Jun. 17, 1999

From June to December

by Wendy Cope

Broadcast Date: THURSDAY: June 17, 1999

Poems: "From June to December," a summer villanelle by Wendy Cope, from Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis (Faber & Faber).

Twenty-seven years ago today, 1972, at 2:30 in the morning, five men were caught trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the WATERGATE Complex in Washington. Two days later on the front page of the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein began their Watergate stories.

It's the birthday in 1966, Long Island, of LAURIE FOOS, author of the surrealist novels Ex Utero (1995), the tale of a woman who takes a shopping trip and along the way discovers that she has lost her uterus; Portrait of the Walrus by a Young Artist, subtitled A Novel About Art, Bowling, Pizza, Sex, and Hair Spray (1997); her next novel, Twinship, is due out this September. She says, "I write about the inner lives of women, those things which are taboo, to make things seem absurd and grotesque, because as Flannery O'Connor said, it takes drastic measures to open the reader's eyes."

It's the birthday in Illinois, 1955, of JO ANN BEARD, author of the memoir Boys of My Youth that came out last year. She was working as a secretary at the University of Iowa physics department in November 1991 when a student there gunned down five members of the department. She'd left work early that day to tend to her sick dog at home. She wrote about it in a piece for the New Yorker, called "The Fourth State of Matter," and then expanded it with memories of growing up in the '60s into Boys of My Youth.

It's the birthday of THOMAS SWAN, born in Pittsburgh, 1928, the author of suspense novels of the art world; like The Davinci Deception (1990); The Cezanne Chase (1996); and The Final Faberge, due out in September.

It's the birthday of the Harlem Renaissance poet, songwriter, and novelist JAMES WELDON JOHNSON, born in Jacksonville, Florida, 1871, best remembered for The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.

It's the birthday in Lincolnshire, England, 1703, of JOHN WESLEY, who with his brother, Charles, founded the Methodist movement in the Church of England. The term "Methodists" was originally a derisive nickname for students who took a "methodical" approach to Bible study and prayer.

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




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