Category Archives: On This Day

Happy birthday, poet Frank O’Hara

“Attention equals Life.” – poet Frank O’Hara Sometimes I feel that I know everything I need to know about Frank O’Hara just from reading his work. A fascinating guy off the page, he’s still one of those people whose personality … Continue reading

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“Make voyages! — Attempt them! — there’s nothing else …” Happy Birthday, Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams (Thomas Lanier Williams) was born on this day in Columbus, Mississippi in 1911. Will you do a total stranger the kindness of reading his verse? Thank you! Thomas Lanier Williams — Tennessee Williams, letter to editor Harriet Monroe, … Continue reading

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On This Day: March 25, 1911: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out on the eighth floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a sweatshop located on 23-29 Washington Place, right off Washington Square Park. The majority of workers were immigrant women. In the years preceding … Continue reading

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On This Day: March 24, 1955: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened on Broadway.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened on this day, in 1955, in New York. Critic Brooks Atkinson, one of Williams’s staunchest supporters, wrote: “[The play seemed] not to have been written. It is the quintessence of life.” The performances … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Henrik Ibsen

Famous acting teacher Stella Adler in a transcribed lecture to her acting class on playing Ibsen. Adler BEGGED her students to stop thinking about themselves, about their emotions. She wanted them to be curious about the world, about context, about … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Wilfred Owen

“My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.” Wilfred Owen (now known as one of the best “war poets” of World War I) was born on this day in 1893. He was killed … Continue reading

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Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!

My sister Jean and me, in Dublin, the night the fuse blew at the disco, and all the lights went out, and all of the disco patrons had to stand out on the street while Irish firemen and garda ran … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Rudolf Nureyev

Joan Acocella, dance critic for The New Yorker: Almost everyone who describes Nureyev eventually compares him to an animal. They bore you to death with this, but it was true. Rudolf Nureyev’s solo debut on American TV, 1963 All quotes … Continue reading

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“A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.”

In the current climate in the United States (which … you honestly have to be here to experience the full effect) … the time is ripe for a soothsayer, whispering into the ears of paranoid men, launching rumors that fly … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday to Sylvia Beach, the “Midwife of Modernism”

Sylvia Beach is one of my heroes due to her influential bookshop in Paris (Shakespeare & Co.), and her nurturing of the writers of that time. You know, minor writers like James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein. When nobody … Continue reading

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