenticity”
“Forging a New American Language”
“The Spontaneous Yawp: “New” Writing Styles in Whitman and the Beats”
“Cultural Minutia Found in Whitman and the Beats”
“Whitman’s and the Beats use of New York City”
“The Beat’s (Sub)Consious Rewriting of Whitman”
“Whose America? The Idea of a Nation in Whitman and the Beats”
“Homosexuality in the Beats and Whitman”
“War in Whitman and the Beats”
“Poetry for (and about) the People”
“Autobiographical Influences in the Poetry of Ginsberg and Whitman”
“Not Ready for Prime Time: the “Forgotten” Works of Whitman and the Beats”
“Nationalistic Drum Banging in Whitman and the Beats”

To submit, please send a 500-word abstract to Dr. Scott Weiss at by January 31, 2010. Finished papers should be 8-10 pages, capable of being read in 20 minutes or less. Please note on your abstract your technological needs for your presentation.

Scott Weiss, PhD
Department of Communication Arts
St Francis College
180 Remsen St
Brooklyn Heights NY 11201
718 489 3487

And while we’re on Whitman, our friend Steve Silberman made some dazzling composite images based on the few existing photos of Whitman, “in an attempt to pay tribute to Whitman’s grand idea by allowing the figure of the poet to emerge from swarms of other events and other lives, from the microscopic to the macroscopic.” He highly recommends viewing them with a graphics program like photoshop, in order to get the full effect. Go to site >>

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