Thursday, October 29, 2015

Celebrating Walt Whitman in Montclair

On Thursday, November 12, 2015, the Montclair Monthly Poetry Series is presenting a reading of The Great Sympathetic: Walt Whitman and the North American Review(NAR).

This anthology marks the bicentennial of the oldest literary magazine in the United States, collecting essays by and about Whitman, as well as poems inspired by Whitman, all of which originally appeared in the pages of North American Review.

The editor of the anthology, J.D. Schraffenberger, will read that night with poets Martín Espada, Lauren Schmidt, and Harry Waitzman.

In addition to the featured readers, the following poets will read their own work dedicated to Walt Whitman: Linda Cronin, Gail Fishman Gerwin, Jim Gwyn, Linda Hillringhouse, Francesca Marguerite Maxime, Mary Ann Miller, Ken Ronkowitz, and Tom Plante.

This free event is at 7 p.m. at the Montclair Public Library (auditorium), 50 South Fullerton Ave., Montclair, NJ. An open reading follows the featured readers.

Martín Espada has published nearly twenty books as poet, editor, essayist, and translator. His collection The Trouble Ball received the Milt Kessler Award, a Massachusetts Book Award, and an International Latino Book Award. The Republic of Poetry was awarded the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Espada has won an American Book Award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

Lauren Schmidt is the author of three collections of poetry: Two Black Eyes and a Patch of Hair Missing, The Voodoo Doll Parade, and Psalms of The Dining Room, a sequence of poems about her volunteer experience at a soup kitchen in Eugene, Oregon. Her work has appeared in North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Rattle, Nimrod, Painted Bride Quarterly, PANK, New York Quarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, The Progressive, and others.

Jeremy Schraffenberger is the editor of the North American Review and the NAR Press. He is the author of two books of poems, Saint Joe’s Passion and The Waxen Poor, and the editor of The Great Sympathetic: Walt Whitman and the North American Review. His other work has appeared in Best Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Poetry East, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. He is an associate professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa.

Harry Waitzman is a retired judge living in Congers, New York. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Law School and worked as a country lawyer and town judge. He decided poetry was the most important thing in his life, went to Sarah Lawrence College and graduated with an MFA in 1993. His chapbook, Seven Views of Hudson's River, was published in 1987. He is published widely in literary journals.

For more information, please contact: Laura Boss at or Maria Mazziotti Gillan at

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