Melville – Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone joined officials from the Walt Whitman Birthplace and Assemb. Steve Englebright September 19 in welcoming Chinese scholar Cheng Hong, who toured the birthplace while in the United States for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly with her husband, Chinese Premier Li Kequiang.
Professor Cheng, who has been a professor of English at the Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing, is considered one of the leading Chinese scholars of American nature writing. She has published two books on the subject and translated several books from English to Chinese. She asked to tour the birthplace because of her appreciation of Whitman as a naturalist poet.
Cynthia Shor, executive director of the birthplace, and Dr. William Walter, chairman of the birthplace association’s board of trustees, officially welcomed Professor Cheng upon her arrival at the birthplace. After her tour, she met briefly with Supervisor Petrone, Assemb. Englebright and Carl Safina, a professor of nature and humanity at Stony Brook University, who gave Prof. Cheng two books he had written.