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Walt Whitman and the Civil War


with Dave Caserio with Parker Brown

poet, musician, performance artist, former literature instructor

Caserio presents a dramatic, high-energy, Reader’s-Theatre performance based on the work of Walt Whitman followed by an open-ended discussion of the material and the literary, contemporary, and historical questions and issues that it invokes. His performance is accompanied by Parker Brown on acoustic bass. Based on the poetry, prose, journals, and letters of Walt Whitman, Caserio takes the audience from the election of Abraham Lincoln to the heady onset of the Civil War, from battlefield to the hospital ward, through the long years of war to the conflict’s end and the death of Lincoln. The Civil War is one of the central experiences of our country; it not only preserved the Union but redefined the ideals that governed that Union. Whitman, as poet, nurse, and journalist, witnessed this enduring American experience. Revisit and rediscover, through the language of Walt Whitman, “the real war [Whitman believed] would never get in books.”