The University of Iowa

Spermatoid design in Leaves of Grass to be topic of forum Sept. 1

August 20th, 2010

Ed Folsom, Roy J. Carver professor of American Literature at the UI, will present “’A spirt of my own seminal wet’: Spermatoid Design in Walt Whitman’s 1860 Leaves of Grass” on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010, from 3:30-5 p.m at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A. This event is free and open to the public.

Folsom will discuss typographical design for the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass and how design enhanced Whitman’s idea of the sexual relationship between a book and its reader. For Whitman, words themselves were like sperm that would penetrate a reader’s brain and find fertile ground to grow into new ideas. Folsom will explain this connection between sexuality, poetry and democracy.

Following the presentation, two formal responses will be offered: one from Sid Huttner of the UI Libraries Special Collections and one from Sara Sauers of the Center for the Book.

This event is sponsored by the 18th and 19th Century Interdisciplinary Colloquium and International Programs.

For more information, contact Eric Gidal or call 319-335-1510.