Around the Island

Celebrate Varney and Whitman

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Art/Rich Poetry Roundtable of Shelter Island will present a poetry reading at the Shelter Island Library to celebrate the Bicentennial of Walt Whitman’s Birth.

Open to the public, the poetry reading will include Whitman, the acknowledged great father of American poetry, and other poetry in the new Richard Varney Poetry Collection purchased by the library in honor of the brilliant leader of the poetry roundtable who died in 2018.

Richard Varney was a graduate of Harvard University. He was born in Garden City and summered on Shelter Island for many years before living on the island year round. Richard’s insights and intense love of the art medium that is poetry came from his extensive and learned readings. Friends of Richard and members of the poetry roundtable raised the money to build the Richard Varney Poetry Collection.

Some of the poets in the collection are John Berryman, Emily Bronte, Gwendolyn Brooks, e.e.cummings, T.S. Eliot, John Keats, Robert Lowell, Pablo Neruda, Rainier Maria Rilke and Wallace Stevens.

Come to enjoy elevated language, beautiful thoughts, great camaraderie, refreshments and the best of the best minds, all before dinner.

If you would like a full list of the books in the Richard Varney Poetry Collection or if you would like to attend and/or read in the celebration, contact librarian Jocelyn Ozolins, [email protected], 631-749-0042 ext. 108 or Virginia Walker, facilitator, [email protected], 631-749-2394.