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Full of Life Now: Walt Whitman at 200

Thursday, May 23, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Reception to follow
Registration is required
Members $15 and Non-members $20

Full of Life Now:  Walt Whitman at 200

Stephan David Hewitt and Gary Avram Glickman, PhD

Celebrating the Bicentennial of America’s greatest poet, Walt Whitman, the Boston Athenaeum presents baritone Stephan David Hewitt singing Full of Life Now: Walt Whitman at 200, a concert of original song-settings of Whitman’s passionate, intimate, visionary, and ever-radical lyrics.

As a young man just before the Civil War, Whitman self-published a book of poems he called Leaves of Grass—radical, body-as-sacred lyrics that are still radical today, perhaps even more radical today.

With these “song-poem” settings by the Dream Brothers, Gary Avram Glickman and Stephan David Hewitt, the soul and spirit of Whitman live on. The Dream Brothers’ mission is to help publicize the healing passion and power of Whitman’s lyrics for a new century and a new generation—as Whitman lovers have been doing every generation since the poet’s death, in 1892.  The songs are passionate, fearlessly open-hearted, contemporary anthems and art songs with a unique visionary focus, part of the ancient troubadour tradition of sharing poetry through music, integrating heart, sexuality, spirituality, and art.

Sharing the stage, the couple alternate between reciting Whitman’s lyrics and performing the songs inspired by them. Gary Avram Glickman, psychologist, novelist and poet himself, recites most of the lyrics, and baritone Stephan David Hewitt sings and accompanies himself at the piano.

The Dream Brothers, Stephan David Hewitt and Gary Avram Glickman, are a songwriting duo dedicating their art to helping 21st century audiences discover and re-discover the passionate, visionary, and ever-radical lyrics of America’s greatest poet, Walt Whitman. Performers and writers both, they are also two-man team of practitioners of a healing art Thomas Moore and many Jungians call “care of the soul.” In addition to their private counseling practices, they train and facilitate healing-minded groups as relational somatic practitioners, intending their concerts, their music, their writing,  their service to others, their retreats, friendships, home and work, all as opportunities to practice the art of life, grounded in caring for the Earth and treating others with the reverence of soul to soul.

Stephan David Hewitt, singer and pianist, comes from a long lineage of musicians on both sides. His maternal great-grandfather was a cantor in Latvia, his paternal great grandfather a Canadian singer and choir director. Born and raised in rural New York and Maine, he taught himself piano at seven, and began his professional music path studying the then still emergent realm of (pre-computer!) electronic music. For over thirty years he has maintained a practice as a spiritual counselor, focusing on the archetypal patterns of dreams, life-transitions, and astrological influences. He writes a twice monthly blog describing full moon and new moon lunations. 

Gary Avram Glickman, PhD, on breaks from his lifelong passions of songwriting and singing, practices psychotherapy in Santa Monica, California, specializing in somatic psychology, the study of how the body and the mind are inseparable living experiences, both of them created and maintained through relationship with others. He is the author of three novels, Years From Now (Knopf, 1987), Aura (Haworth, 2004), and The Scrolls of Nef (Hand to Hand, 2012). Together with SDH, he facilitates and trains facilitators of healing groups focused on liberating the body’s blocked impulses in the context of safe and loving attention. 

Walt Whitman, amongst being a poet and essayist, was one of the forerunners who shifted the humanist philosophy from transcendentalism to realism. Amongst our vast collection of letters collected by the BA are correspondence between Walt Whitman and his young friend, Peter Doyle. Additionally, artist Truman Howe Bartlett created a cast of Walt Whitman’s in 1881 that remains in our collection today.

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Most programs held in the Bayard Henry Long Room on the Athenaeum's first floor are amplified and assistive listening devices are available for patron use.

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To request ASL interpretation services for any of the Athenaeum's programs, please contact Hannah Weisman at 617-720-7617 or weisman@bostonathenaeum.org.