Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
What the Dead Miss
by Laura Foley
This morning I think I see, in the light
dimpling the river’s emerald green
beneath me, the faces of my dead husband,
parents and younger sister,
feel their fingers in the fresh breeze
on my cheeks, as I breathe the diesel smell
of passing trucks, reminding me
of my need to refuel. As I hold the nozzle
in place, I watch clouds scurry
and reform, like roving ghostly crowds.
I hear music in the liquid trickling,
filling my tank to the brim,
music in my steady footsteps,
tapping percussion on pavement,
the car door closing with a click.
They say that’s what the dead miss most,
an ordinary day, spent like this.
“What the Dead Miss” by Laura Foley from Why I Never Finished My Dissertation. Headmistress Press © 2019. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of Stephen Spender, (books by this author) born in London, England (1909). He’s the author of many volumes of poetry and a collection of essays about his disillusionment with Communism, called The God That Failed (1949). When he turned 70, he wrote, “I’m struggling at the end to get out of the valley of hectoring youth, journalistic middle age, imposture, moneymaking, public relations, bad writing, mental confusion.”
It’s the birthday of the essayist Michel de Montaigne, (books by this author) born near Bordeaux, France (1533). He became a lawyer, but when his father died and left Michel the family estate, he took over the property and retired from the law. He spent the next 10 years in relative seclusion in his tower, ignoring his family and society. His best friend had recently died, the man he would have written letters to, so instead of letters, Montaigne wrote down thoughts to an imaginary reader. He wrote about all kinds of things: liars, smell, prayer, cannibals, and thumbs. He mixed anecdotes with academic thoughts. And he called his short pieces “essays” because he considered the pieces small attempts at addressing big ideas, and the French verb “essai” means “attempt.”
It’s the birthday of Linus Pauling, born in Portland, Oregon (1901). As a kid, he stole chemicals from an abandoned iron and steel smelter and conducted experiments. He researched chemical bonds and demonstrated that properties like color, texture, and hardness are a result of a chemical’s molecular structure. In 1954, he won a Nobel Prize in chemistry. Pauling used his status as a scientist to speak out against nuclear weapons. He gave lectures, wrote articles, lobbied the United Nations, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
It’s the birthday of Daniel Handler, (books by this author) born on this day in San Francisco (1970). He’s most famous for his best-selling series of macabre children’s books, A Series of Unfortunate Events, which he wrote under the pen name Lemony Snicket. The books follow the adventures of the orphaned Baudelaire children — Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. Their parents die in a fire, and after that, things keep getting worse and worse. There are 13 novels in A Series of Unfortunate Events, including The Bad Beginning (1999), The Carnivorous Carnival (2002), and The Penultimate Peril (2005). He also writes other books under his own name, including Why We Broke Up (2011).
Daniel Handler said, “A library is like an island in the middle of a vast sea of ignorance, particularly if the library is very tall and the surrounding area has been flooded.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®