How To Celebrate Walt Whitman’s Birthday

ki and whitmans2 canios

Two Walt Whitman(s) at Canio’s book store. 2016.

Poet Walt Whitman was born on Long Island, New York, on May 31, 1819. Onthewilderside proposes a national holiday for Whitman’s birthday. Below are some videos and ideas about how to honor this wonderful poet, thinker, and experimenter of language.

For those of us on Long Island, please do not forget the annual events at The Walt Whitman Birthplace in Huntington Station…

Sunday, June 5th at noon:
Young Poets Award Ceremony with Robert Pinsky

On Saturday, June 4th, there is a Master Class in the afternoon with Robert Pinksy, and a reading, reception, and book signing with Pinsky at 5:30pm.

Video: How a poet and nature lover celebrates Walt Whitman’s Birthday…
(See companion text at readmore)



Read more »

Walt Whitman Marathon, May 21, 2016

from Canio’s Cultural Cafe

“Starting from fish-shape Paumanok where I was born,
… I strike up for a New World.”
 – Walt Whitman

Join us to celebrate Long Island’s great American poet, Walt Whitman. Canio’s Cultural Cafe’s marathon reading of Leaves of Grass honors Whitman’s birthday, May 31 (born 1819). Community poets, actors and others will read a selection of Whitman’s most loved poems from Leaves of Grass.

We invite you to come listen, read and celebrate. Support the Marathon and our not-for-profit Canio’s Cultural Cafe by sponsoring a poem. You can even have your photograph taken with “Walt” outside the shop!

Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m. Pre-Marathon Event, “Whitman on Long Island” with William T. Walter, President, Walt Whitman Birthplace

Saturday, May 21, 10am – 6 pm MARATHON Reading at Canio’s Books

Saturday, May 21, 6 to 7:30pm  After PARTY at Canio’s  

All events at Canio’s Books, 290 Main St, Sag Harbor, NY 11963.

Poetry is meant to be heard. It speaks to the ears and heart, so don’t miss this marvelous way to experience Whitman’s words live. Register to read a poem. Please email or call 631.725.4926.

Reserve a seat at our Pre-Marathon scholar’s talk Friday, May 20, 5 p.m. with Karen Karbiener, Whitman expert who leads a Marathon read at the Brooklyn Bridge in June.  Read more »

Triceratones at 5/6/16 PeaceSmiths Coffeehouse

The PeaceSmiths Topical, A-Typical, Folk Music, Poetry, and Whatever Coffeehouse on Friday, May 6, 2016 at 8pm presents…

Triceratones In The Round! with Rorie Kelly, Pauline Salotti, Martha Trachtenberg and
Claire Raby.

Rorie Kelly has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Sara Bareilles for her catchy-confessional songwriting style, and to Alanis Morisette and Janis Joplin for her raw powerhouse vocals. Rorie’s debut release, Wish Upon a Bottlecap, received airplay across the nation. Her followup live CD, Sincerely Live, featured knockout performances of brand new songs and fan favorites. Rorie is currently working on a new studio release called Rising Rising Rising, and a women’s empowerment project called Songs to Start a Fire.

Pauline Salotti besides being a songwriter & performer is a WUSB FM 90.1 FM Talk Show Host, Producer and Engineer.

Martha Trachtenberg is a prolific singer-songwriter-guitarist. She was a founding member of The Buffalo Gals, the first all-woman bluegrass band, followed by a career as a jingle singer in NYC, and has had her songs recorded by such artists as Tony Trishka and Skyline, Missy Raines, Jim Hurst, Kathy Chiavola and Dede Wyland. She performs solo as well as with her husband, musician and producer Tom Griffith.

Claire Raby is a singer, songwriter, vocalist, and the Triceratones’ official fashion director. Her songs are characterized by her many layers of ethereal vocals, accompanied by electric guitar.

Open Time, we got a time at the end for you, if you got a song poem, jokes, or hurrahs.

$7 at the door. We collect vegetarian non-perishable food items for Long Island Food Not Bombs. Cans of vegetables, canned fruit, or bags of rice are good.

Read more »

PeaceSmiths Coffeehouse with George Mann 4/1/16

PeaceSmiths CoffeehousePeaceSmiths Topical, A-Typical, Folk Music, Poetry, and Whatever Coffeehouse on Friday, April 1, 2016 at 8pm presents George Mann, Chris Connolly and Open Time.

More information at


This May: Break Free From Fossil Fuels

LI Rally for Peace 4/16/16

Peace, Justice and Occupy: Plus FerryThe North Country Peace Group urges you to attend its annual


Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. in Port Jefferson Village

Assemble at 12:15 p.m. at the intersection of Rt. 112 (Main St.) and Rt. 25A (blinking light, across from ferry) in Port Jefferson Village.

Groups, please bring your banners. Signs will be supplied, or bring your own signs related to the theme of perpetual war-making.   Read more »

Long Island Coffeehouse: 3/4/2016 PeaceSmiths

Looking for poetry, live music, and/or a Long Island Coffeehouse? PeaceSmiths has held a monthly coffeehouse (October through June) for over thirty years. You can find your favorite performers, an expansive peace activist literature table, and some great networking.

