Apr. 26, 1996


by Howard Nemerov


Today's Reading: "Trees" by Howard Nemerov from THE COLLECTED POEMS OF HOWARD NEMEROV, published by The University of Chicago Press

Today is National Arbor Day, celebrated since the 1860's.

It's the beginning of the 27th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

John James Audubon was born on this day in 1785 near New Orleans.

It's the birthday of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1822, who designed NYC's Central Park.

American humorist Artemus Ward was born in 1834 near Waterford, Maine.

It's the birthday of playwright and novelist Anita Loos, who wrote GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, born in Sissons, California in 1893.

Photographer Dorothea Lange was born in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1895.

It's the birthday of novelist and short story writer Bernard Malamud, author of THE NATURAL, born in Brooklyn, New York in 1914.

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
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