Live Oak, with Moss

Walt Whitman, Brian Selznick


As he was turning forty, Walt Whitman wrote twelve poems in a small handmade book he entitled “Live Oak, With Moss.” The poems were intensely private reflections on his attraction to and affection for other men. They were also Whitman’s most adventurous explorations of the theme of same-sex love, composed decades before the word “homosexual” came into use. This revolutionary, extraordinarily beautiful and passionate cluster of poems was never published by Whitman and has remained unknown to the general public—until now. New York Times bestselling and Caldecott Award–winning illustrator Brian Selznick offers a provocative visual narrative of “Live Oak, With Moss,” and Whitman scholar Karen Karbiener reconstructs the story of the poetic cluster’s creation and destruction. Walt Whitman’s reassembled, reinterpreted Live Oak, With Moss serves as a source of inspiration and a cause for celebration.

Creator Bio

Walt Whitman is one of the most beloved poets in American letters, best known for his Leaves of Grass. 2019 is the 200th anniversary of his birth. Brian Selznick is the critically-acclaimed author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, among many other beloved books for children. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and now lives in Brooklyn, NY and San Diego, CA with his husband David Serlin. Karen Karbiner is a scholar of nineteenth-century American literature and culture with a special interest in Walt Whitman. She holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and currently teaches at New York University.
Price £21.99
Format Hardback
Publication Date 9 April 2019
Pages 192
Height 210mm
Width 140mm
Illustrations full-colour illustrations throughout
Rights Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Central & South America, Caribbean
ISBN-13 9781419734052