PeaceSmiths Long Island Coffeehouse
Friday, March 4, 2016
at 8pm


The PeaceSmiths Topical, A-Typical, Folk Music, 
Poetry, and Whatever Coffeehouse presents

Two musicians, and a poet, including…

Gary Ivan, a witty and wonderful songwriter and guitarist. Gary Ivan is also: a visual artist; a friend of the Walt Whitman Birthplace; a many times attendee of Dylan Days in Hibbing, Minnesota; a Huntington culture-vulture; and a Man-About-Town. See two of our favorite Gary Ivan videos at the readmore…


Please bring a nonperishable item of vegan food for
LI Food Not Bombs


Note from Wilders: Besides all the other PeaceSmiths fun, this show should draw a big turnout from the Huntington Folk Music crowd.


Directions, Info, and Gary Ivan videos:

Read more »

Leap Day 2016 Poetry Project

On Leap Day 2016, David A. Kirschenbaum asked some friends to write poems during the day, and these folks contributed their words:

here’s the link to the work:

Ian’s poem:  Read more »

Homecoming: A Celebration of All Things Bees!  4/16/16

BEE the Change You Hope to See in the World

Homecoming Farm, North Amityville, NY 11701

Homecoming Farm will be offering its Sixth Annual Spring Awakening as a gathering for those who care about the future of our Earth.  This year’s  program is entitled “BEE the Change You Hope to See in the World…A Celebration of All Things Bees!” It take place on April 16, 2016 from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm at Helen Butler Hall at Dominican Village, 565 Albany Avenue, Amityville, NY  11701. Registration is required at $40 per person which includes lunch.

This will be a wonderful program for beekeepers, gardeners, honey- lovers and anyone who wants to learn more about the world of bees on Long Island.  Proceeds from the event will benefit Homecoming Farm.   Please visit their website at to learn more about Homecoming Farm. For more information, call 631-842-6000, Ext. 307 or email

This year’s theme is In response to the crises facing honey bees, bumble bees, native bees and other pollinators. We will spend a day together talking about pollinators and how we can protect them. In addition to lunch, the day’s events will include  Read more »

Long Island Poetry Event: Poetry Around The World on 2/17/16

A Global Languages Event for
poetry listeners, readers, and performers
Wednesday Evening
February 17th
at 6:30pm

Riverhead Free Library
Long Island, New York

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Poetry-Around-The World

Kimberly Wilder will host an evening of sharing poetry in English and other languages.

We invite you to bring your own poems, or your favorite published poets. Alternatively, you may just come by to listen, relax, and soak up the beauty of language. Our theme for the February 2016 reading is “Love”. Please feel free to bring your Valentine.

Some languages we are expecting or hoping for at this event: Spanish, French, and Russian; possibly Polish, Latin, and Italian; and a maybe from someone who speaks an Indian dialect.

More info and directions: Read more »

Peacesmiths Coffeehouse 1/8/16

PeaceSmithsPeaceSmiths January 2016 Coffeehouse
Friday, January 8th at 8pm
$7 donation requested, more if possible, less if necessary, please come

Music by Zack Reyes
Poetry by Steven Schmidt
Open Mic!

PeaceSmiths is held at: First United Methodist Church in Amityville 25, Broadway Ave, Amityville, NY


Directions and Info:

Read more »

Welcome to Boog City Festival 9.5 2/12/16 – 2/14/16

Welcome to Boog City Festival 9.5,The Festival includes

  • Poetry Talk Talk;
  • local indie music;
  • Classic Albums Live (Patti Smith’s Horses);
  • d.a. levy lives: celebrating renegade presses series with Spooky Girlfriend Press (Louisiana and Texas)
  • poetry theater, and
  • (of course) poetry readings.

The schedule, bios, and urls for Welcome to Boog City 9.5, the annual Presidents Day Weekend festival (Fri. Feb. 12-Sun. Feb. 14), below this note and here with the fest logo:

Welcome to Boog City 9.5

FRI., FEB. 12, 6:00 P.M.
$5 suggested

Unnameable Books
600 Vanderbilt Ave., Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

6:00 p.m. Poetry Talk Talk, with Jamey Jones and Edmund Berrigan, reading and in conversation
6:55 p.m.  Mimi Oz (music)

7:25 p.m. Break  Read more »

soul patch

when the sun blazes
or rain pours
you are the safe place
I come home to

when the world is full
of duties, demands and obligations
you are the stillness
sitting next to me

when the air is full
of murderous drones
green house gases
and bloviating politicians
you speak
sane quiet words

– IW


Brookhaven Supervisor Says Yes to overturn Citizens United

Brookhaven’s Romaine, Cartright, & Kepert vote to overturn Citizens United

Public views of the Citizens United v. Federal...

Public views of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine  broke with his Republican colleagues at the Town Board meeting on Thursday, Dec.17, 2015, to add his Yes vote to those of Councilwomen Valerie Cartright and Connie Kepert, for a Sense Resolution to be sent to the State, overturning the Supreme Court‘s recent decision in the case of Citizens United v FEC.   

The Resolution, proposed by Councilwoman Kepert, would support an amendment to the Constitution  to

exclude for-profit corporations from the constitutional rights given to human citizens regarding political campaign contributions.

New York is close to being the 17th State to support such an amendment. Opposing the three Yes votes, the remaining Council members Jane Bonner, Kevin LaValle, Neil Foley and Dan Panico abstained, and the Resolution failed to gather the majority needed to pass.   Read more »

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