Written & Performed by Brian "Fox" Ellis

Performance followed by Q & A with performer/scholar.

Sponsored by:
Bishop Hill Heritage Association
About this Webinar
Meet America's pre-eminent poet as he shares the story of his life
intermingled with the poems we have all grown to love. Hear eloquent
selections from “Leaves of Grass,” and his philosophy of free verse.
Listen to tales of the Civil War in poetry from “Drum Taps.” Celebrate
the life of Abraham Lincoln in his eulogy “Oh, Captain, My Captain.” Few
poets have transformed poetry or captured the voice of America like Walt
Whitman. Come, take my hand, spend an evening immersed in the mystical
delight of the old gray bearded poet.

As a young reporter, Walt Whitman heard Ralph Waldo Emerson deliver a
lecture about the need for an American Voice to develop an American
Poetry unique and distinctive from the Old World. Walt Whitman became
that voice! His first book of poems, Leaves of Grass, is internationally
renown as the harbinger of a new poetics. Drawing inspiration from such
diverse elements as the list poems found in the King James version of
the Old Testament, the long lyrical lines of Italian Opera, the brash
braggadocio of American laborers, the rhythms of religious revival, the
language of the street, and the poetry of popular song, Whitman created
a new style of poetry rooted in the fiber of the people he knew and
loved. His was the visionary song of Democracy, “Out of the cradle
endlessly rocking, out of the mockingbird’s throat!”

  • 7:30PM (CST) Performance: Walt Whitman: A Song of Myself
  • 8:00PM (CST) Q & A with Scholar/Performer
  • 1597795644-7843431b2112af4b
    Brian "Fox" Ellis
    Host, Scholar & Performer
    Brian “Fox” Ellis, more than a fan of Whitman, he spent a week in New
    York and Brooklyn, walking in Whitman’s footsteps with a Harvard
    educated, Tony nominated, Broadway actor, poet and play write, taking
    turns reciting Whitman to anyone who would listen, often reading poems
    in the places they were written. Fox has created more than a dozen one
    man shows, several of which have received funding from the Illinois,
    Indiana, Iowa and Missouri Humanities Councils. He is the author of more
    than 20 books including three books of poetry, and two books on Whitman,
    Song of Myself and Walt Whitman’s Lincoln. He teaches creative writing
    across the curriculum with an emphasis on using poetry to bring history
    and ecology to life. He has also launched a new podcast, Fox Tales
    International, and will soon host and produce two new television series
    for PBS, Fox Tales Folklore and History…In Person! (http://www.foxtalesint.com)