Whitman's Poetry and ProseWhitman, Walt. Walt Whitman: Poetry and Prose. New York: The Library of America, 1996. The New York Times called this edition "the most comprehensive volume ever published of the works of Walt Whitman."
Democratic Vistas (1871). Whitman's thoughts and criticisms concerning the nature of democracy as it exists in America.
Memoranda During the War (1875). Walt Whitman's journal entries during the Civil War, from 1862 through 1865, including his encounters with soldiers and doctors, as well as his meetings with President Lincoln.
Specimen Days and Collect (1881). A collection of biographical meditations on childhood and adulthood.
November Boughs (1888). A collection of short literary pieces and essays on Shakespeare, the Bible as literature, Robert Burns, Tennyson, American slang, and more.
BiographiesKaplan, Justin. Walt Whitman: A Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1980. Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Award recipient creates a portrait of Whitman's multiple selves or personas.
Reynolds, David S. Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. A cultural and social biography that puts Whitman's life into the context of the politics and pop culture of his time.
Loving, Jerome. Walt Whitman: The Song of Himself. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999. Supplemented by recent discoveries of Whitman's journalistic writings, this biography augments a detailed account of Whitman's life with selections from his poems.
CriticismCreeley, Robert. "Introduction" from Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song. Duluth, MN: Holy Cow! Press, 1995. An essay on Whitman's desire for "absolute communion with others." Creeley claims that Whitman taught him much "against his own will."
Kinnell, Galway. "Whitman's Indicative Words," from Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song. Duluth, MN: Holy Cow! Press, 1995. An essay by an American poet who has called Whitman his "principle master," on the use of imperative and indicative moods in sections of Leaves of Grass.
Tayson, Richard. "Back Down to Earth: Richard Tayson on Walt Whitman's Preface to the 1855 Leaves of Grass." An essay that applies Whitman's poetic philosophies and body of work to argue against our contemporary tradition of language poetry. Available at www.poets.org.
Lawrence, D.H. "Whitman," from Studies in Classic American Literature. New York: Penguin, 1991. A poetic dialectic between Lawrence and Whitman, where Lawrence argues against the value of becoming all-encompassing, embodying everything. The final chapter in Lawrence's pivotal critical work, Studies in Classic American Literature. Available online at: xroads.virginia.edu.
Moon, Michael. Disseminating Whitman: Revision and Corporeality in Leaves of Grass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991. A landmark revisionist essay on Whitman as a major force in nineteenth-century sexual politics.
Additional ResourcesThe Walt Whitman Archive, www.whitmanarchive.org, includes manuscripts, criticism, biographical information, images, and audio recordings.
The Walt Whitman Special Issue of Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 2005, includes essays by scholars and poets, including Galway Kinnell, Ed Folsom, Rafael Campo, Mark Doty, Jane Hirshfield, Meena Alexander, Edward Hirsch, and Robert Creeley, as well as rare photographs.
Folsom, Ed. "The Whitman Recording," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, 9 (Spring 1992), 214—16. An article about the Walt Whitman's famed recording of four lines from the poem "America."