The Writer's Almanac

The Writer's Almanac

The Writer's Almanac is a daily podcast of poetry and historical interest pieces, usually of literary significance. Each day's offering is five minutes long and contains "on this day in history" information as well as an accessible poem.

Episodes

May 29, 2022 5 min
Today is the birthday of President John F. Kennedy, born in 1917. He said to his fellow Americans “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."
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Today is the birthday of the man who created James Bond, novelist Ian Fleming, born in London, England in 1908.
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It’s the birthday of the American poet who once said, “The public needs poetry; I need poetry, to help celebrate and console.” Linda Pastan, born in 1932.
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Today is the birthday of photographer Dorothea Lange, 1895, whose photo “Migrant Mother” is one of the most iconic images of the Great Depression.
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“People tend to blame a writer for writing something they’re too stupid to understand.” – Jamaica Kincaid, celebrating her 73rd birthday today.
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“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” – Joseph Brodsky, poet, born on this day in 1940.
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Poet Jane Kenyon would be 75 on this day had she not died of leukemia in 1995. We hear her poem “Philosophy in Warm Weather.”
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It is the birthday of Harvey Milk (1930), the first openly gay man elected to public office. He was assassinated in 1978 about a year after his election to City Supervisor.
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On this day in 1881, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross. Clara Barton said, "I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them."
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On this day in 1946 English-born poet, W.H. Auden became a U.S. citizen. "It's a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it."
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Today is the birthday of the minister and activist Malcolm X, born in 1925, and also of playwright Lorraine Hansberry, born in 1930.
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"The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." -- Bertrand Russell, philosopher, born on this day in 1872.
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Today would have been the 83rd birthday of Gary Paulsen, author of “Hatchet,” who died in October of last year.
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It's the birthday of writer, historian, and radioman Studs Terkel (1912), whose career was built out of in-depth personal interviews.
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“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” Words written by the man behind “The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, born this day in 1856.
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America’s first space station Skylab was launched on this date in 1973. Occupied for only 8 months, it was the first platform for science in space.
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Author Daphne du Maurier was born on this day in London (1907). Her blockbuster novel “Rebecca” (1938) was turned into a film of the same name by Alfred Hitchcock.
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Today is the birthday of novelist and poet Rosellen Brown, born in 1939. Her novels include “Tender Mercies” and most recently “Half a Heart”.
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It's the anniversary of the printing of the first known book, the Diamond Sutra. In the year 868, Wang Chieh printed a Buddhist scripture on a 16-foot scroll using wood blocks.
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On this date in 1872 Victoria Claflin Woodhull became the first woman candidate for president of the United States.
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