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+
The Song of Hiawatha (excerpt)
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In the green and silent valley,
By the pleasant water-courses,
Dwelt the singer Nawadaha.
In the green and silent valley.
“There he sang of Hiawatha,
Sang the Song of Hiawatha,
Sang his wondrous birth and being,
How he prayed and how be fasted,
How he lived, and toiled, and suffered,
That the tribes of men might prosper,
That he might advance his people!”
Ye who love the haunts of Nature,
Love the sunshine of the meadow,
Love the shadow of the forest,
Love the wind among the branches,
And the rain-shower and the snow-storm,
And the rushing of great rivers
Through their palisades of pine-trees,
And the thunder in the mountains,
Whose innumerable echoes
Flap like eagles in their eyries;—
Listen to these wild traditions,
To this Song of Hiawatha!
“The Song of Hiawatha (excerpt)” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Public Domain. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of poet Jane Kenyon (books by this author), born in Ann Arbor, Michigan (1947). She married fellow poet Donald Hall, whom she met as a student at the University of Michigan, where he was a professor. They lived in his family farmhouse in New Hampshire. She published only four books of poetry before she died from leukemia at the age of 47. She was the state poet of New Hampshire at the time.
Donald Hall wrote of their life together: “[W]e got up early in the morning. I brought Jane coffee in bed. She walked the dog as I started writing, then climbed the stairs to work at her own desk on her own poems. We had lunch. We lay down together. We rose and worked at secondary things. I read aloud to Jane; we played scoreless ping-pong; we read the mail; we worked again. We ate supper, talked, read books sitting across from each other in the living room, and went to sleep. If we were lucky the phone didn’t ring all day.”
It’s the birthday of novelist Ursula Hegi (books by this author), born in Düsseldorf, Germany (1946). When she was 18 years old, Hegi immigrated to the United States. She was embarrassed to tell people that she was German. She said: “I still really believed you can leave your country of origin behind and start your life anew. The older I get, the more I realize you can’t do that.” She went to school at the University of New Hampshire. Her first two published novels were set in the United States. But finally she decided that she could not completely ignore her past, and in 1990 she wrote Floating in My Mother’s Palm, set in the fictional German town of Burgdorf. She wrote a second book about Burgdorf, this time centered on a woman with dwarfism named Trudi Montag. Trudi’s physical appearance makes her an outsider in the village, and from that position, she watches the Nazis come to power in Germany and her fellow townspeople turn against their Jewish neighbors. That novel was Stones from the River (1994), and it became a best-seller. She said, “My own acute discomfort at being German is very much at the core of my writing.”
Today is the birthday of the author of the classic children’s book Goodnight Moon: Margaret Wise Brown (books by this author), born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1910. Brownie, as she was known to her friends, had a revolutionary idea about children’s stories: Kids would rather read about things from their own world than fairy tales and fables.
She was green-eyed and blonde, extravagant and a little eccentric. She was a prolific author, writing nearly a hundred picture books under several pen names and sometimes keeping six different publishers busy at once with her projects. She was known to produce a book just so she could buy a plane ticket to Europe.
At one time, she dated Juan Carlos, Prince of Spain, and she had a long-term relationship with Blanche Marie Louise Oelrichs (pen name: Michael Strange), John Barrymore’s ex-wife. When she was 42, she met James Stillman Rockefeller Jr., who was 26, at a party and they hit it off immediately. They had similar whimsical takes on life, and were engaged to be married when she died suddenly; she had had surgery a few weeks before, and was kicking up her leg like a can-can dancer to show her doctor how well she felt. The kick dislodged a blood clot that was in her leg, and the clot traveled to her heart, killing her.
She never had children of her own, but she left the royalties for most of her books to a nine-year-old neighbor boy, Albert Clarke. Her estate was once worth a few hundred dollars, and now amounts to about $5 million — or rather, it would, had Clarke not squandered the inheritance, spending his life in and out of jail, throwing away clothes when they get dirty, and making a succession of bad real estate deals.
She said, “A good picture book can almost be whistled. … All have their own melodies behind the storytelling.”
It’s the birthday of Edward Norton Lorenz, born in West Hartford, Connecticut, in 1917. He started out as a mathematician, but turned to meteorology during World War II. In an attempt to explain why it’s so difficult to make a long-range weather forecast, he spawned chaos theory, one of the 20th century’s most revolutionary scientific ideas.
Chaos theory is sometimes known as “the butterfly effect,” a term coined by Lorenz in an attempt to explain how small actions in a dynamic system like the atmosphere could trigger vast and unexpected changes.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®