“To have great poets, there must be great audiences.”

The public is invited to join the audience celebrating the poet Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday. Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord will host a special evening reading of Whitman’s poetry at Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St., in Brattleboro on Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m.

The words of Whitman will be presented by local poets and writers, including poets Tim Mayo, Veranda Porche, Tom Ragle, and Diana Whitney, and well-known writer and VPR Commentator Stephanie Greene.

The event is free, open to the public and accessible to people in wheelchairs. For more information call 802-254-5290 or visit www.brookslibraryvt.org .