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+
Everything We Don’t Want Them to Know
by Maria Mazziotti Gillan
At eleven, my granddaughter looks like my daughter
did, that slender body, that thin face, the grace
with which she moves. When she visits, she sits
with my daughter; they have hot chocolate together
and talk. The way my granddaughter moves her hands,
the concentration with which she does everything,
knocks me back to the time when I sat with my daughter
at this table and we talked and I watched the grace
with which she moved her hands, the delicate way
she lifted the heavy hair back behind her ear.
My daughter is grown now, married
in a fairy-tale wedding, divorced, something inside
her broken, healing slowly. I look at my granddaughter
and I want to save her, as I was not able
to save my daughter. Nothing is that simple,
all our plans, carefully made, thrown into a cracked
pile by the way love betrays us.
Maria Mazziotti Gillan, “Everything We Don’t Want Them to Know” from What We Pass On: Collected Poems 1980 – 2009, Guernica Editions © Maria Mazziotti Gillan. Used by permission of the author. (buy now)
It is the birthday of the American poet Naomi Shihab Nye (books by this author), born in St. Louis, Missouri (1952). Nye split her childhood between Ferguson, Missouri and Jerusalem, the daughter of an American and a Palestinian refugee. Her blended heritage and Middle Eastern roots soon became the subject of many poems. Both roots and sense of place are major themes in her body of work. Her most recent book is Everything Comes Next: Collected and New Poems (2020).
It’s the birthday of playwright Edward Albee (books by this author), born Edward Harvey in Washington, D.C. (1928). After dabbling for some years in fiction and poetry, he completed his first play, The Zoo Story (1958), when he was 30. He’s best known for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), which was his first Broadway play and a runaway hit.
Today is the birthday of Dave Eggers (books by this author), born in Boston, Massachusetts (1970). He grew up in Lake Forest, Illinois, and wanted to be a cartoonist. When his parents died he was 21 years old and made the guardian of his eight-year-old brother, Christopher. Eggers had to drop out of college to support the family, and wrote about it in his best-selling memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000).
It’s the birthday of American crime novelist and journalist Carl Hiaasen (books by this author) (1953). Hiaasen was born in Plantation, Florida. He started out as a newspaper reporter at Cocoa Today in Florida (1976), before moving to the Miami Herald, where he found a lot of inspiration for his novels while working the city desk and on investigative teams.
Hiaasen is best known for novels like Tourist Season (1986), Strip Tease (1993), Sick Puppy (2000), and Razor Girl (2016). His latest novel is Squeeze Me (2020).
It’s the birthday of American writer Jack Kerouac (books by this author), Lowell, Massachusetts (1922). He is best known for his iconic Beat Generation novel, On the Road (1957), in which poetic drifter Sal Paradise knocks about the United States with his pal Dean Moriarty. In the book, Sal says:
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles.”
Kerouac’s parents were immigrants from Quebec, and he learned French before English. He loved to read more than anything, especially the 10-cent fiction magazines from drugstores, but he also loved football, baseball, and track, and knew that sports would be his ticket out of Lowell. He got a football scholarship to Columbia University but broke his leg and quit the team. Back in New York City, Kerouac, poet Allen Ginsberg, and writer William Burroughs became fast friends, taking drugs and writing strange, quick poems and stories.
Kerouac wrote a fairly traditional first novel called Town and the City (1950). It received good reviews, but made no money. He befriended a happy-go-lucky, somewhat sinister drifter named Neal Cassady and together, they crossed the United States, a series of adventures that inspired Kerouac’s novel On the Road. Kerouac liked to tell people he wrote the whole book in three weeks on a borrowed typewriter on a continuous scroll of paper more than 120 feet long, which is partly true. He did write on the scroll, but the last several feet had to be retyped after a dog chewed them,
Jack Kerouac’s 18 novels include Dr. Sax (1959), Maggie Cassidy (1959), and The Subterraneans (1958). He died in 1969. About writing, he said:
“You think out what actually happened, you tell friends long stories about it, you mull it over in your mind, you connect it together at leisure, then when the time comes to pay the rent again you force yourself to sit at the typewriter, or at the writing notebook, and get it over with as fast as you can,” and “I’m only a jolly storyteller and have nothing to do with politics or schemes and my only plan is the old Chinese way of the Tao: Avoid the authorities.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®