Please join us on April 25th at the Venice Island Performing Arts Center for a night of poetry, as we celebrate the life and work of Walt Whitman for "Whitman at 200." Poets Lamont Steptoe, Sean Lynch, Sean Hanrahan, Aaren Perry, and Sydney Coffin will read selections from Whitman's canon as well as some of their own works, and an open mic will follow their readings.
Doors will open at 7:45 pm and the reading will begin at 8:00 pm. Please be advised that if you plan to park outside of the Venice Island Performing Arts Center, it is pay-for-parking and there are kiosks at each end of the lot.
Hope to see you on the 25th!
About our featured poets:
Lamont B. Steptoe was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Steptoe is an award winning poet; the recipient of an AMERICAN BOOK AWARD, A PEW FELLOWSHIP IN THE ARTS, TWO PENNSYLVANIA COUNCIL ON THE ARTS AWARDS, AN INDUCTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL HALL OF FAME FOR WRITERS OF AFRICAN DESCENT BY THE GWENDOLYN BROOKS CENTER OF CHICAGO AND A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD BY KUNTU WRITERS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH. A VIETNAM VETERAN AND PUBLISHER/FOUNDER OF WHIRLWIND PRESS, STEPTOE IS THE AUTHOR OF SIXTEEN COLLECTIONS OF PORTRY INCLUDING: CRIMSON RIVER, MAD MINUTE, DUSTY ROAD, UNCLES' SOUTH CHINA SEA BLUE NIGHTMARE, A LONG MOVIE OF SHADOWS, CROWNS & HALOS, ORACULAR RUMBLINGS & STILTWALKING, MEDITATIONS IN CONGO SQUARE AND MOST RECENTLY BEYOND THE WHITE STONE LIONS.
Sean Lynch is a poet and editor who lives in South Philly. He met Walt Whitman, who was wielding a puppet and riding a bike in Camden, NJ, back in 2011 and they've been best friends ever since. Lynch's poems have been published in various journals including (parenthetical), Chrysanthemum, and Poetry Quarterly. He is the author of three chapbooks, the latest being 100 Haiku, published in 2018 by Moonstone Press. You can find out more on swlynch.com
Sean Hanrahan is a poet originally hailing from Dale City, Virginia. He has also lived and loved in Harrisonburg, VA; Washington DC; NYC; and Philadelphia. He is the author of the chapbook, Hardened Eyes on the Scan, published in 2018 by Moonstone Press. His work has also been included in several anthologies, including the Poetry Ink, Philadelphia Says: Not Our President, Moonstone Featured Poets, Queer Around the World, and Stonewall’s Legacy (forthcoming) anthologies. His work has been published in the journals Peculiar, The Philadelphia Secret Admirer, and Voicemail Poems. He currently serves on the Moonstone Press Editorial Board, as a poetry editor for Toho, and as an instructor for the Green Street Poetry workshop.
Bilingual with an MFA in Writing from Vermont College, Aaren Perry is an invited poet at schools, colleges and conferences. Along with his three collections of poetry, his work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, on NPR and TV broadcasts. He has performed his work with musicians, visual artists and dancers at venues from the Fringe, Kimmel, World Café, the top of the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Painted Bride to the Nuyorican Cafe and Bowery Poetry Club.
Sydney Hunt Coffin has been teaching English, Poetry, and Art for 20 years in Philadelphia, spending summers working and studying at Yale University's National Initiative to strengthen teaching in public schools, and has served on the Teacher Advisory Council of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As a poet he has been published in Mad House Press, Apiary magazine, and Yale University Press, and is currently an MFA student at New York University in Paris. Sydney's late mentor, Hugh Young, was a tremendous fan of Walt Whitman's, and will be the author of at least 1 poem during his time reading.