O What a Luxury
(A poem rejected by every serious journal I submitted it to, from The New Yorker on down, and yet it has given pleasure to thousands of people who heard me recite it, including women, who tend to resist the poem until the line about aiming up at the stars and then they fall apart. This tells me that sensitivity is singular and vulgarity is plural.)

O what a luxury it be
What pleasure O what perfect bliss
So ordinary and yet chic
To pee to piss to take a leak

To feel your bladder just go free
And open like the Mighty Miss
And all your cares go down the creek
To pee to piss to take a leak

For gentlemen of great physique
Who can hold water for one week
For ladies who one quarter-cup
Of tea can fill completely up
For folks in urinalysis
For little kids just learning this
For Viennese or Swiss or Greek
For everyone it’s pretty great
To urinate.

Women are quite circumspect
But men can piss with great effect
With terrible hydraulic force
Can make a stream or change its course
Can put out fires or cigarettes
And sometimes, laying down our bets,
Late at night outside the bars
We like to aim up at the stars.

O yes for men its much more grand
Women sit or squat
We stand
And hold the fellow in our hand
And proudly watch the golden arc
Adjust the range and make our mark
On stones and posts for rival men
To smell and not come back again.

Writing

Books

A complete lists of works, including sample excerpts

Columns

From the New York Times, Time magazine, and the complete Chicago Tribune syndicated columns

Prose

Stories from The New Yorker and other magazines and a few lectures

Sonnets

Sonnets of praise, some erotic, some lamentations, and some street sonnets

Verse

Poems on topics both serious and not-so-serious

Video

Videos from readings, interviews, solo shows and more

Radio

Albums

A complete list of radio and audiobook collections, with audio samples

Audio

Speeches, interviews, readings and other audio clips

Songs

Audio and lyrics for songs featured on A Prairie Home Companion.

The News from Lake Wobegon

The latest news and views from the little town where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average"

A Prairie Home Companion

August 27, 2015

7:30 p.m.

Eugene, OR

The America the Beautiful Tour — Eugene, OR

A live performance at the Cuthbert Amphitheater

August 28, 2015

7:00 p.m.

Portland, OR

The America the Beautiful Tour — Portland, OR

A live performance at the Oregon Zoo

August 29, 2015

3:00 p.m.

Palmer, AK

The America the Beautiful Tour — Palmer, AK

A live performance at the Alaska State Fair

September 4, 2015

7:45 p.m.

Falcon Heights, MN

A Prairie Home Companion — Friday — Falcon Heights, MN

A live performance (recorded for broadcast the next day) at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

September 19, 2015

4:45 p.m.

Saint Paul, MN

A Prairie Home Companion — Season Opener and Street Dance — Saint Paul, MN

A live broadcast performance from the Fitzgerald Theater, followed by our annual meatloaf supper and street dance

(A poem rejected by every serious journal I submitted it to, from The New Yorker on down, and yet it has given pleasure to thousands of people who heard me recite it, including women, who tend to resist the poem until the line about aiming up at the stars and then they fall apart. This tells me that sensitivity is singular and vulgarity is plural.)

O what a luxury it be
What pleasure O what perfect bliss
So ordinary and yet chic
To pee to piss to take a leak

To feel your bladder just go free
And open like the Mighty Miss
And all your cares go down the creek
To pee to piss to take a leak

For gentlemen of great physique
Who can hold water for one week
For ladies who one quarter-cup
Of tea can fill completely up
For folks in urinalysis
For little kids just learning this
For Viennese or Swiss or Greek
For everyone it’s pretty great
To urinate.

Women are quite circumspect
But men can piss with great effect
With terrible hydraulic force
Can make a stream or change its course
Can put out fires or cigarettes
And sometimes, laying down our bets,
Late at night outside the bars
We like to aim up at the stars.

O yes for men its much more grand
Women sit or squat
We stand
And hold the fellow in our hand
And proudly watch the golden arc
Adjust the range and make our mark
On stones and posts for rival men
To smell and not come back again.

Writing

A Prairie Home Companion, 1974-2014

I never wanted to be known for longevity
But for brilliant, tragically interrupted brevity.
Immortality is all about brevity, dear heart.

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The Keillor Reader — 2014

The Keillor Reader — 2014

The Keillor Reader collects the full range of Garrison Keillor’s work: monologues from A Prairie Home Companion, stories from The New Yorker and The Atlantic, excerpts from novels, newspaper columns, and pieces never before published.

