Wednesday

Feb. 11, 1998

Amo, Amas

by John O'Keefe

WEDNESDAY 2/11

Today's Reading: "Amo, Amas" by John O'Keefe.

It's the anniversary of NELSON MANDELA's release from a Cape Town, South Africa prison C set free on this date in 1990 after 26 years for opposing the apartheid government

Thirty-five years ago today (1963), American poet SYLVIA PLATH committed suicide in a London apartment. Most of the poetry that made her famous and earned her the 1982 Pulitzer was published in the years after her death. Her only novel, though, the autobiographical The Bell Jar, had been published just a few weeks before she died

It's the birthday in 1855, Hartford, Connecticut of JOSEPHINE MARSHALL JEWELL DODGE, founder of the Jewell Day Nursery in New York City in the 1880s. Before her time, daycare was a sketchy business: mothers who worked outside the home had to rely on relatives, or daycare that met only the most basic needs

"The Wizard of Menlo Park," THOMAS ALVA EDISON, was born on this date in 1847, in Milan, Ohio. The incandescent light bulb, improvements for the telephone C these and hundreds of other inventions rolled out of Edison's plant in Menlo Park, New Jersey, including his own personal favorite, the phonograph. Edison wound up with nearly 1,300 inventions and said, "We do not know one millionth of one percent about anything."

It was on this date in 1805 that MERIWETHER LEWIS acted as a midwife at the birth of his guide Sacajawea's child. The Lewis and Clark Expedition was out on the Dakota prairie, spending the winter in a Mandan Indian village near what's now Bismarck, North Dakota

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

 









«

»

  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
  • “I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” —Anne Tyler
  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
  • “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.” —John Edgar Wideman
  • “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Let's face it, writing is hell.” —William Styron
  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
  • “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
  • “Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.” —Shelby Foote
  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
  • “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.” —Iris Murdoch
  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
  • “Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” —Anthony Powell
  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
The Writer's Almanac on Facebook


The Writer's Almanac on Twitter

Subscribe to our daily newsletter for poems, prose and literary history every morning
An interview with Jeffrey Harrison at The Writer's Almanac Bookshelf
Current Faves - Learn more about poets featured frequently on the show
O, What a Luxury

Although he has edited several anthologies of his favorite poems, O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound forges a new path for Garrison Keillor, as a poet of light verse. Purchase O, What a Luxury »