Leaves of Grass

Leaves of Grass

The Sesquicentennial Essays

Edited and with an introduction by Susan Belasco, Ed Folsom, and Kenneth M. Price

503 pages
13 photograhs, index


January 2008


$30.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

January 2008


$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

This comprehensive volume celebrates the 150th anniversary of the 1855 edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass with twenty essays by preeminent scholars representing a variety of critical perspectives that focus exclusively on the original edition. Once regarded as primarily a collector’s item, this edition is now viewed as the poet’s most bold and compelling articulation of the possibilities of American democracy.
The essays weave a rich tapestry of the most current, innovative criticism on this foundational book of American poetry. The contributors treat Whitman’s poetry, his biography, his politics, his reception in the United States and abroad, race and ethnic issues, nineteenth-century America, and even the complex typographical history of the first edition of Leaves of Grass. The volume also includes a tribute from the renowned poet Galway Kinnell.

Author Bio

Susan Belasco is a professor of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the editor of Whitman's Poems in Periodicals for The Walt Whitman Archive. Ed Folsom is the Carver Professor of English at the University of Iowa, coeditor of The Walt Whitman Archive, and editor of Whitman East and West: New Contexts for Reading Walt Whitman. Kenneth M. Price is the Hillegass Professor of American Literature at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, coeditor of The Walt Whitman Archive, and the author of To Walt Whitman, America.
Contributors: Susan Belasco, Lawrence Buell, Matt Cohen, Betsy Erkkila, Ed Folsom, Thomas C. Gannon, Ted Genoways, Jay Grossman, Walter Grünzweig, M. Jimmie Killingsworth, Galway Kinnell, Donald D. Kummings, Jerome Loving, Joel Myerson, William Pannapacker, Vivian R. Pollak, Kenneth M. Price, David S. Reynolds, M. Wynn Thomas, and Alan Trachtenberg

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Susan Belasco, Ed Folsom, Kenneth M. Price
1. What We’re Still Learning about the 1855 Leaves of Grass 150 Years Later
Ed Folsom
Part 1. Foregrounding the First Edition
2. Whitman, Marx, and the American 1848
Betsy Erkkila
3. United States and States United: Whitman’s National Vision in 1855
M. Wynn Thomas
4. Reading the First Edition “One Goodshaped and Wellhung Man”: Accentuated Sexuality and the Uncertain Authorship of the Frontispiece to the 1855 Edition of Leaves of Grass
Ted Genoways
5. Whitman at Night: “The Sleepers” in 1855
Alan Trachtenberg
6. Complaints from the Spotted Hawk: Flights and Feathers in Whitman’s 1855 Leaves of Grass
Thomas C. Gannon
Part 2. Contextualizing the First Edition
7. Leaves of Grass and the Poetry Marketplace of Antebellum America
Susan Belasco
8. Leaves of Grass (1855) and the Cities of Whitman’s Memory
William Pannapacker
9. The Lost Negress of “Song of Myself” and the Jolly Young Wenches of Civil War Washington
Kenneth M. Price
10. “Bringing Help for the Sick”: Whitman and Prophetic Biography
Vivian R. Pollak
Part 3. After-Effects
11. The Visionary and the Visual in Whitman’s Poetics
M. Jimmie Killingsworth
12. Walt Whitman as an Eminent Victorian
Lawrence Buell
13.  “To Reach the Workmen Direct”: Horace Traubel and the Work of the 1855 Edition of Leaves of Grass
Matt Cohen
14. “Profession of the calamus”: Whitman, Eliot, Matthiessen
Jay Grossman
15. Whitman and the Cold War: The Centenary Celebration of Leaves of Grass in Eastern Europe
Walter Grünzweig

Part 4. The Life Behind the Book
16. “A Southerner as Soon as a Northerner”: Writing Walt Whitman’s Biography
Jerome Loving
17. Why I Write Cultural Biography: The Backgrounds of Walt Whitman’s America
David S. Reynolds
18. Songs of Myself; or, Confessions of a Whitman Collector
Joel Myerson
19. A Poet Responds “Strong Is Your Hold”: My Encounters with Whitman
Galway Kinnell

Part 5. The Critical Response
20. The First Leaves of Grass: A Bibliography
Donald D. Kummings

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