Walt Whitman’s Birthday Party, May 1, 2008   4 comments

Whitman’s Birthday Party Comes Early This Year

What started with only a hand-full of people gathering at Barnes & Nobel bookstore each May 30th to read their favorite Walt Whitman poems and share a birthday cake, has now evolved into notably “the” Whitman birthday party. Yet many in our community who love Whitman’s poetry would not expect the Montgomery campus of Lone Star College and a small group of Parsons disciples, (the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council) to attract a notable list of Whitman experts and Houston area poets to present a symposium/birthday party on Whitman’s work and the man. Therefore, I was not surprised when after receiving information (walt-whitman-2008-panel) sent to a friend on the May 1st event would reply, “. . . I’m impressed! You have people who were part of the April 14th PBS American Experience on Walt Whitman — right here in Montgomery County, Texas? But then, if you know Dave Parsons, “Why not?”

Dave’s passion for Whitman, and poetry, in general, continue to be the driving force behind this annual event. So, no wonder this year’s party was unquestionably the best. As has been the practice the last few years, the event begins in the afternoon on the Lone Star College campus with a panel presentation and discussion, followed in the evening with the birthday party celebrating his poetry. This year the party took place at Cornelli’s Villa Italia restaurant on the square in Conroe. Continuing the tradition, over twenty published poets, creative writing professors and community literary leaders read their favorite Walt Whitman poems. Additionally, this year Dave arranged for the performance of Whitman’s favorite Opera selections.

For the first time, to coordinate the event timing with the spring schedule, presenters, and the party location, the party event was moved ahead by almost a month. Although some may question moving the party to Cornelli’s Villa Italia from the Corner Pub, just down the street, all would agree, Walt would be at home at either location.

Now it’s time to see how far we’ve come – “Carpe Diem!”


(Courier Article — whitmanpartyarticle)

See more photos here.

Posted May 5, 2008 by kenneturner in MCLAC

4 responses to “Walt Whitman’s Birthday Party, May 1, 2008

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  1. All the pictures are amazing! Thanks, Kenne!


    Deseree Probasco
  2. Deseree,

    You are most welcome…



  3. Mr. Parsons,

    Writing Pearson when I mean Parsons is just another name foe yuck! I continue to work hard at not letting a disability be viewed as a handicap. Now you know why I try to surround my words with images. I will work on getting your name right, Jack.



  4. Reblogged this on Becoming is Superior to Being and commented:

    On May 4th, the 26th annual Walt Whitman Birthday Celebration took place in Conroe, Texas. I made most in the past, but have only been able to attend two since 2010. This is a reblog of the May 2008 event. — kenne


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