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 New Year of the Trees
by Marge Piercy
It is the New Year of the Trees, but here
the ground is frozen under the crust of snow.
The trees snooze, their buds tight as nuts.
Rhododendron leaves roll up their stiff scrolls.
In the white and green north of the diaspora
I am stirred by a season that will not arrive
for six weeks, as wines on far continents prickle
to bubbles when their native vines bloom.
What blossoms here are birds jostling
at feeders, pecking sunflower seeds
and millet through the snow: tulip red
cardinal, daffodil finch, larkspur jay,
the pansybed of sparrows and juncos, all hungry.
They too are planters of trees, spreading seeds
of favorites along fences. On the earth closed
to us all as a book in a language we cannot
yet read, the seeds, the bulbs, the eggs
of the fervid green year await release.
Over them on February’s cold table I spread
a feast. Wings rustle like summer leaves.
“The New Year of the trees” from THE HUNGER MOON: New and Selected Poems, 1980-2010 by Marge Piercy. Copyright © 1977 by Marge Piercy. Used by permission of The Wallace Literary Agency. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of best-selling mystery novelist Elizabeth George, (books by this author) born in Warren, Ohio, on this day in 1949. She’s the author of the Inspector Lynley series, about a Scotland Yard detective and his crime-solving partner. Her books include In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (1999), A Traitor to Memory (2001), What Came before He Shot Her (2006), and Careless in Red (2008). She’s the first American mystery novelist whose books have been adapted by the BBC.
She teaches creative writing and is the author of a guide for aspiring novelists called Write Away: One Novelist’s Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life (2004). In April, she’ll be publishing a new book called Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel (2020).
It’s the birthday of the man who said, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” That’s French novelist Victor Hugo, (books by this author) born in Besançon, France, on this day in 1802. He also said, “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world: and that is an idea whose time has come.”
He wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831) when he was in his 20s and became a celebrity. He used his fame to advocate for political causes he believed in, like denouncing the autocratic regime of Napoleon III. He encouraged French people to rise up and revolt. Napoleon III declared Hugo an enemy of the state, but Hugo managed to flee the country in disguise just before soldiers showed up to arrest him at his home.
He went to Brussels before landing at Guernsey, an island in the English Channel, where he lived in exile for the next 20 years. There, he wrote at a fast pace. And he wrote standing up, at a pulpit, looking out across the water. He had strict minimums for himself: 100 lines of poetry or 20 pages of prose a day. It was during this time that he wrote his masterpiece, Les Misérables (1865), about a poor Parisian man who steals a loaf of bread, spends 19 years in jail for it, and after his release becomes a successful small businessman and small-town mayor — and then is imprisoned once again for a minor crime in his distant past. The book was a hugely popular, and Hugo returned to Paris, was elected to the Senate of the new Third Republic, and when he died in 1885 at the age of 82, two million people showed up to his funeral, a procession through the streets of Paris.
Victor Hugo said, “One can resist the invasion of an army but one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.”
On this day in 1564, the playwright Christopher Marlowe, (books by this author) was baptized in Canterbury, England. Marlowe wrote Tamburlaine the Great, Doctor Faustus, and many more plays before his death at age 29.
On this day in 1919, Congress approved acts to establish two national parks. Lafayette National Park on the coast of Maine was the first national park east of the Mississippi — ten years later, it was renamed Acadia. And in northwestern Arizona, more than 1 million acres were set aside as Grand Canyon National Park. That year it received 44,173 visitors. Today there are more than 5 million visitors each year.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®