Category Archives: writers

Happy Birthday, Emily Brontë

Often Rebuked by Emily Brontë Often rebuked, yet always back returning To those first feelings that were born with me, And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning For idle dreams of things which cannot be: Today, I will not … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “Voici mon secret. Il est tres simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”

Today is the birthday of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. His writing meant a great deal to me when I was 15, 16, and I have never forgotten that. Here is an extraordinary excerpt from Wind, Sand and Stars – a book … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Billy Wilder

Billy and Audrey Wilder One of my favorite directors. I love his tips for screenwriters (#6 helped me enormously when I was writing my own script and problem-solving the final scene.) Billy Wilder’s Tips for Writers 1. The audience is … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Paul Muldoon

“This work [Paul Muldoon’s book ‘The Annals of Chile’] gives the impression of coming clean and being clandestine at one and the same time. It is Joycean in its combination of the everyday and the erudite, but it is also … Continue reading

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Happy 150th, W.B. Yeats

My parents had Clancy Brothers at Carnegie Hall on vinyl, and we listened to it constantly. It was the background of my childhood. So I memorized this piece (having no idea it was Yeats) probably by the time I was … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Margaret Wise Brown

Born in 1910, Margaret Wise Brown always wanted to be a writer, but her journey towards the phenomenal, almost unprecedented success she eventually achieved, was a bit sideways. She went into education, she was always interested in children’s books, and … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Edward Lear

Edward Lear (the “father of nonsense”) was born on this day in 1812 in London. I could recite from memory a lot of his stuff when I was pretty close to the age I was in the photo above. The … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Niccolò Machiavelli: “Fear and the absence of hatred may go well together.”

Niccolò Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy, May 3, 1469 We first had to read The Prince in high school. I remember it as drudgery. I flat out didn’t get it. I read it again a couple years later, and … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, 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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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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