Category Archives: writers

Happy Birthday, Thornton Wilder

Three things about Thornton Wilder: 1. Peter Hunt (once Executive and Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival) relates a story about Thornton Wilder and Nikos Psacharopoulos (founder of Williamstown). Peter Hunt: Directing is sometimes doing nothing, sometimes dowin more … 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, Henrik Ibsen

James Joyce and Ibsen James Joyce, as a young man, was an enormous fan of Henrik Ibsen, who was doing something very radical and very new with his plays. Here’s an excerpt from Richard Ellmann’s biography in regards to Joyce … 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, 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 anymore, they feel like actual memories. I was 7, 8, 9 … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens

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 day in the week, if there is anything to … Continue reading

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On This Day: February, 6, 1564

Playwright, poet, prodigy, agent in Her Majesty’s secret service: the incomparable Christopher Marlowe was born on this day. (this 1585 portrait is widely thought to be of Marlowe) Marlowe was accused of putting atheistic ideas into his plays, and was … Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Langston Hughes

The Blues always impressed me as being very sad, sadder even than the Spirituals, because their sadness is not softened with tears, but hardened with laughter … of a sadness where there is no god to appeal to. – Langston … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday to “the Ploughman Poet” of Scotland

In other words: Robert Burns. Or, as they say in Scotland, “Rahbbie Barrrrrrrrns.” Robert Burns is a national hero in Scotland, his works are known by heart, and festivals go on in his name. Right now in Scotland, people are … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Patricia Highsmith

He wouldn’t have killed someone just to save Derwatt Ltd. or even Bernard, Tom supposed. Tom had killed Murchison because Murchison had realized, in the cellar, that he had impersonated Derwatt. Tom had killed Murchison to save himself. And yet, … Continue reading

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