Category Archives: writers

Happy Birthday, Poet Christopher Smart

“I do not think he ought to be shut up. His infirmities were not noxious to society. He insisted on people praying with him; and I’d as lief pray with Kit Smart as anyone else. Another charge was that he … 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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Happy Birthday, Henrik Ibsen

Famous acting teacher Stella Adler in a transcribed lecture to her acting class on playing Ibsen. She BEGGED her students to stop thinking about themselves, about their emotions, about the scenes. She wanted them to be curious about the world, … 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 novelist James Salter’s gorgeous memoir Burning the Days: Recollection. Both Kerouac and Salter attended Horace Mann Preparatory School. Lowell was a glamorous untouchable upperclassman. Salter remembered him as a “swaggering Lowell boy”. It was the field on which I … 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. The first woman to win the Pulitzer … 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, and she actually didn’t write all that many poems throughout her life (compared to other poets who lived as long as she did). She was meticulous, picking and choosing every word she … 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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