The Writer's Almanac for Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - Garrison Keillor (2023)

TWA from Tuesday, April 18, 2017

“Dark and Late” by Catherine Abbey Hodges from Instead of Sadness. © Gunpowder Press, 2015.


It is the birthdayof the man who inspired the word “beatnik” in the 1950s: poetBob Kaufman, born Robert Garnell Kaufman, in New Orleans, Louisiana (1925). Kaufman’s mother was a Roman Catholic woman from Martinique who loved to play the piano and buy books at auctions. His father was a German Jew; “my Negro suit has Jew stripes,” Kaufman often said of his lineage. Details of his life are hazy because he didn’t keep a diary or leave behind any letters, and while he completed three volumes of poetry, he preferred to recite his poems in coffee houses rather than write them down.

As a teenager, he joined the Merchant Marine. In his 20 years as a sailor, he circled the globe nine times and survived four shipwrecks. On his first ship, theHenry Gibbons, he became friends with the first mate, who lent him books and encouraged him to read.

It was at sea when he first read about the Beat poets, many of whom also had maritime ambitions. Gary Snyder wanted to experience the culture in port cities around the world, and he worked as a seaman during the summer of 1948 and again in the mid-1950s. When Jack Kerouac, as a freshman at Columbia, failed chemistry and lost his scholarship, he joined the Merchant Marine to make money to re-enroll. Allen Ginsberg was suspended from Columbia for fighting with his dormitory housekeeper, and he followed Kerouac into the Merchant Marine. (Ginsberg tried marijuana for the first time on his maiden voyage.) When he was 22, Lawrence Ferlinghetti fell in love with the sea when he lived on the Maine coast for a summer and worked scraping moss off rocks. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enrolled in Midshipmen’s School and was deployed at different lighthouses and naval watch posts throughout World War II.

(Video) The Writer's Almanac for Friday, March 18, 2022

When Kaufman was back on land, he studied briefly at the New School in New York City, where he met William S. Burroughs and Ginsberg. The three eventually moved to San Francisco and joined Gregory Corso, Kerouac, and Ferlinghetti to form the heart of the Beat movement.

Improvisational jazz influenced Kaufman’s street performances and earned him the nickname “The Original Bebop Man,” but it also earned him the attention of local police. In 1959, he was tossed into jail 39 times for disorderly conduct.San Francisco Chroniclecolumnist Herb Caen said he had Kaufman’s spontaneous oral poetry in mind when he created the word “beatnik.”

Later, Kaufman cofoundedBeatitudemagazine, which helped launch the careers of many other poets, but he continued to live a mostly itinerant life, filled with drugs, a stint at Bellevue Hospital, where he underwent electroshock treatments, and continued police harassment. By the mid ’60s, he had published two volumes of poetry —Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness(1965) andGolden Sardine(1967)and in the early ’80s, his friends gathered old recordings and notes and had them published asThe Ancient Rain: Poems 1958 – 1978(1981).

When President Kennedy was shot in 1963, Kaufman took a vow of silence and didn’t speak again until he walked into a coffee shop in 1975 and recited his poem, “All Those Ships that Never Sailed.” He said:

All those ships that never sailed
The ones with their seacocks open
That were scuttled in their stalls …
Today I bring them back
Huge and transitory
And let them sail

(Video) The Writer's Almanac for Monday, March 14, 2022

His wife encouraged Kaufman to write down his many poems, but he wished to stay hidden from history.

He said, “I want to be anonymous. My ambition is to be completely forgotten.”

It’s the birthdayof lawyer and writerClarence (Seward) Darrow, born in Kinsman, Ohio (1857). His father was a Unitarian minister until he lost his faith, when he became a furniture maker and undertaker. But his passion was for books, not business. Darrow wrote, “In all the country round, no man knew so much of books as he and no man knew less of life.” Darrow became a famous lawyer, and he filled his courtroom speeches with literary allusions.

Darrow fought for unions, racial equality, and the poor, and he became famous for defending some of the most unpopular people of his time. In the 1925 Monkey Trial, he defended high school teacher John Scopes for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in a Tennessee school. In “The Crime of the Century,” in 1924, he successfully defended two confessed teenage murderers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, from receiving the death penalty. In defending them he said, “You may stand them on the trap door of the scaffold, and choke them to death, but that act will be infinitely more cold-blooded, whether justified or not, than any act that these boys have committed or can commit.”

He wrote the novelAn Eye for an Eye(1905), and the nonfiction booksCrime: Its Cause and Treatment(1922),The Prohibition Mania(1927), andThe Story of My Life(1932).

(Video) The Writer's Almanac for Sunday, April 3, 2022

He once said: “I never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with a lot of pleasure.”

On this day, in 1924, the first crossword puzzle book was published. Simon and Schuster commissioned the book to meet growing demand for these engaging puzzles, originally dubbed “word-crosses,” that first appeared in US newspapers a little over a decade earlier. Both the first and second printings ofThe Cross Word Puzzle Booksold out in weeks, so the publishers commissioned two more collections and rushed them to print. By the end of 1924, the books ranked No. 1, 2, and 3 on the national nonfiction best-seller list.

