Category Archives: writers

“Do I Terrify?”

Yes, Sylvia, you do, especially when I hear you read “Lady Lazarus.” It’s Sylvia Plath’s birthday today. Here’s a draft of “Stings,” written in the month of October, 1962, the productive (understatement) month when she wrote many of the poems … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“These are the pure Magic. These are the clear vision. The rest is only poetry.” – Rudyard Kipling on John Keats and Samuel Taylor Coleridge William Hazlitt, friends to both men, wrote: Coleridge has told me that he himself liked … Continue reading

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“It Is Absurd To Divide People Into Good and Bad. People Are Either Charming or Tedious.”

So said Oscar Wilde, whose birthday it is today. His mother, Jane Speranza Francesca Wilde (aka Lady Wilde, aka “Speranza”) was an incredible woman in the canon of Irish literary history certainly, not to mention its politics and social upheaval. … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, e.e. cummings!

I responded to e.e. cummings in a visceral way when I first had to read his stuff in high school. I didn’t know what it was all about, but I loved the mystery of it, the syntax, the unmistakable look … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, T.S. Eliot

Poets like William Carlos Williams and Hart Crane both said that they needed to forcibly divorce themselves from Eliot’s influence in order to be able to write in their own way. Everything sounded like an imitation of Eliot. Interestingly enough, … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald

So you see that old libel that we were cynics and skeptics was nonsense from the beginning. On the contrary we were the great believers. – F. Scott Fitzgerald, “My Generation” Fitzgerald was one of those writers I liked right … Continue reading

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10 Years of Sunset Gun

Kim Morgan’s great site Sunset Gun turned 10 years old this August (a nice dovetail with Dorothy Parker’s recent birthday as well). Kim, who is one of the best writers working today, celebrates the moment by re-visiting the topic of … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Dorothy Parker: “A ‘smartcracker’ they called me, and that makes me sick and unhappy.”

Dorothy Parker, near the end of her life, speaking of the Algonquin Round Table: These were no giants. Think who was writing in those days — Lardner, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Hemingway. Those were the real giants. The Round Table was … 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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“The Catechism of the Ithaca Episode Really Helped Me Over There in Iraq.”

Marine and veteran of the war in Iraq reading from ULYSSES at Bloomsday celebration in downtown Manhattan, 2012. He said that while in Iraq he would read the Proteus episode over and over again. He said it helped give him … Continue reading

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