May 13, 1997

You Are In Bear Country

by Maxine Kumin


Today's Reading:"You Are in Bear Country" by Maxine Kumin from SELECTED POEMS 1960-1990, published by W.W. Norton & Company.

The procession of Our Lady of Fatima takes place today in Portugal, commemorating the 1917 miracle when the Madonna is said to have appeared to three children herding sheep.

Today is the 57th birthday of writer Rachel Ingalls (THEFT), born in Boston in 1940.

Travel writer Bruce Chatwin, whose best-known book PATAGONIA was published in 1977, was born on this day in Sheffield, England, 1940.

Jazz pianist and composer Gil Evans, who collaborated with Miles Davis on such classics as "Moondreams" and "Boplicity," was born on this day in Toronto, Canada, 1912.

It's the birthday of the author of Gothic romances, Daphne du Maurier (REBECCA), born in London, in 1907.

French painter Georges Braque, who saw Pablo Picasso on a daily basis, was born near Paris in 1882.

It's the birthday of the bacteriologist whose discovery of the malarial parasite in the intestinal tract of certain mosquitoes led to the eventual cure of malaria, Sir Ronald Ross, born in Almora, India, 1857.

The United States declared war on Mexico on this day in 1846, after Mexico refused to sell its California territory to the United States.

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