Category Archives: writers

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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Happy Birthday, Jack Kerouac

From a letter of Joyce Johnson to Jack Kerouac, April 14, 1957: “I went to hear Miles Davis, who is playing at the Cafe Bohemia in the Village. He’s really fine — beautiful crazy lines floating on top of each … Continue reading

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James Baldwin on Bette Davis

From James Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work, an indispensable work of not only film criticism but cultural commentary and observation. Here is Baldwin on the impact seeing Bette Davis on the screen for the first time made on him as … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay was born on this day in 1892 in Rockland, Maine. Edna St. Vincent Millay was one of those rare creatures: a poet who was a celebrity in her day. A Pulitzer-Prize winner (the third woman to … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Wystan Hugh Auden: “The enlightenment driven away / The habit-forming pain”

W.H. Auden was born on this day in York, England, 1907. Two pieces of advice for writers from Mr. Auden: To keep his errors down to a minimum, the internal Censor to whom a poet submits his work in progress … Continue reading

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“If it was raining soup, the Irish would go out with forks.” – Happy Birthday, Brendan Behan

“Shakespeare said pretty well everything and what he left out, James Joyce, with a judge from meself, put in.” – Brendan Behan Brendan Behan, Irish playwright, IRA man, criminal, was born on this day, in Dublin, in 1923. He led … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop is one of my favorite poets. She actually didn’t write all that many poems during her life (compared to other poets who lived as long as she did). She was meticulous, picking and choosing every word with the … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens

DICKENS MISCELLANIA: QUOTES AND APPRECIATIONS Charles Dickens, “Hunted Down”: I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don’t trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance, any … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder

Beloved American author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, was born on February 7, 1867. Her books are so much a part of my childhood that they don’t even feel like books, they feel like actual memories. I was 7, 8, 9 when … Continue reading

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