Aug. 29, 1999

What Does Love Look Like Without Clothes On?

by Russell Edson

Broadcast Date: SUNDAY: August 29, 1999

Poem: "What Does Love Look Like Without Clothes On?," by Russell Edson, from The Very Thing That Happens (New Directions Books).

It was on this day in 1991 that the Supreme Soviet, the parliamentary body of the former USSR, suspended all activities of the COMMUNIST PARTY, effectively ending the institution that had ruled the Soviet Union for nearly 75 years.

It's the birthday in Lansing, Michigan, 1950, of novelist SUE HARRISON, who after three years of research, four years of writing, two years of rewriting, and five years of rejection letters, published her first novel, Mother Earth, Father Sky. The book follows a Native American tribe's migration from the Aleutian Islands to northern Michigan. The book was the first of a trilogy, and the second came out in 1992, My Sister, the Moon; wrapped up in 1994 with Brother Wind.

Poet THOM GUNN was born this day in Gravesend, England, 1929, a longtime teacher at the University of California, Berkeley; a prolific writer with over 30 collections, a new one nearly every year since he arrived in America in the mid-1950s. He began with The Sense of Movement, and his latest is Frontiers of Gossip, published last year.

It's the birthday in 1922, Clarksville, Texas of the poet and novelist, JOHN WILLIAMS, best known for his historical novel Augustus, portraying Julius Caesar's political career; it won the 1973 National Book Award.

It's the birthday in Kansas City, Kansas, 1920, of "The Bird," sax player CHARLIE PARKER, father of be-bop. He moved to New York when he was 19, and played in the Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine bands with Dizzy Gillespie. Parker and Gillespie left to front their own quintet in 1945.

Screenwriter, director and playwright PRESTON STURGES was born in Chicago on this date in 1898. He moved to Hollywood in 1933 and became a screenwriter. His big hit was THE GREAT MCGINTY, (1940) which he talked Paramount into letting him direct as well as write.

It's the birthday in 1809, Cambridge, Massachusetts, of OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, famous in his day as a physician and anatomy teacher at Harvard Medical School for 35 years, but also one of the nation's best-known writers in the mid- and late-1800s. He wrote essays for Atlantic Monthly, eventually published in a book: The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, followed up with The Professor of the Breakfast-Table (1860), The Poet of the Breakfast-Table (1872), and Over the Teacups (1891).

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




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