Monday

Mar. 27, 2000

Endymion (extract)

by John Keats

Broadcast Date: MONDAY: March 27, 2000

Poem: from "Endymion," by John Keats.

Today is the anniversary of the Anchorage, ALASKA EARTHQUAKE OF 1964 the most powerful quake in the Western Hemisphere during the 20th century.

It's the birthday of T.R. PEARSON, born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (1956). He wrote the Neely Trilogy of novels: A Short History of a Small Place (1985), Off for the Sweet Hereafter (1986), and The Last of How It Was (1987), all set in the fictitious town of Neely, North Carolina. The novels feature the Throckmorton and Epperson families and the spinster Myra Pettigrew. He said, "When I first started trying to write, I felt somehow that there was a literary style, and I produced this bombastic stuff that wasn't fit for anybody to read. Then one day I sat down at my typewriter and said, ‘I'll just write something I would like to read.’ It turned out to be fairly plain, the absence of style, no different from the way I talk."

It's the birthday of New York Times columnist and legal expert ANTHONY LEWIS, born in New York City (1927). He’s the author of a number of books, but he’s best known for Gideon’s Trumpet (1964), a history of the landmark Supreme Court case about prisoner James Gideon's fight for the right to legal counsel.

It's the birthday of jazz singer SARAH (Lois) VAUGHAN, born in Newark, New Jersey (1924). She was 18 when, on a dare, she entered a talent contest at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, sang "Body and Soul," and won. She was spotted by singer Billy Eckstine, who recommended her to bandleader Earl (‘Fatha’) Hines, who hired her.

It's the birthday of photographer EDWARD STEICHEN, born in Luxembourg (1879). His family immigrated to America and settled in Milwaukee. At 15 he left school to begin a 4-year apprenticeship in lithography; a year later he bought his first camera. The year he turned 21, he went to Paris, stopping off in New York to show his work to photographer Alfred Steiglitz. With Steiglitz he founded the Photo-Secession Group, dedicated to promoting photography as not just a hobby or a craft, but an art. He’s best known for his collection The Family of Man: two million photos, submitted from all around the world, which he winnowed down to 503 for a New York exhibit the most famous photographic exhibit ever at the Museum of Modern Art (1955).

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 »