Nov. 5, 1997


by Kelly Cherry


Today's Reading: "Alzheimers" by Kelly Cherry from DEATH AND TRANSFIGURATION, published by Lousiana State University Press (November 1997)

Today is Guy Fawkes Day in England, the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt in 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I in order to install a Catholic monarchy.

Playwright and actor Sam Shepard was born in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, in 1943.

Sinclair Lewis became the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930, for his novel BABBITT.

Cardiologist George Sheehan, credited with inspiring the recreational running movement through his book RUNNING AND BEING, was born in Brooklyn in 1918.

The first coast-to-coast flight across the United States was completed on this day in 1911 by Galbraith Rodgers, flying a Wright bi-plane and crashing 19 times before completing the 49-day flight.

Historian and author Will Durant, who, with his wife Ariel, wrote the multi-volume STORY OF CIVILIZATION, was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, in 1885.

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