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The Keillor Reader — Introduction

The Keillor Reader — Introduction

I started out with No. 2 pencil and pads of paper, then acquired an Underwood manual typewriter with a faint f and a misshapen O. You had to poke the keys hard to make an impression. I set it on a maple desk in my bedroom, which looked out onto a cornfield across the road, and I wrote stories about tortured loners who stood at a distance from the crowd and observed their comings and goings with envy tinged with contempt.

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Books — Chronological

A list of published works

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National Geographic: There’s No Place Like Home

When a man lives in one place for most of his life, he doesn’t need GPS. He is guided by memories of boyhood bike rides, the ever present Mississippi, and the undeniable power of rhubarb.

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I Come from Lake Wobegon

I Come from Lake Wobegon

Garrison describes growing up in Lake Wobegon.

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Summer in Lake Wobegon

Summer in Lake Wobegon

Garrison talks about summer in Lake Wobegon and a few of the town’s guiding principles.

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Cat, O Cat

Cat, O Cat

Garrison Keillor (with Rich Dworsky on piano) sings “Cat, O Cat”

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A Part-time Job in Radio

A Part-time Job in Radio

Garrison discusses his favorite parts of his “part-time job” as a radio host.

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Pioneer Press: R.B. Liggett, Former News Executive, Dies

Pioneer Press: R.B. Liggett, Former News Executive, Dies

Robert B. Liggett, 81, of 1125 Summit ave., Mahtomedi, sportsman and advertising man, died Thursday in St. Joseph’s hospital after a long illness.

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Radio
The News from Lake Wobegon for August 22, 2015

The News from Lake Wobegon for August 22, 2015

“We got a good snow here this last week. Over this last weekend, got a foot of snow and it just cheered everybody up immediately.” The fresh snow revives conversation around town, Myrtle Anderson tries to return to town 33 years after an embezzlement scandal, and everyone agrees not to turn their Christmas lights on too soon, in a November 2010 monologue.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for August 15, 2015

The News from Lake Wobegon for August 15, 2015

“This was the week that the weather turned. The big ship swung off to the North.” Carl Krebsbach tries a new and embarrassing method of leaf collection, the town celebrates Veterans Day, and newly widowed Becky Beckman keeps a final promise to her husband Bradley by taking his place on an annual deer-hunting trip, in a monologue from November 2010.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for August 8, 2015

The News from Lake Wobegon for August 8, 2015

“Something about a storm moving through just takes all your troubles with it. All the things that you were worried about this morning just go away with the storm.” The Whippets lose a big game to the Avon Bards in the 9th inning, Arlene Bunsen visits her son in Houston, Texas, and an old hermit moves into the Inqvists’ house and plants a magnificent garden, in a monologue from June 2008.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for August 1, 2015

The News from Lake Wobegon for August 1, 2015

“The crocuses are up and the tulips are up, and then we got a little bit of snow overnight but nobody said a word about it.” Dorothy wins the “Guess the Ice Melt” contest, Lyle watches over a tundra swan that has decided to be a dog, and Pastor Liz discards a sermon about the beauty of family, in a monologue from April 2011.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for July 25, 2015

The News from Lake Wobegon for July 25, 2015

“We had about 15 minutes of spring this year, kind of typical in Minnesota, and then it turned into summer all of a sudden.” The town avoids Senator K. Thorvaldson and his boring rhubarb stories, and when Sally Emmett gets married after graduating from Macalester College, everyone is mystified by the groom’s Californian parents — a monologue from June 2002.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for July 18, 2015

The News from Lake Wobegon for July 18, 2015

“We’ve gotten some snow, even better than that, we’ve gotten frost — frost, when you have a clear night and you have high humidity, you wake up in the morning and everything is covered with frost.” A terrible flu hits Lake Wobegon, memories of ice skating and smoking in the warming house, storytelling around a bonfire on a frozen lake, and the Lutheran church ends the year with a surplus, in a monologue from January 2013.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for July 11, 2015

The News from Lake Wobegon for July 11, 2015

“It’s been this gorgeous, gorgeous September, this beautiful time — so much happening.” Lake Wobegon welcomes the arrival of fall, a bear surprises Irene Bunsen, then stays in town, starting a debate over who will pay to have it removed, and high school students take the ACT exam, in a monologue from September 2013.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for July 4, 2015

The News from Lake Wobegon for July 4, 2015

“Full blown summer out there. The raspberries are ripe. They’re so sweet — how we love them. The boats are out on the lake, fishing boats and pontoon boats are out there.” Mr. Snecker falls asleep on the curb in front of the Chatterbox Café, the town holds a mostly successful 4th of July parade, and the story of the famous Living Flag.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for June 27, 2015

