Suffolk County's first poet laureate George Wallace presents a program on Walt Whitman and contemporary writers entitled “Whitman and Beyond,” on behalf of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association in West Hills Long Island. Through readings of selected works, the Wallace demonstrates how the emerging 18/19th century notion of the individual, championed by Romantic era writers in England and America, has remained a foundation literary theme for contemporary writers. Additionally, he points out the enduring legacy of Whitman's revolutionary style of writing, adapted to 20th and 21st century sensibilites in the work of figures as diverse as Carl Sandburg, Woody Guthrie, Toni Morrison and Allen Ginsberg.
George Wallace is Writer in Residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace (2011-present), first poet laureate of Suffolk County NY, and author of 28 chapbooks of poetry. An adjunct professor with the English Department at Pace University in Manhattan, Wallace is editor of Poetrybay, Poetryvlog, Walt‘s Corner, and co-editor of Great Weather For Media and Long Island Quarterly. A foundational figure on the New York City poetry performance scene, Wallace maintains an active international schedule of workshops, lecture presentations and poetry readings, particularly across the United States and in the UK.
His books of poetry include Beauty Parlors, Train Yards and Everything In Between (Spartan Press, KC, ‘13), Incident on the Orient Express (Nirala, New Delhi, ‘12), Poppin Johnny (Three Rooms Press, NYC ‘10), Burn My Heart in Wet Sand (Troubador Press, Leicester UK, ‘05) and Swimming Through Water (La-Finestra Editrice, Trento, It, ‘05). His book of poems EOS was recently the subject of a special benefit reading at the Greek Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
A graduate of Syracuse University (English, ‘67), where he studied poetry with WD Snodgrass and Donald Justice, Wallace obtained his MFA in 2008 at Pacific University, Oregon, working with Marvin Bell, David St John, Ellen Bass and Dorianne Laux.
Selected US appearances include: Poets House (NYC), Dharmaware (Woodstock), NC Museum of Art (NY), Wayne State University (Detroit), Mahalls (Cleveland), Pacific University (Oregon), Bird & Beckett (SF), Beyond Baroque (LA), Punahou Academy (Honolulu). Selected US festival and literary historical site appearances include: Lowell Celebrates Kerouac, Woody Guthrie Festival, Gordon Parks Museum, Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Pollock-Krasner House, National John Steinbeck Center; Selected International appearances include: Robert Burns Centre, Ruskin’s Brantwood, George Fox’ Swarthmoor Hall, Dylan Thomas Centre, Words by the Water, Shakespeare & Company, University of Parma, Odradek Books, About-Art, Athens Greece.