Jun. 21, 1997

Café Paradiso

by Charles Simic


Today's Reading:"CafŽ Paradiso" by Charles Simic from WALKING THE BLACK CAT, published by Harcourt Brace & Co. (1996).

Today is Summer Solstice, the official beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Midnight Sun Festival begins today in Nome, Alaska, a celebration of summer.

It was on this day in 1964 in Meridian, Mississippi, that three civil rights workers disappeared. The bodies of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were found in that August.

It was in 1948 on this day that Dr. Peter Goldmark of the Columbia Broadcasting System demonstrated his "long- playing" record.

It's the birthday of soprano Judith Raskin, born in New York City in 1928.

Actress Judy Holliday was born on this day in New York City in 1922.

It's the birthday of novelist Mary McCarthy (MEMORIES OF A CATHOLIC GIRLHOOD; THE COMPANY SHE KEEPS; THE GROUP), born in Seattle in 1912.

French philosopher, novelist and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris on this day in 1905.

Illustrator Albert Hirschfield, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on this day in 1911.

It's the birthday of Protestant theologian and author of The Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr, born in Wright City, Missouri, in 1892.

American artist Rockwell Kent, who illustrated many books including MOBY DICK, BEOWULF, THE CANTERBURY TALES, and LEAVES OF GRASS, was born on this day in Tarrytown Heights, New York, in 1882.

It's the birthday of psychologist and pediatrician Arnold Lucius Gesell, who pioneered the use of motion-picture cameras to study the physical and mental development of infants and children; born in Alma, Wisconsin, in 1880.

It was on this day in 1675 that Christopher Wren began work rebuilding St. Paul's Cathedral (London) after the Great Fire.

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