Jun. 17, 1997


by W. S. Merwin


Today's Reading:"Strawberries" by W. S. Merwin from FLOWER AND HAND, published by Copper Canyon Press.

The first kidney transplant operation took place in Chicago on this day in 1950, performed by surgeon Richard Lawler.

It's the birthday of poet Ron Padgett, associated with the New York School of poets and artists, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1942.

Novelist and journalist John Hersey, who worked as a correspondent for TIME magazine during World War II before writing his books MEN ON BATAAN, A BELL FOR ADANO, and HIROSHIMA, was born on this day in Tientsin, China, in 1914.

It's the birthday of composer Igor Stravinsky, whose music for the ballet LE SACRE DU PRINTEMPS caused a riot when it premiered in Paris in 1913. He was born near St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1882.

It's birthday of writer Carl Van Vechten, a great promoter of new artists including Arnold Schoenberg and Ethel Waters; born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on this day in 1880.

The Battle of Bunker Hill, the second battle of the American Revolution, took place on this day in 1775, just north of Boston. A victory for the British, though the Americans considered it a moral victory.

It's the birthday of clergyman John Wesley who, with his brother, formed a bible study group that came to be known as the Methodists because they emphasized methodical study and devotion. He was born in Epsworth, Lincolnshire, in 1703.

It was on this day in 1579 that Sir Francis Drake anchored his ship, the GOLDEN HIND, just north of what is now San Francisco Bay and named the area New Albion.

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
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  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
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