Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Frankfort, KY for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Maryville, TN for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Fort Lauderdale, FL for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Palm Desert, CA
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Palm Desert, CA for a performance of holiday songs, humor and The News from Lake Wobegon.
Town Hall, New York City
A Prairie Home Companion American Revival comes to Town Hall in New York City with Christine DiGiallonardo, Heather Masse, Rob Fisher and the Demitasse Orchestra, Rich Dworsky, Walter Bobbie, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
by Grace Paley
With what joy
I left home to deposit one thousand, one hundred and nineteen
dollars in the bank
I was whistling and skipping
you would think I had a new baby and a new cradle
after so many years
or that my mother had come to visit from Queens, borough of
you would think a lover
at the corner of Chemical Trust
and First National
right under the willow oak
with open arms
MIDDLE-AGE POEM by Grace Paley from Begin Again. Farrar, Straus and Giroux © 2000. Used by permission of Union Literary, LLC. (buy now)
On this day in 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing all male citizens the right to vote regardless of their race. In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, which imposed a federal income tax.
It’s the birthday of the writer Richard Yates, (books by this author) born in Yonkers, New York (1926). When he was in his 30s, he published his debut novel, Revolutionary Road, and it was a finalist for a National Book Award. He continued to write and got great reviews, but he never sold more than 12,000 copies of a hardcover book. He spent his life struggling to pay his bills, and he considered himself a failure. He was an alcoholic, smoked constantly, and he had such bad emphysema that toward the end of his life he used an oxygen tank. When he died in 1992, most of his books were out of print, but he was still writing — working on a novel based on his experience as a speechwriter for Bobby Kennedy.
But now his books are back in print, and they are doing well.
It’s the birthday Paul Auster (books by this author), born in Newark, New Jersey (1947), the author of The New York Trilogy (1985-86), a set of idiosyncratic detective stories that deal with questions of identity and existential thought, as well as a memoir, The Invention of Solitude (1982), and several other books.
He said, “Becoming a writer is not a ‘career decision’ like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don’t choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you’re not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.”
It’s “the day the music died,” the day in 1959 when Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa, along with Ritchie Valens (who sang “La Bamba”) and J.P. Richardson (known as “The Big Bopper”). Buddy Holly’s career as a rock star only lasted a year and a half, but he recorded “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” “That’ll Be the Day,” “Oh, Boy!” and many more hits. Buddy Holly was 22 years old when he died.
It’s the 199th birthday of the first woman to graduate from medical school, Elizabeth Blackwell (books by this author), born on this day in Bristol, England, in 1821. She wanted to become a doctor because she knew that many women would rather discuss their health problems with another woman. She read medical texts and studied with doctors, but she was rejected by all the big medical schools. Finally, the Geneva Medical College (which became Hobart College) in upstate New York accepted her. The faculty wasn’t sure what to do with such a qualified candidate, and so they turned the decision over to the students. The male students voted unanimously to accept her. Her classmates and even professors considered many medical subjects too delicate for a woman and didn’t think she should be allowed to attend lectures on the reproductive system. But she graduated, became a doctor, and opened the New York Infirmary for Women and Children.
It’s the birthday of Gertrude Stein, (books by this author) born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania (1874). She dropped out of medical school and moved to Paris with her brother Leo. They started collecting art together, and a group of artists — including Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso — gathered every Saturday evening at the Steins’ home to discuss art and ideas.
Gertrude Stein became friends with Picasso while he was experimenting with Cubism, attempting to depict objects from multiple angles at the same time. So Gertrude Stein decided to do the same thing with language, and she created a style of repeating words and phrases to highlight the sounds of words instead of their meaning. She said, “Nature is commonplace. Imitation is more interesting.”
It’s the birthday of the epic novelist James A. Michener, (books by this author) born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania (1907), the author of Tales of the South Pacific. He said, “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”
He died in 1997 at the age of 90.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®