NARA - National Archives and Records Administration

01/13/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/13/2021 10:58

Whitman in DC: Becoming the National Poet in the Federal City

Washington, DC

Explore and celebrate Walt Whitman's time in the nation's capital with Whitman scholar and author Kenneth M. Price on Tuesday, January 19, at noon.Register to attend. Watch the virtual program livestreamed on the National Archives YouTube channel.

Kenneth Price uses Walt Whitman's life, writings, and government work to reevaluate the writer and the nation's capital. Drawing on an expanded Whitman corpus, including nearly 3,000 Whitman documents the author discovered at the National Archives, Price demonstrates that the power of Whitman's Civil War and Reconstruction writing more fully emerges from his intimate knowledge of the capital city, its bureaucracies, and its tumultuous postwar history. In this National Archives video, Walt Whitman Documents Discovered in the National Archives, Professor Price describes his remarkable discovery.

The Walt Whitman Archive, funded in part by the National Archives' National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), is an electronic research and teaching tool that provides easy access to Whitman's vast work that include fiction, notebooks, manuscript fragments, prose essays, letters, marginalia, and voluminous journalistic articles. The Whitman Archive is the most comprehensive record of works by and about Whitman-and continues to grow. The Archive is co-directed by Kenneth M. Price (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Ed Folsom (University of Iowa). In August 2020, with the continued generous support of the NHPRC, the Whitman Archive published an additional 464 Whitman letters.

Kenneth M. Price, Whitman Archive co-director, is Hillegass University Professor of American literature at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the co-editor of books on Literary Studies in the Digital Age, James Weldon Johnson, George Santayana, and 19th-century periodical literature. He is the co-editor of Dear Brother Walt: The Letters of Thomas Jefferson Whitman (Kent State, 1984); editor of Walt Whitman: The Contemporary Reviews (Cambridge, 1996); author of Whitman and Tradition: The Poet in His Century (Yale, 1990) and To Walt Whitman, America (North Carolina, 2004).

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