A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to Akron, OH with Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to Scranton, PA with Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson, Dan Chouinard and Dean Magraw bring their show to Spokane, WA for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, TX with our favorite regulars, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman. Additional guests to be announced.
New Philadelphia, OH
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Kent State University. Poetry, Limericks, Sing-Along and the News from Lake Wobegon.
by Jim Harrison
Most of my life was spent
building a bridge out over the sea
though the sea was too wide.
I’m proud of the bridge
hanging in the pure sea air. Machado
came for a visit and we sat on the
end of the bridge, which was his idea.
Now that I’m old the work goes slowly.
Ever nearer death, I like it out here
high above the sea bundled
up for the arctic storms of late fall,
the resounding crash and moan of the sea,
the hundred-foot depth of the green troughs.
Sometimes the sea roars and howls like
the animal it is, a continent wide and alive.
What beauty in this the darkest music
over which you can hear the lightest music of human
behavior, the tender connection between men and galaxies.
So I sit on the edge, wagging my feet above
the abyss. Tonight the moon will be in my lap.
This is my job, to study the universe
from my bridge. I have the sky, the sea, the faint
green streak of Canadian forest on the far shore.
Jim Harrison, “Bridge” from Dead Man’s Float. Copyright © 2016 by Jim Harrison. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of American short-story author Grace Paley (books by this author), born in New York City (1922). She grew up in an immigrant neighborhood in the Bronx, where she was surrounded by a wide variety of languages. Her own parents spoke Yiddish and Russian at home, and English in public. She loved to hear the different tongues, and especially loved listening to all the gossip, but when she first started writing poetry, she wrote in a formal, stilted British style because she thought that’s what poems were supposed to sound like. Then, in college, she met W.H. Auden and he agreed to read her work. She later recalled: “We went through a few poems, and he kept asking me, ‘Do you really talk like that?’ And I kept saying, ‘Oh yeah, well, sometimes.’ That was the great thing I learned from Auden: that you’d better talk your own language.”
She wrote while her children were at school, and eventually moved from poetry to fiction. She wrote three stories and showed them to her friend, who happened to be married to an editor at Doubleday. He told her that if she could write seven more, he would publish the collection. Her first book was The Little Disturbances of Man (1959), and it was full of the voices of the immigrant women in her Greenwich Village neighborhood. She only wrote three books in all, but she was always busy doing something: teaching, or giving talks, or engaging in political activism as a feminist and anti-war activist.
It’s the birthday of novelist Thomas McGuane (books by this author), born in Wyandotte, Michigan (1939). He came from a family of Irish Catholics. He said: “When they immigrated to the East Coast (my family went to Massachusetts), they saw themselves as an enclave of outsiders in a Yankee, Protestant world. My parents moved to the Midwest, and I can assure you that, whatever we thought we were, we did not consider ourselves to be Midwesterners. […] When I moved to Montana in my twenties, I felt myself to be an outsider in still another world. The only thing that seems reassuring is that most Montanans feel the same way — they’re mostly from somewhere else and their history is so recent that to be one of the migrants is really to be one of the boys.”
McGuane said: “I associated a life of action and a life of thought as being the writer’s life. But I didn’t do much writing when I was a kid. I wanted to be a writer before I wanted to do any writing.” He went to college at Michigan State University, where one of his classmates was another aspiring writer named Jim Harrison — the two became lifelong friends and ended up both living in Montana. McGuane spent the summer of 1968 in Livingston, Montana, and he loved it so much that he moved there a year later. His first novel, The Sporting Club, was published in 1969, and when he sold the film rights a year later, he went ahead and bought a ranch with the profits. But it took him a while to settle down in Montana. He spent most of the ’70s in Hollywood — writing screenplays, dating actresses, drinking too much, and doing too many drugs. His screenplays included Rancho Deluxe (1973) and The Missouri Breaks (1976), but he never wanted to be a screenwriter — he said, “Aspiring to be a screenwriter is like aspiring to be a co-pilot.”
McGuane spends his days writing, fly fishing, and riding horses. He is a member of the Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame — he was Montana’s cutting horse champion for three years in a row. He and his wife Laurie raise cutting horses and Angus cattle on their 2,000-acre ranch.
It’s the birthday of poet and novelist Jim Harrison (books by this author), in Grayling, Michigan (1937). He was a poet who went out hunting birds with his dog, and he fell off a cliff and hurt his back and had to stay in bed for months. His friend Thomas McGuane convinced him to try writing a novel as a way to pass the time. Harrison wrote Wolf: A False Memoir (1971). His other books include the novella Legends of the Fall (1979); the novels True North (2004) and The Farmer’s Daughter (2009); and the poetry volumes Returning to Earth (1977) and In Search of Small Gods (2009), The Big Seven (2015).
Harrison died of a heart attack on March 26, 2016. A posthumous book of poetry Jim Harrison: The Essential Poems was published in 2019.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®