Nov. 30, 1996

This Morning

by Jane Kenyon


Today's Reading:"This Morning" by Jane Kenyon from OTHERWISE, published by Graywolf Press (1996).

Today is the Feast Day of St. Andrew, in honor of the fisherman on the Sea of Tiberius.

It's the birthday of the woman who launched SESAME STREET at PBS, Joan Ganz Cooney, born in Phoenix, 1929.

Blues musician (Walter Brown) Brownie McGhee, was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1915.

It's the birthday of screen-writer, humorist Donald Ogden Stewart (THE PHILADELPHIA STORY; HOLIDAY), born on this day in Columbus, Ohio, 1894.

Yiddish novelist I.J. Singer, older brother of Isaac Bashivis Singer, was born in Bilgoray, Poland, 1893. His novels include THE BROTHERS ASHKENZAI (1936) and THE FAMILY CARNOVSKY (1943).

It's the birthday of the author of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, Lucy Maud Montgomery, born in Clifton on Prince Edward Island, Canada, 1874.

Winston Churchill was born on this day in England's Blenheim Palace in 1874.

It's the birthday of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Mark Twain, born in Florida, Missouri, 1835. He wrote in TOM SAWYER, "Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do."

It's the birthday of the foremost prose satirist in the English language, Jonathan Swift (GULLIVAR'S TRAVELS), born in Dublin in 1667.

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
Current Faves - Learn more about poets featured frequently on the show