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Shepherdstown celebrates Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday; contemplate the way his words touch us today


The Journal

Katie Quinnelly, fourth from left, reads Walt Whitman’s poetry in a gathering Friday afternoon at James Ramsey Monument Park in Shepherdstown. (Journal photo by Michael Neary)

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — Reading well-seasoned lines from Walt Whitman — along with fresh lines of their own — a group of about 25 people trekked from place to place in Shepherdstown on Friday to celebrate a poet whose writing, they say, speaks powerfully to us today.

They were commemorating Whitman’s 200th birthday.

“We want to honor lots of voices, just like Whitman did,” said Heidi Hanrahan, professor of English at Shepherd University. Hanrahan played a large role in coordinating the effort.

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