February 24, 2019
“Old Friends” Garrison Keillor, Christine DiGiallonardo, Richard Dworsky reunite at Crooners. Shows at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Fergus Falls, MN
February 23, 2019
“Old Friends” Garrison Keillor, Christine DiGiallonardo, Richard Dworsky reunite at A Center for the Arts. 7:30 p.m.
Detroit Lakes, MN
February 22, 2019
“Old Friends” Garrison Keillor, Christine DiGiallonardo, Richard Dworsky reunite at Historic Holmes Theatre. 7:30 p.m.
St. Cloud, MN
February 21, 2019
“Old Friends” Garrison Keillor, Christine DiGiallonardo, Richard Dworsky reunite at Pioneer Place on Fifth. 7:30 p.m.
February 20, 2019
“Old Friends” Garrison Keillor, Christine DiGiallonardo, Richard Dworsky reunite at Paradise Center for the Arts. 7:30 p.m.
by Ellie Schoenfeld
I want to swim
in the long dark river of your hair,
want to rub up against
your smooth stones,
your secret mossy places.
I want our tongues to entwine
like strands of DNA,
to speak to each other
in a juicy language
that has not been
I want to absorb
the steady beat
in the timbre of your voice,
to be moved by the currents,
the cadences, the way
they toss me tempestuously
into complicated waters
until I am adrift
in what sometimes
feels like home.
“A Distracting Thought” by Ellie Schoenfeld from The Dark Honey: New and Used Poems. © Clover Valley Press, 2009. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
It was on this day in 1910 that the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated as a youth organization in the United States. The idea for the Boy Scouts came from a British Army Officer named Robert Baden-Powell who returned from a war in South Africa to find that the young people in his country had grown soft and undisciplined in his absence. He said, “[Young people today are] without individuality or strength of character, utterly without resourcefulness, initiative or guts for adventure.” He created the Boy Scouts as an organization and wrote a book called Scouting for Boys that became the Boy Scout manual.
The Boy Scout Handbook says, “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”
These days, girls are allowed to join the organization, which is now called Scouts BSA. Girls will be eligible for the same awards as boys, up to and including the rank of Eagle Scout, and boys and girls will be in separate (but equal) troops.
It’s the birthday of John Grisham, (books by this author) born in Jonesboro, Arkansas (1955), the author of legal thrillers such as The Firm (1991) and The Brethren (2000) that have been international best-sellers. Nine of his novels have been turned into movies.
He was often the best-selling author in the world in the 1990s, until Harry Potter came along. Grisham jokes that he began his newer children’s series, Theodore Boone, in an effort to catch Harry Potter.
Grisham’s most recent novel, The Reckoning (2018), came out last fall.
It’s the birthday of the man known as the father of science fiction, Jules Verne (books by this author), born in Nantes, France (1828). In his adventure novels, Paris in the 20th Century (written 1863, not published until 1994), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), Verne described inventions that were similar to modern airplanes and automobiles, and tall skyscrapers where people use electricity to listen to the radio and send faxes, and yet he wrote his stories by candlelight.
She was painfully shy and quiet in college, but during her senior year, she mustered up all her courage and introduced herself to her idol, the elder poet Marianne Moore. The meeting was awkward at first, but then Bishop offered to take Moore to the circus. It turned out they both loved going to the circus and they both also loved snakes, tattoos, exotic flowers, birds, dressmaking, and recipes. Moore became Bishop’s mentor and friend.
Bishop was an extremely slow writer and published only 101 poems in her lifetime. She worked on her poem “The Moose” for more than 25 years, keeping it tacked up on her wall so that she could rearrange the lines again and again until she got it right. But she was an obsessive letter writer. She once wrote 40 letters in a single day.
She had six children to take care of, so she wrote on a lapboard in the living room while her children played around her. Because she was so busy, she tried to write as quickly as she could, and in less than 10 years she produced three novels and more than a hundred short stories.
Chopin’s early work was melodramatic and sentimental, but everything changed when she first read the French writer Guy de Maupassant. She wrote: “Here was a man who had escaped from tradition and authority, who had entered into himself and looked out upon life through his own being and with his own eyes … [who wrote] without the plots, the old fashioned mechanism and stage trapping that in a vague, unthinking way I had fancied were essential to the art of story making.”
Chopin began to write more explicitly about dissatisfied wives and marital infidelity, and she found it harder and harder to get her work published. Then she published The Awakening (1899), about a woman who leaves her husband and her children to have an affair and become an artist and then eventually commits suicide by swimming out to sea until she is exhausted. It was one of the first novels ever written by a woman about a woman committing adultery, and it was almost universally attacked by critics as “moral poison,” “sordid,” “unhealthy,” “repellent,” and “vulgar.” The St. Louis literary community refused to review the novel at all, and libraries and bookstores in Chopin’s hometown wouldn’t stock the book. Chopin was unable to publish her next book of short stories, and she died five years later, in 1904.
Her work was forgotten for almost 50 years, and it was only revived because of a series of European critics who championed her work. A Norwegian literary scholar published the first biography of her, and he also helped publish The Complete Works of Kate Chopin (1969). Today, The Awakening is considered one of greatest novels of 19th-century American literature.