Did Walt Whitman Really Pen a Poem Celebrating Duluth?

The front cover of David Ouse‘s Duluth Stories: People & Events from the Zenith City’s Past. (X-Presso Books, 2023)

For the second time in a dozen years, X-Presso Books (a subsidiary of Zenith City Press) is proud to have helped David Ouse self-pubish a book about historic Duluth. His first, Forgotten Duluthians, featured stories of Duluthians who left their home town to become famous performers, scientists, politicians, and more. He is back with Duluth Stories: People and Events from the Zenith City’s Past.

A Duluth native and a graduate of Duluth Central High School, UMD, and the University of Minnesota, Ouse worked at the Duluth Public Library for 35 years as a Reference Librarian, supervisor of Reference & Information Services and of Adult Services, and also served as Interim Director in 2007 and 2008. He retired from the library in 2015 and continued to write the Duluth News Tribune “Bygones,” which he began doing in 2007, until just a month or so agocolumn. (DNT staffer Barrett Chase now writes the column.)

The back cover describes the book:

Did you know that German prisoners of war worked in local lumber camps during World War Two? That the Zenith City produced four opera divas and eight classical-music composers? That no fewer than six Duluthians worked on the Manhattan Project, developing the world’s first atomic bombs? Inside these pages, retired Duluth Public Library reference librarian David Ouse tells the tales of not only accomplished Duluthians—including local women who broke down barriers by becoming the first female practitioners of traditionally male professions—but also of visits from the famous, the exploits of a couple of “human flies,” two early (and lost) motion pictures set in the Zenith City, and much more.

As obsessed with dispelling Duluth myths as we are here at Zenith City Press, one of our favorite tales from Ouse‘s book concerns a poem celebrating Duluth supposedly written by Walt Whitman not long before the American poet’s death in 1892. To read the poem and find out what Ouse discovered about its authorship, click here.

You can purchase Duluth Stories at the through the Duluth Library Foundation (Click here and then click “Make a Donation”) or at the Zenith Bookstore—or email the author at djouse49@gmail.com.

If you are interested in self-publishing, contact X-Presso Books the same way you‘d contact Zenith City Press: Send us an email at info@zenitcity.com.