Aug. 21, 1999
Poem: "Destruction," by Joanne Kyger, from A Book of Luminous Things (by permission of the author).
The MAINE HIGHLAND GAMES are today in Brunswick. There's the tossing of the caber, wheat sheaf toss, and putting of the stone, as well as bagpipe bands, border collie herding demonstrations, and Highland dancing.
The SMOKY MOUNTAIN FIDDLERS CONVENTION is this weekend, in Loudon, Tennessee.
HAWAII was admitted to the Union 40 years ago today, 1959, as the 50th state. Right after President Dwight Eisenhower made the announcement, the new 50-star flag was unfurled at the White House.
It is the birthday today of the playwright MART CROWLEY, born 1935 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He is best known for the play Boys in the Band, the first play to have characters that were openly gay. When Crowley died in 1991, he left behind two other plays, Remote Asylum (1970), and A Breeze From the Gulf (1973).
It's the birthday of poet JOSEPH CHARLES KENNEDY, who writes under the pen name of X. J. KENNEDY, born in Dover, New Jersey, 1929. His first collection came out in 1961, called Nude Descending a Staircase. He said: "As a poet, I have printed few lines that fail to rhyme. Though I admire poets who can dispense with such formalities, I find I need them. Many today dismiss the sonnet and other traditional forms as drab boxes for cramming with words. But to me the old forms are where the primitive and surprising action is."
It's COUNT BASIE's birthday, born William Basie in Red Bank, New Jersey, 1904.
It is the birthday today of the artist AUBREY BEARDSLEY, born 1872 in Brighton, England. It was his nude illustrations that scandalized the Edwardians in Wilde's The Yellow Book. In addition to illustrating that famous periodical, Beardsley produced pictures for Wilde’s Salome and Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur; he also illustrated The Savoy, The Rape of Lock, and Lysistrata.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®