April 27, 2019
Garrison Keillor celebrates National Poetry Month with poems & song at a benefit for Performing Arts of Woodstock.
CROONERS SUPPER CLUB
April 14, 2019
At 76 years old, Garrison Keillor makes his solo nightclub debut! 5:00 p.m.
March 28, 2019
Garrison Keillor heads to Steele County for a solo performance to benefit the Historical Society. 7:30 p.m.
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.
by Carl Dennis
The text for this poem is not available
“A Typescript” by Carl Dennis from Night School. © Penguin Books, 2018. Audio used with permission. (buy now)
On this day in 1955, Tennessee Williams‘s play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened at the Morosco Theater in New York. Directors hated it when Williams (books by this author) came to opening night performances; he had a funny, high-pitched laugh, he laughed at lines nobody else found funny, and people in the audience were always turning around trying to see where the noise was coming from.
It’s the birthday of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, born in Yonkers, New York (1919). His father, an Italian immigrant, died before he was born and his mother was committed to an asylum while he was still an infant. Ferlinghetti spent part of his childhood in a state orphanage. A French aunt took over custody of young Lawrence and moved him to France. After a few years, they returned to New York, where his aunt got a job as a governess with a wealthy family. Then his aunt took off, abandoning her nephew, but the family liked the boy so much that they took him in.
Ferlinghetti had access to good schools, went to college at the University of North Carolina, and then joined the Navy during World War II. He was the commander of 110-foot ship. He said: “Any smaller than us you weren’t a ship, you were a boat. But we could order anything a battleship could order so we got an entire set of the Modern Library. We had all the classics stacked everywhere all over the ship, including the john. We also got a lot of medicinal brandy the same way.”
He moved to New York, then Paris, and then settled in San Francisco. He loved the North Beach neighborhood, full of Italian immigrants, and he decided to open a bookstore there. In 1953, he opened City Lights, the first all-paperback bookstore in the country. It became a center for the Beat poets, and also a publishing house — City Lights Press made its name publishing Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl.”
Ferlinghetti wrote: “I have a feeling I’m falling / on rare occasions / but most of the time I have my feet on the ground / I can’t help it if the ground itself is falling.”
It’s the birthday of a great writer of hymns, Fanny Crosby, born in Southeast, New York (1820). When she was an infant, she got sick and the family accidentally hired a quack doctor who prescribed mustard plasters on her eyes, and she went blind. Her father died later the same year. Her mother and grandmother raised her, and she went to the New York Institute for the Blind. She was such a good student that she became a teacher there after she graduated, and she married a blind musician.
Throughout her career, she wrote thousands of hymns. No one knows exactly how many she wrote — the hymnals were hesitant to print too many hymns by one person, so Crosby used about 100 different pseudonyms — but probably between 3,000 and 8,000. Her best-known hymn is “Blessed Assurance,” which includes the lines: “Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; / Angels, descending, bring from above / Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.”
It’s the birthday of the geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell, born in Mount Morris, New York (1834). His father was an itinerant preacher, and the family moved around constantly, a habit that Powell kept. As a young man, he spent four months walking across Wisconsin, and he traveled by boat down much of the Mississippi River. He fought in the Civil War, and he lost an arm in combat, but it didn’t stop his adventures. He is most famous for exploring the desert Southwest: he traveled down the Colorado River, and explored what are now Zion, Canyonlands, and Bryce National Park, Lake Powell and Lake Mead. He and his companions were the first European-Americans ever to navigate the Grand Canyon Gorge.