Category Archives: writers

“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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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, Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov, letter to actress (and wife) Olga Knipper January 2, 1901 “Describe at least one rehearsal of Three Sisters for me. Isn’t there anything which needs adding or subtracting? Are you acting well, my darling? But watch out now! … Continue reading

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Czeslaw Milosz on the “Conspiracy of Silence”

“In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.” – dissident poet – and immigrant to America – Czeslaw Milosz, in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. You can read … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday to “the Ploughman Poet” of Scotland

In other words: Robert Burns. Or perhaps I should say “Rahbbie Barrrrrrrrns.” Robert Burns was born poor in the middle of the 18th century. He had a lot of brothers and sisters, his parents were farmers. Yet his father decided … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Patricia Highsmith

“I don’t think my books should be in prison libraries.” — Patricia Highsmith, 1966 It’s Patricia Highsmith’s birthday today. He wouldn’t have killed someone just to save Derwatt Ltd. or even Bernard, Tom supposed. Tom had killed Murchison because Murchison … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Jack London

Jack London was born on this day, January 12, 1876. Happy birthday to the man who wrote: The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I … Continue reading

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