Walt Whitman changed the voice of poetry. He sought to create “a new gospel of beauty”: an American voice. He escaped the Classic Structures demanded of verse, and gave us the free form voice that has become standard today.
Within Walt Whitman’s story, one may find a parallel to the story of America. He was born and raised on Long Island, NY, when Brooklyn was but a village. As Whitman grew, so too did Brooklyn, becoming one of the largest cities in America during his lifetime. Throughout America many areas experienced a rapid period of growth and transformation from rural to urban and industrial. The nation was undergoing a process of re-definition and understanding and Whitman was a man of the times. He was a newspaper man and poet fully engaged in learning about and defining himself.
His work influenced the beat movement and its leaders such as Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg, anti-war poets and even Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Whitman served as a volunteer in military hospitals during the civil war and mourned with the nation at the assassination of President Lincoln with the well-known “Captain, oh my Captain.”
The last chapter of his life took place in the hard working town of Camden, NJ and his refuge in nature at the Stafford Farm and Timber Creek as the “Good Grey Poet”.
David S. Taylor grew up in Southern New Jersey. He received a B.A. in Speech and Theatre from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and he holds a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Maine.
Taylor has enjoyed decades of performance experience: theatre in Maine (early participant with Acadia Repertory Theatre and Penobscot Theatre Company), and local and regional theatre in New York (including New Shakespeare Festival), California and New Jersey. He has extensive film and television credits to his name, with Principal performances such as “Monty Hoover” (the cab driver) in GIRL INTERUPTED and numerous parts on daytime television drama (including ALL MY CHILDREN, GUIDING LIGHT, ONE LIFE TO LIVE, ANOTHER WORLD, AS THE WORLD TURNS). He is a long standing member of SAG/AFTRA.
Taylor has been a first person interpreter for over 10 years. In Philadelphia and regularly plays Independence Hall as Benjamin Franklin. He has considerable experience portraying a number of other characters, primarily throughout Pa and NJ, including Captain Gideon Olmstead, Walt Whitman, George Washington and others.