a nonprofit devoted to interdisciplinary arts and humanities public education


Walt Whitman

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Singing "Myself" Together

Our Walt Whitman bicentennial project is designed to celebrate and explore Whitman’s epic poem Song of Myself. It is planned around 52 discussions and collaborative close readings, each corresponding to a section of Whitman’s poem. As his epic seeks to represent the vast range of possibilities and peoples in a burgeoning democratic space, everyone is invited to take part in the planned discussions and close readings.

Reading at Whitman's grave

Reading at Whitman's grave

Collaborative reading and analysis of Section 16 of "Song of Myself"

Collaborative reading and analysis of Section 16 of "Song of Myself"

As with TUPP’s other seminar series, the Singing ‘Myself’ Together discussions are recorded on audio, video, and in photographs. The recordings feature poets, scholars and other guests, generally in groups of two or three, reading from and discussing Whitman’s poem with Eric Alan Weinstein. 

Once each discussion has been recorded, TUPP will send it to one of 52 reading groups located both within the US and throughout the world. These groups will then use digital audio to photograph themselves and record a discussion both about the section of the poem they are studying and about our collaborative close reading and discussion of that section. In this way, each of the 52 readings is in fact part of a pair, participating in a call and response that propels our engagement with Whitman outward to all interested individuals.

During the spring term of 2020, Eric Alan Weinstein and members of the TUPP team plan to travel to up to 40 university campuses across the US and Canada.  There they will be working with nearly 150 poets and faculty members to bring discussions of each individual canto of Song of Myself to life. 

Do you want to help? Do you want to participate? Do you know a poet or faculty member who would be great for this project? Let us know. We want to hear from you! Write to us at:   waltwhitman.project@unbindingprometheus.org