The celebrated East River Bridges (Two Bridges) – the Brooklyn and the Manhattan, connect downtown Brooklyn with downtown Manhattan. Between these bridges a community of writers and artists has found a home in the former warehouses and factories of New York’s most literary outer borough. Like the artists who make it, the art that lives in these narrow streets goes on its nerve, and we, nerved with newness – and just a bit nervy – want to fill our pages with a distinctive, eclectic assortment of work by both unknown & established writers and artists.
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At the conclusion of the 1855 edition of the poem that he later titled “Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman advised his readers to “look for me under your bootsoles,” suggesting that the dilated, celebratory poetic presence they encountered on the printed page would continue to flower in the landscape around them. This experiment in multi-campus digital pedagogy, “Looking for Whitman: The Poetry of Place in the Life and Work of Walt Whitman,” helps students and faculty members from four educational institutions trace the lingering imprints of Whitman’s footsteps in the local soil. Utilizing open-source tools to connect classrooms in multiple institutions, the project has created a collaborative online space in which students will be able to research Whitman’s connections to their individual locations and share that research with one another in a dynamic, social, web-based learning environment. The project has two foci: engaging participating faculty and students in an active learning experience that connects Whitman’s writing to local resources, and creating an open repository of primary source materials from particular locations that Whitman inhabited.
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