Don Marquis Weekend May 20-21

Don Marquis
Don Marquis

May 20-21 is Don Marquis Weekend at the Empire State Center for the Book’s summer home on Governors Island, that glorious new park in New York Harbor between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Donald Robert Perry Marquis (1878-1937) was a celebrated New York newspaper columnist and humorist in the early decades of the last century. Today he is remembered mostly for his stories of Archy and Mehitabel, a lowercase cockroach and a toujours gai alley cat, but in his lifetime Marquis was known equally well for the Old Soak — a hip-flask philosopher who struggled mightily during the dry days of Prohibition — and a host of other characters and farcical tales. Altogether he wrote five Broadway plays, dozens of books, and hundreds of poems and short stories.

Visit for full Don Marquis biography and more.

The Center for the Book, the nonprofit group behind the New York State Writers Hall of Fame, has been given one of the former officers quarters on Governors Island for the entire summer and is allowing groups representing writers, illustrators, booksellers and publishers to use the space on weekends. Besides Don, featured weekend authors include Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Kurt Vonnegut, Dorothy Parker and Emily Dickinson.

The Center for the Book’s summer home will be on the island’s Nolan Park (No. 4B), an easy walk from the both the Manhattan and Brooklyn ferry landings. Full ferry schedule click here.

Don Marquis Weekend will feature rare photographs, letters, clippings, movie posters, and books – all of his best. We also plan to show several movies — “The Cruise of the Jasper B” (1926, silent), “Good Old Soak” (1937) and “Shinbone Alley” (1971, animated).

View a video about the weekend here


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