The News from Lake Wobegon for June 27, 2015

“It’s been beautiful summer weather, it’s been up in the 80s. We’ve gotten some rain, not too terribly much and everything is green.” Mr. Magendantz changes his lawn-mowing pattern, Irene Bunsen creates her own tomato varieties, the town holds a tractor parade for Midsummer Day, and the host recalls attending a gospel meeting as a teenager.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for June 20, 2015

The News from Lake Wobegon for June 20, 2015

“We had some storms out there but it’s been all good for us. The mourning doves we hear them in the morning, we see the fireflies at night.” Clarence Bunsen sleeps on his boat so he can think in the middle of the night; the story of Mr. Musselman, who was driven from town by deerflies; and the Whippets win a close game.

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A Prairie Home Companion
Schedule

August 27, 2015

7:30 p.m.

Eugene, OR

The America the Beautiful Tour — Eugene, OR

A live performance at the Cuthbert Amphitheater

August 28, 2015

7:00 p.m.

Portland, OR

The America the Beautiful Tour — Portland, OR

A live performance at the Oregon Zoo

August 29, 2015

3:00 p.m.

Palmer, AK

The America the Beautiful Tour — Palmer, AK

A live performance at the Alaska State Fair

September 4, 2015

7:45 p.m.

Falcon Heights, MN

A Prairie Home Companion — Friday — Falcon Heights, MN

A live performance (recorded for broadcast the next day) at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

September 19, 2015

4:45 p.m.

Saint Paul, MN

A Prairie Home Companion — Season Opener and Street Dance — Saint Paul, MN

A live broadcast performance from the Fitzgerald Theater, followed by our annual meatloaf supper and street dance

September 26, 2015

4:45 p.m.

Saint Paul, MN

A Prairie Home Companion — Saint Paul, MN

A live broadcast performance from the Fitzgerald Theater

October 3, 2015

4:45 p.m.

Saint Paul, MN

A Prairie Home Companion — Saint Paul, MN

A live broadcast performance from the Fitzgerald Theater

October 17, 2015

4:45 p.m.

Saint Paul, MN

A Prairie Home Companion — Saint Paul, MN

A live broadcast performance from the Fitzgerald Theater

November 7, 2015

4:45 p.m.

Bemidji, MN

A Prairie Home Companion — Bemidji, MN

A live broadcast performance from the Sanford Center

November 28, 2015

5:45 p.m.

New York, NY

A Prairie Home Companion — New York City

A live broadcast performance from The Town Hall

Press/Clips
The National Press Club — 5/22/2015

The National Press Club — 5/22/2015

Garrison spoke at the National Press Club on May 22, 2015

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The Late Late Show — 6/4/2014

The Late Late Show — 6/4/2014

Garrison visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to discuss The Keillor Reader

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C-SPAN: 1999 Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner

C-SPAN: 1999 Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner

Garrison talks about civility in an address to the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner in Washington D.C.

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CBS This Morning: 40 years of A Prairie Home Companion: Behind Garrison Keillor’s success

CBS This Morning: 40 years of A Prairie Home Companion: Behind Garrison Keillor’s success

Garrison chats with CBS This Morning about A Prairie Home Companion‘s 40th anniversary and his book The Keillor Reader

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AP: Keillor to celebrate 40 years on Lake Wobegon

AP: Keillor to celebrate 40 years on Lake Wobegon

Garrison discusses the 40th anniversary of A Prairie Home Companion in an interview with the Associated Press

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The Keillor Reader — Press

The Keillor Reader — Press

A few reviews and press mentions for The Keillor Reader

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A Prairie Home Companion 40th Anniversary: Let’s Have a Party

A Prairie Home Companion returns to the Macalester campus for an anniversary celebration with three days of music, comedy, food, and festivities, July 4-6th.

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Love Letters: The Second Annual Common Good Books Poetry Contest

Garrison and Common Good Books are sponsoring a poetry contest! Pour your love onto the page, shape it well, and mail your love letter to Common Good Books before April 15 — fame and fortune could be yours.

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The Daily Circuit — O, What a Luxury

Garrison talks poetry and O, What a Luxury with MPR’s Kerri Miller

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ABC: What Makes St. Paul So Great?

ABC: What Makes St. Paul So Great?

Garrison gives a tour of St. Paul during the 2008 Republican National Convention

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