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.
From “Ode: “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”
by William Wordsworth
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight
To me did seem
Apparell’d in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it has been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more!
The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth.
From “Ode: “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” by William Wordsworth. Public domain. (buy now)
Today we celebrate the birthday of Russian writer Yevgenia Ginzburg (books by this author), who was probably born on this day in Moscow (1904). She was a teacher and a journalist, and when she was 32, she was arrested in an anti-Communist roundup; her husband and parents were also arrested. Ginzburg was sentenced as an “enemy of the people,” and she spent the next 18 years in prison, forced labor, or exile — 10 years were spent in a labor camp in remote Siberia. She survived to write memoirs of her time in the gulag, Journey into the Whirlwind (1967) and Within the Whirlwind (1979). They were published abroad, but Ginzburg died in Moscow in 1977, 12 years before her books were finally published in the Soviet Union.
It’s the birthday of fiction writer Hortense Calisher (books by this author), born in New York City (1911). Her father was Southern, and she said he had “a towering pride in his Jewishness and in his southernness.” He made his money manufacturing soap and perfume, and even though Calisher grew up during the Depression, she felt comfortable, surrounded by books and music. She started writing in journals when she was seven, but she didn’t try to publish anything until she was almost 40. She sent some stories to The New Yorker, and they published five of them.
She published her first novel, False Entry (1961), at the age of 50 — it was 600 pages long. After that, she turned out book after book, 23 novels and short-story collections in all. She was 90 years old when she published her final novel, Sunday Jews (2002), and two years later, she published a memoir, Tattoo for a Slave (2004).
It’s the birthday of the Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, the lifelong muse of poet W.B. Yeats, born in Surrey, England (1865). She and Yeats first met when they were both 25 years old. He fell in love with her immediately and remained in love for the rest of his life.
Maud Gonne was tall and beautiful. Yeats wrote: “I had never thought to see in a living woman such great beauty. A complexion like the blossom of apples. Her movements were worthy of her form.”
Yeats asked her to marry him in 1891, but she refused. It was the first of many times that she rejected his marriage proposals. But they remained close to each other throughout their lives, and agreed that they had a “spiritual union.”
In response to one of Yeats’ many marriage proposals, Maud Gonne told him: “You would not be happy with me. … You make beautiful poetry out of what you call your unhappiness and you are happy in that. Marriage would be such a dull affair. Poets should never marry.”
In 1911, she wrote a letter to him and said, “Our children were your poems of which I was the father sowing the unrest & storm which made them possible & you the mother who brought them forth in suffering & in the highest beauty.”
Maud Gonne campaigned for land reform, helped tenants fight eviction, advocated for political prisoners, began a program that fed lunch to Dublin schoolkids, and founded the Daughters of Erin. Yeats wrote many poems for her, including “When You are Old” and “Aedh wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.”
Today is the birthday of the poet and novelist Sandra Cisneros (books by this author), born in Chicago (1954) and best known for the highly acclaimed coming-of-age novel The House on Mango Street (1984). Although the book was largely ignored when it was first published, its popularity grew, and soon Cisneros became the first Mexican-American woman to sign a contract with a big American publishing house. The House on Mango Street has since been translated into a dozen languages and has become required reading for middle schools and high schools throughout the United States.
Cisneros was the third child — and the only girl — in a family of seven children, and she spent most of her childhood rootless, moving back and forth between Chicago and Mexico City. Because her father felt that daughters were meant for husbands and not necessarily careers, she was free to study anything she wanted in college, including something as “silly” as English. But like many young Mexican-American women, she was expected to live at home — either until she was married or kicked out because of what she calls “some sexual transgression — you know, you’ve had a baby or you come out and say you’re gay.” Cisneros found her way out in poetry. “I said that I needed a place of my own to write, which was true. But I also wanted to have freedom to lead my life and to fall in love and to do things I couldn’t do under my father’s roof.”
Cisneros studied at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, but she felt disconnected from her fellow students there. “I didn’t want to sound like my classmates; I didn’t want to keep imitating the writers I’d been reading. Their voices were right for them, but not for me,” she wrote later. When she realized that, she felt free to draw from her own background to tell the story of Esperanza, a Latina girl who is growing up in a rundown Chicago neighborhood and dreams of living in a real house. That book became The House on Mango Street.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®