|2017||Walt Whitman||Walt Whitman, Karen Karbiener||Kate Evans||48|
|2017||Robert Frost||Robert Frost, Jay Parini||Michael Paraskevas||48|
|2018||William Shakespeare||William Shakespeare, Dr. Marguerite Tassi||Merce Lopez||48|
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was a celebrated American poet, chiefly known for his controversial and highly original poetry collection Leaves of Grass. Born in 1819 on Long Island, he worked as a journalist, teacher, government clerk, and volunteer nurse during the Civil War. Whitman published his seminal work in 1855 with his own money, soon becoming one of the world’s most popular and influential poets. After suffering a stroke in 1873 he retired to Camden, New Jersey, where he died nineteen years later—just two months after the final edition of Leaves of Grass appeared on sale.
Karen Karbiener is a Whitman scholar at New York University. She has published widely on Whitman’s life and work, and edited Leaves of Grass: First and Death-bed Editions for Barnes &amp;amp; Noble Classics. She is a recognized public scholar and has been featured in radio, television, and online programs, authored two audio books on Whitman’s cultural legacy, and hosts New York City’s annual “Song of Myself” Marathon. She lives in New York City.
Robert Lee Frost was born on March 26th 1874 in San Francisco, California and died on January 29th, 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts. He won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry and was bestowed a Congressional Gold Medal, “in recognition of his poetry, which enriched the culture of the United States and the philosophy of the world.” On July 22, 1961 he was named Poet laureate of Vermont. His popularity is unmatched in the annals of American poetry; by the end of his life he had achieved the iconic status of “living legend.”
Jay Parini is a poet, novelist, biographer, and critic. He has written eight novels, including Benjamin’s Crossing, The Apprentice Lover, The Passages of H.M., and The Last Station – the latter was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer and translated into over thirty languages. He has written biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, William Faulkner, Jesus, and Gore Vidal. His nonfiction works include The Art of Teaching, Why Poetry Matters and Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America. He writes for various publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He lives in Weybridge, VT.
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”. His extant works include some collaboration, consisting of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
Freelance illustrator and fine artist Kate Evans has worked for many high-profile clients, including Random House, HarperCollins, V and A Magazine,The Guardian, and National Geographic. Her illustrations have been published in many countries around the world.Combining delicate line drawings with watercolor washes, Kate produces images that reflect the richness of their subject matter. Her illustrations suggest subtle emotional states and have been frequently used by publishers to capture the complexity of particular places and situations.
Michael Paraskevas has worked for most major magazines including Sports Illustrated, Time, Town &amp;amp; Country, and Rolling Stone, to name but a few. He has also illustrated and written 24 children’s books over the years with his mother, Betty. The two went on to create and write the animated television series Maggie and the Ferocious Beast for Nickelodeon. Two of their other books were also made into animated series: Marvin the Tap Dancing Horse for PBS and Kids from Room 402 for Fox Family. He and his wife live in Southampton, New York.