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Writer's Almanac

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The Writer’s Almanac for Friday, August 12, 2022

The Writer’s Almanac for Friday, August 12, 2022

It’s the birthday of the woman who wrote the lines: “O beautiful for spacious skies, / For amber waves of grain, / For purple mountain majesties / Above the fruited plain!” That’s Katharine Lee Bates, born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod (1859).

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The Writer’s Almanac for Thursday, August 11, 2022

The Writer’s Almanac for Thursday, August 11, 2022

“I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!” — Louise Bogan, poet, born on this day in 1897.

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The Writer’s Almanac for Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Writer’s Almanac for Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Minnesota born poet Joyce Sutphen celebrates 73 years of age on this day. On writing poetry, Sutphen says: “Poetry makes the world real for me […] in the end, it isn’t hard. When I sit down to write a poem, one thing just leads to another.”

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The Writer’s Almanac for Friday, August 19, 2022

The Writer’s Almanac for Friday, August 19, 2022

The poet Ogden Nash was born on this day in 1902. His work leaned towards the humorous. He said: “Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you.” and “A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.”

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The Writer’s Almanac for Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Writer’s Almanac for Tuesday, August 9, 2022

It’s the birthday of the creator of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers, born Helen Lyndon Goff, in Australia, 1899. She said in an interview: “Mary Poppins is both a joy and a curse to me as a writer. As a writer you can feel awfully imprisoned, because people, having had so much of one thing, want you always to go on doing more of the same.”

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The Writer’s Almanac for Monday, August 8, 2022

The Writer’s Almanac for Monday, August 8, 2022

Today is the birthday two female authors, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896) author of “The Yearling”, and of poet Sara Teasdale (1884), and also of physicist Ernest O. Lawrence (1901) who won a Nobel Prize for the invention of the cyclotron.

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The Writer’s Almanac for Sunday, August 7, 2022

The Writer’s Almanac for Sunday, August 7, 2022

Today is the birthday of Margaretha Zelle, better known as Mata Hari, born in the Netherlands (1876). She became an exotic dancer after her divorce, and later became a spy for the French during WWI. Suspected of being a double agent, though she likely was just a bad spy, she was executed by the French in 1917.

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The Writer’s Almanac for Saturday, August 6, 2022

The Writer’s Almanac for Saturday, August 6, 2022

Jane Austen finished writing Persuasion on this day in 1816, the sixth and final novel she completed in her lifetime. It was published posthumously after Austen died of a mysterious illness a year later. A new adaptation has recently premiered on Netflix.

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The Writer’s Almanac for Friday, August 5, 2022

The Writer’s Almanac for Friday, August 5, 2022

Today is the 88th birthday of Wendell Berry. The poet has said “Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.” and “You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.”

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The Writer’s Almanac for Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Writer’s Almanac for Thursday, August 4, 2022

On August 4th, 1792 Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in England. Destined to only live 29 years, the Romantic poet fit a lot of living into his short life. His best-known works are “Ozymandias” (1818), “Ode to the West Wind” (1819), “To a Skylark” (1820), and the “The Mask of Anarchy” (1819)

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