Yale Marks Walt Whitman's 200th Birthday With Pop-Up Exhibit

May 31, 2019

Friday marks the 200th birthday of one of America’s greatest poets – Walt Whitman – and Yale’s Beinecke Library is honoring him with a pop-up exhibit.

Whitman’s masterpiece, of course, was “Leaves of Grass” – he spent his whole life on it. It’s one of the most beloved and influential books ever published. And you can see two copies of the first edition of “Leaves of Grass” on display at the exhibit. 

“So we have it open to the beginning of the first poem, and you really get a sense of the care that he took, not only with his craft of writing, but how the writing was presented to the world in print," said Michael Morand, who is with the Beinecke. "Whitman really is one of the great writers of the nation. He sung a song of the nation, and also opened up new ways of writing that continue to echo and have influence down to our current day.”

The exhibit also includes photographs of Whitman, a pair of his eyeglasses and manuscripts and notes from Whitman’s last published work. The exhibit runs through June 7.