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+
At Emily Dickinson’s House
by Carl Dennis
What I remember now of the rooms
Where she spent more than half her life
In self-imposed seclusion
Is her writing table, just two feet square,
Which made my massive desk at home
An embarrassment, an oafish boast
That the work I did there was monumental.
Her table: easy to move to a bedroom window
When she needed more light or another glimpse
Of the garden she loved to work in
When the weather permitted.
What a pleasure it must have been
To plant and prune in the afternoon
After a long morning at the table
Ample enough to serve as the field
Where she stepped out early to welcome Eden
Or rode alone to meet the enemy: the dark
That snuffed out her bright dear ones.
How much comfort she took in the hope
That the poems she didn’t try to publish
Would cast a light one day is uncertain,
How much faith in a word as remote
And bloodless as posterity. I’d like to tell her
I’ve climbed the stairs in my heavy boots
To the room with the little table where once
She sat in her slippers, summoning her reserves
To charge “the cavalry of woe.”
“At Emily Dickinson’s House” by Carl Dennis from Night School. Penguin Books © 2018. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
It is the 81st birthday of young adult novelist Gary Paulsen (books by this author). He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (1939), but moved a lot because both his parents were active in the military. He was a halfhearted student who got poor grades, but when a friendly librarian gave him a book to read and his own library card, he became a devoted reader.
He ran away from home at 14 and joined a carnival. Later, he worked as a farmhand, construction worker, truck driver, sailor and magazine proofreader. When he moved back to Minnesota and settled in the rural northern part of the state, he became interested in dog racing and twice ran the Iditarod. But a medical issue forced him give up dog racing, and he devoted himself fully to writing.
He’s written hundreds of young adult novels, articles, and short stories. Three of his books — Hatchet (1988), Dogsong (1985), and The Winter Room (1989) — won Newbery Honors.
On this day in 1902, archaeologist Valerios Stais discovered the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient analog computer from the first or second century B.C., that was used to calculate the position of the sun, moon, and stars in relationship to the observer’s position on the surface of the earth. For many decades, archaeologists did not recognize the mechanism’s degree of mechanical sophistication, which is comparable to a 19th-century Swiss clock. To date, the only other artifacts with that degree of mechanical sophistication have come from the 14th century or later.
Stais uncovered the mechanism while exploring the Anitkythera shipwreck off the northwest coast of Crete. Today the mechanism is on display at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
On this day in 2004, the state of Massachusetts began to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It was the first state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry.
In a 4-3 ruling, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that the state may not “deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.” Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Margaret Marshall wrote that the Massachusetts constitution “affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals. It forbids the creation of second-class citizens. … The right to marry is not a privilege conferred by the State, but a fundamental right that is protected against unwanted interference.”
Beethoven’s famous Kreutzer Sonata was first performed on this day in 1803 at Augarten-Halle in Vienna, Austria. With Beethoven at the piano and George Bridgetower on the violin, the concert was a beautiful success. Beethoven was so impressed with Bridgetower’s performance that he jumped up and hugged the violinist midway through the performance.
Later, however, Bridgetower and Beethoven quarreled and Beethoven angrily undedicated the sonata to Bridgetower and rededicated it to Rudolph Kreutzer, a prominent Parisian violinist who had recently traveled to Vienna. It is rumored that when Kreutzer first saw the composition, he proclaimed the part written for violin too difficult to play. He is believed to have never played the sonata that now carries his name.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®