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+
Where’s that thing?
by John Kenney
Where’s that thing?
you ask me
looking in the cabinet above the stove.
The new one or old one, I reply,
fairly sure you know what I mean.
Under the sink.
It’s not there.
Look under that stuff.
It’s not here.
The other stuff.
Wait. You mean the green one?
No. Blue. I think it’s blue.
Oh. That’s in the drawer.
I checked the drawer.
Did you check behind the plastic thing?
We’ re talking about the same thing, right, the one with the
Wait. Here it is.
“Where’s that thing?” by John Kenney from Love Poems (for People with Children). G.P. Putnam’s Sons © 2019. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of poet Elizabeth Bishop, (books by this author) born in Worcester, Massachusetts (1911). She went to Vassar, where she really began her career as a poet. Her mentor was the poet Marianne Moore, who taught Bishop that she could write poems that weren’t about big ideas like love or death, but just about the observation of ordinary things.
Elizabeth Bishop was a slow, meticulous writer — she published just 101 poems during her lifetime.
It’s the birthday of the best-selling novelist John Grisham, (books by this author) born in Jonesboro, Arkansas (1955). He became a successful lawyer and then decided to write a novel based on one of his court cases. He spent three years writing A Time to Kill (1989), but only a few thousand copies were printed, and it didn’t sell out on the first run. So he read Writer’s Digest magazine and found an article about the rules of suspense, and he used that formula to write a thriller about a law student who realizes that the firm he works for is connected to the mafia. That was The Firm (1991). It was a huge best-seller, and John Grisham went on to write The Pelican Brief (1992), The Rainmaker (1995), and many more best-sellers. His latest novel is The Guardians (2019).
It’s the birthday of Kate Chopin, (books by this author) born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1850. She came from a wealthy family — her father was a successful businessman and her mother was a beautiful socialite from one of the city’s oldest Creole families. Kate was a Southern belle, a devoted wife, and the mother of six children.
But then her husband died, and soon after that her mother died. Chopin was depressed. Her family doctor thought she was a very good letter-writer, so he encouraged her to try writing fiction as a way to stay occupied. Over the next 15 years, Kate Chopin wrote almost 100 short stories and sketches, and two novels, At Fault (1890) and The Awakening (1899). The Awakening is the story of Edna Pontellier, who gives up her roles as wife and mother, has an affair, and eventually walks into the sea, perhaps committing suicide. And when it was published, Kate Chopin was censored and criticized. But now she is considered an important early feminist author, and The Awakening is considered a classic of American fiction.
It’s the birthday of Neal Cassady, (books by this author) born in 1926 in Salt Lake City. He was a con man, in and out of jail, and finally moved to New York City, where he met Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
The Beats idolized Cassady. He embodied everything they embraced in theory — he was a self-made man, he had been educated on the streets by bums and crooks, he was smart and free and charming.
Neal Cassady appears in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. In “Howl,” Allen Ginsberg refers to him as “N.C., secret hero of these poems.” But Neal Cassady is most famous as the inspiration for Dean Moriarty, the hero of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (1957).
It was on this day in 1910 that the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated as a youth organization in the United States. The Boy Scout Handbook says, “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”
It’s the birthday of poet and translator Lisel Mueller (books by this author), born in Hamburg, Germany (1924). Her father was a German intellectual who was targeted by Hitler’s regime, so when she was 15 years old her family moved from Hamburg to the town of Evansville, Indiana.
She began publishing poems in small journals, and a few years later she published her first poetry book, Dependencies (1965). She went on to win the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Her books include The Private Life (1975), The Need to Hold Still (1980), Learning to Play by Ear (1990), and Alive Together: New and Selected Poems (1996).
She said: “I find it boring to be constantly writing about myself. There are so many other more interesting people in the world […] There is a double satisfaction in being someone else and still being myself.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®