Karl Grossman endorses Walt Whitman holiday

from Suffolk Closeup: Remembering Whitman by Karl Grossman

LIer Darryl Ford as Whitman reading at Canio's Leave of Grass marathon 052116

LIer Darrel Ford as Whitman reading at Canio’s Leave of Grass marathon 052116

Suffolk County Green Party activists Ian and Kimberly Wilder, lovers of poetry and nature, residents of Riverhead, have proposed making his birthday a national holiday.

Said Ms. Wilder, a teacher, in an essay that is online (ontheWilderside.com):

“Walt Whitman was born close to me in West Hills…For me Whitman has become a touchstone for something more than beautiful poetry. I first discovered Walt Whitman for myself when he was quoted in a sermon in an interfaith church in Virginia. Then a bookstore colleague of mine read with me from ‘Leaves of Grass,’ and I was awakened to this powerful voice of self, universe, and nature, combined. Since then, I have come to realize Whitman’s amazing gifts as a poet, as political figure, as reshaper of language, as loving brother, and as a complicated and beautiful a person who ever lived.”

“Whitman’s sense of self and poetry are effused with a love and connection to nature,” Kimberly went on. And, she emphasized: “Whitman credited this constant backdrop of Long Island’s pulsing waters for the subtle rhythm in the new poetic language he invented. And as a good transcendentalist, he had a genuine passion for the sea, the sun, and the earth over material goods.”

On a Walt Whitman birthday celebration, she said, “every person and business (especially those on Long Island) should observe 15 minutes of silence. We could stop mowing our lawns, stop driving our cars, click off our cellphones, turn off all buzzes and drones of machinery, and just listen to the silence that enfolds us again in the embrace of nature.”   Read more »

Green Party of Suffolk Demands LGBT Legislation

Green Party of Suffolk Urges NY State Senate to
Move Forward on Pro-LGBT Legislation
Green Party of SuffolkThe Green Party of Suffolk County, NY is adding their voice to those calling on the NY State Senate to stop blocking two pro-LGBT bills so that they may see a vote. We ask all who feel LGBT individuals deserve equal rights to contact the NY State Senate to urge them to pass these bills.

The first bill, introduced by Sen. Daniel Squadron, is NY Senate bill # S-61-b, also known as GENDA, or the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. This bill will amend all existing state human/civil rights and nondiscrimination laws to include the category of Gender Identity and Expression, making it illegal to discriminate against transgender or gender-nonconforming people throughout NY State. At this time, only Suffolk County, the New York City Metro area, and several townships in Upstate New York have explicit gender rights protections. A state law is needed to make these laws enforceable, and to make the entire state of NY a place trans and gender-nonconforming people can live in safety and with dignity. While the state has passed recent measures to reinterpret existing definitions of the category “sex” to include “transgender and gender-nonconforming people,” it is not the same as an explicit law to protect all New Yorkers.

The second bill, introduced by Sen. Brad Hoylman, is NY Senate bill # S-121. This bill is designed to ban the use of “conversion therapy” on LGBT youth. Although it has been established that gender identity or sexual orientation cannot be changed, there are still those who believe this can be done, exercising discredited and harmful activity on LGBT youth. California, Maryland, and New Jersey have passed anti-conversion therapy laws, but New York has not. We ask you to contact the Senate committee heads listed below and urge them to let these bills out of committee and to support them.

We urge you to contact your individual NY State Senators, encouraging them to support these bills.  Read more »

Photos & Video: Whitman’s Leaves of Grass Marathon May 21, 2016

The full post with all the information about the Canio’s Books marathon reading of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass  on May 21, 2016 can be found here.

Scott Chaskey (Sag Harbor’s Walt Whitman) reading “So Long” at Canio’s Leaves of Grass May 21, 2016 marathon.  The video ends before the end of the poem.

An album of photos from the reading can be found here.  A few are below

Canio's Leaves of Grass marathon 052116

Kimberly Wilder (onthewilderside.com), Scott Chaskey (Sag Harbor’s Walt Whitman), and Darrel Ford (LI’s Walt Whitman)  Read more »

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  caniosculturalcafe@gmail.com 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 PeaceSmiths.org


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 www.homecomingearth.org to learn more about Homecoming Farm. For more information, call 631-842-6000, Ext. 307 or email Sophiagardengrow@aol.com

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 »

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