Oct. 18, 1999
Poem: "The Pupil" by Donald Justice from The Donald Justice Reader published by Middlebury College Press.
It's the FEAST DAY OF ST. LUKE, the patron saint of doctors and artists.
It's the birthday of novelist TERRY MCMILLAN born in Port Huron, Michigan, 1951, author of Waiting to Exhale (1992), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1996) and other books about contemporary African American women; and who says, "I don't write about victims. They bore me to death. I write about somebody who can pick themselves up and get on with their lives." McMillan went into a two-year depression after her mother and best friend passed away. To snap herself out of it, she took an extended trip to Jamaica, then came back home to the States and wrote the autobiographical Stella in a stream-of-consciousness session of less than a month, with almost no punctuation or editing. So far, it's sold several million copies.
It's playwright WENDY WASSERSTEIN's birthday, born in Brooklyn, 1950, winner of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for The Heidi Chronicles, the story of Heidi Holland from her girlhood in the 1960s to motherhood in the '80s. Wasserstein grew up in New York going to plays, then started writing her own during summers in college. After school, she was undecided about a career so she applied to Columbia Business School and Yale Drama School. She got accepted at both, but at the last minute opted for Yale, and had her first hit in 1978, Uncommon Women and Others.
It's the birthday in 1948, Trenton, New Jersey of writer NTOZAKE SHANGE (EN-to-zah-kee SHON-gay), born Paulette Williams, author of the 1974 theater piece For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf.
It's singer-songwriter CHUCK BERRY's birthday, born Charles Edward Anderson in St. Louis, 1926.
It's the birthday of Western novelist and poet H.L. DAVIS.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®