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+
by Robyn Sarah
It is possible that things will not get better
than they are now, or have been known to be.
It is possible that we are past the middle now.
It is possible that we have crossed the great water
without knowing it, and stand now on the other side.
Yes: I think that we have crossed it. Now
we are being given tickets, and they are not
tickets to the show we had been thinking of,
but to a different show, clearly inferior.
Check again: it is our own name on the envelope.
The tickets are to that other show.
It is possible that we will walk out of the darkened hall
without waiting for the last act: people do.
Some people do. But it is probable
that we will stay seated in our narrow seats
all through the tedious denouement
to the unsurprising end—riveted, as it were;
spellbound by our own imperfect lives
because they are lives,
and because they are ours.
“Riveted” by Robyn Sarah from A Day’s Grace. © The Porcupine’s Quill, 2003. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of the short-story writer Isaak Babel, (books by this author) born in Odessa, Ukraine (1894). He was the author of Tales of Odessa. In 1939, he was arrested by the Soviet secret police, and that following January, after a 20-minute trial, he was executed in Moscow.
It was Isaak Babel who said, “There is no iron that can enter the human heart with such stupefying effect, as a period placed at just the right moment.”
It’s the birthday of the poet John Clare, (books by this author) born in Nottinghamshire, England (1793). John Clare wrote about 3,500 poems, of which only 400 were published in his lifetime, and his great importance as an English poet has only become clear in the last few decades.
It’s the 86th birthday of Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka, (books by this author) born in Abeokuta, Nigeria (1934). He’s the first African to win the Nobel Prize in literature, which he was awarded in 1986.
His plays include A Dance of the Forests (1963), The Lion and the Jewel (1963), Rites of the Harmattan Solstice (produced 1966), Requiem for a Futurologist (1985), and The Beatification of Area Boy (1996).
He’s been a professor at several British and American universities. And he has long been a pro-democracy activist in his native Nigeria, protesting military dictatorships time and time again. For this, he has spent a lot of time in exile and in prison. Once, just after he got out of jail, someone asked him why he — an aging man nearing 70 at the time — kept doing stuff to get himself put in prison. Soyinka said: “My conviction simply is that power must always be defeated, that the struggle must always continue to defeat power. I don’t go looking for fights. I’m really a very lazy person. I enjoy my peace and quiet. There’s nothing I love better than just to sit quietly somewhere, you know, have a glass of wine, read a book, listen to music.”
But just a few months after that interview — and almost two decades after becoming a Nobel Prize laureate — he led more anti-government protests. He was tear-gassed and arrested, though soon released.
His poetry collections include Poems from Prison (1969) and Mandela’s Earth and Other Poems (1988). In 2006, he published a memoir, You Must Set Forth at Dawn.
He said, “The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.”
It’s the 60th birthday of the most sued man in the history of the British legal system, Ian Hislop, (books by this author) born in Mumbles, Wales (1960). He’s the editor of the satirical fortnightly Private Eye, which is the U.K.’s best-selling current affairs magazine.
When it first started in 1961, the magazine was mostly composed of silly jokes. While it still features a great many silly jokes, it has branched out to include investigative journalism, in-depth reports of government and financial scandal, good old-fashioned gossip, and a number of regular columns, serious and satirical. There’s a book review section, a column on architecture called “Nooks and Corners,” and a column called “Wikipedia Whispers,” devoted to reports of famous people editing their own profiles to make themselves look better.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®