Friday

Mar. 17, 2000

Mikey Likes It

by Ginger Andrews

Broadcast Date: FRIDAY: March 17, 2000

Poem: "Mikey Likes It" by Ginger Andrews from An Honest Answer (Story Line Press).

Today is SAINT PATRICK'S DAY. He was born in what is now Wales around the year 385. At 16 the boy was carried off to Ireland as a slave, and worked there as a shepherd for 6 years before being told, in a dream, how to escape. He boarded a boat back to England but returned to Ireland to spread his newfound Christian faith among the druidic natives. When he did return—by this time called Patrick—he explained the concept of the Christian trinity by holding up a shamrock.

In New York city, the ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE, first held in 1762, begins today at 11:30 in the morning. The parade starts at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, moving up Fifth past St. Patrick's Cathedral at 50th Street, past the official reviewing stand at 64th Street, on north to 86th, where they turn right and continue east to First Avenue. Over a million spectators line the route. Since 1838 the event has been sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

It's the birthday of 'cyberpunk' writer WILLIAM (Ford) GIBSON, born in Conway, South Carolina (1948). His books include Neuromancer (1984—it won the science fiction Hugo Award), Count Zero (1986), and Virtual Light (1993).

It's the birthday of novelist and children's writer, PENELOPE LIVELY born in Cairo (1933). She won the Booker Prize with Moon Tiger (1987). Her other novels include Treasures of Time (1979— National Book Award), Perfect Happiness (1983), and Cleopatra's Sister (1993).

It's the birthday of ballad singer (Nathaniel Adams Coles) NAT 'KING' COLE, born in Montgomery, Alabama (1919). Early in his career, he was known as a jazz pianist. But his singing was what would bring commercial success, with such songs as "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (1943), and many other vocal hits.

On this date in 1913, the scandalous ARMORY SHOW IN NEW YORK OPENED—the International Exhibition of Modern Art, at New York's 69th Regiment Armory. One painting in particular created a furor: Marcel Duchamp's abstract study, "Nude Descending a Staircase." The figure in question looked like a hooded robot, whose 20 or more successive positions in a descending sequence make her look more mechanized than human. Most likely the title, rather than the innocuous painting itself, caused the sensation: if Duchamp had chosen to call his painting anything else, perhaps "Study in Motion," the room where it was displayed would probably have been free of furious gawkers. In any case Duchamp, back home in Paris, did not learn until weeks later that he had become famous in America.

It's the birthday of author and illustrator KATE GREENAWAY, born in London (1846) famous for her drawings of an idyllic world of quaintly dressed children who play and sing in flowery meadows.

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 »