Today is the birthdayof Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalistSusan Faludi(1959), born in Queens. She won the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism (1991) for a report inThe Wall Street Journal(1990) detailing the leveraged buyout of Safeway Stores, but she’s best known for a series of nonfiction books that examine the role of women in today’s society.

Faludi’s mother was a homemaker and a journalist. Her father was a photographer who immigrated to America after surviving the Holocaust. Faludi wrote forThe Harvard Crimsonat Harvard and after graduating, she wrote regularly forTheNew York Times,The Miami Herald, andThe Wall Street Journal.

In the 1980s, Faludi read a cover story inNewsweek(1986) that alleged that the marital prospects of single, career-educated women were bleak. She found the statistics faulty, so she began investigating other female-centered stories that were being sensationally promoted by the media. She proposed a book based on her research and was met with silence from the publishing industry, except for one publishing house. Even so, on the eve of publication, a marketing executive for Faludi’s publisher told her the book was going to tank because “1992 is going to be the year of the man.”

(Video) The Writer's Almanac for Friday, February 11, 2022

The publishing executive was wrong. WhenBacklash: The War Against Women(1992) was published, it spent nine months on theNew York Timesbest-seller list. The book came out during the Anita Hill hearings, and the largest pro-choice rally ever held was happening in Washington. Women were eager for her book. Faludi shared the cover ofTimemagazine with feminist icon Gloria Steinem and received a windfall of letters. Most of them began, “I thought I was the only one who felt this way.” The book became required reading in college and is considered a seminal feminist text.

Faludi went on to writeStiffed:The Betrayal of the American Man(1999), which is about the culture of masculinity in American society. For research, Faludi hung out in locker rooms, job clubs, Promise Keeper rallies, and Marine recruiting stations. She received criticism from the feminist movement for focusing on men, but she shrugged it off, saying: “I don’t see how you can be a feminist and not think about men. In order for women to live freely, men have to live freely, too. Being a feminist opens your eyes to the ways men, like women, are imprisoned in cultural stereotypes.”

It’s the birthdayof publisherClifton Keith Hillegass, born in Rising City, Nebraska (1918), the man behind CliffsNotes, the black- and yellow-striped pamphlets that students have used for literary study guides or substitutes for the real thing since 1958. He started the company in his basement with a $4,000 loan, and used advertising slogans like “Juliet, Baby, it’s easier with Cliff’s Notes,” and “Shafted by Shaw? Mangled by Melville?” Cliffs Notes has printed more than 50 million guides.

Hillegass didn’t write the summaries himself, but he loved literature, from classics to science fiction to mysteries. He wanted his books to make literature more accessible to students. He did not intend for CliffsNotes to replace reading the book in the first place, and was upset that they had gained a reputation as cheat sheets. He put a signed note in each pamphlet that read: “A thorough appreciation of literature allows no shortcuts.” When the company was bought for $14 million in 1998, the new owners kept the bumblebee-striped design but dropped the note.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®


Is Garrison Keillor still doing Writer's Almanac? ›

Minnesota Public Radio has reached an agreement with Garrison Keillor to restore free public access to the online archives of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac.
The Writer's Almanac
Original release1993 – present
5 more rows

Where can I listen to the writers almanac? ›

The Writer's Almanac on Apple Podcasts.

Did the writers almanac stop? ›

As you likely know, The Writer's Almanac has ended as a podcast and as a radio program.

What is the writer's almanac for March 7 2023? ›

The Writer's Almanac for Tuesday, March 7, 2023 | Garrison Keillor. Robert Frost's poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was published in The New Republic magazine on this day in 1923. He called it, “My best bid for remembrance.” It is one of the best known and loved poems in all of American literature.

Why did writers almanac stop? ›

American Public Media has discontinued production and distribution of The Writer's Almanac effective immediately, amid reported allegations of inappropriate behavior between Garrison Keillor and an individual that worked for him.

Is Garrison Keillor back on Prairie Home Companion? ›

The famed radio variety show will return to the venue this summer with host and creator Garrison Keillor. "A Prairie Home Companion American Revival" comes to the Ryman on Sunday, July 10. The show will feature Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Aoife O'Donovan, Heather Masse and Joe Newberry.

What is the music at the writers almanac? ›

What is the piano music that accompanies The Writer's Almanac? The music that begins and ends The Writer's Almanac is a Scandinavian folk tune called "Ge Mig En Dag" ("Give Me a Day"). The pianist is Rich Dworsky, music director for A Prairie Home Companion.

Who writes the writers almanac? ›

Each day, The Writer's Almanac features Garrison Keillor recounting the highlights of this day in history and reading a short poem or two.

Where is Garrison Keillor now? ›

He has written dozens of books — recently, Boom Town (a Lake Wobegon novel), That Time of Year (a memoir), a book of limericks, and Serenity at 70, Gaiety at 80 (reflections on why you should keep on getting older). Garrison and his wife, Jenny Lind Nilsson, live in New York City.

Do they still print the World Almanac? ›

In 2018, The World Almanac published its 150-year anniversary edition. The World Almanac was sold to SkyHorse Publishing in 2020. As of the 2021 publication of the 2022 edition, The World Almanac is published by World Almanac Books and distributed by Simon & Schuster.

Is almanac a non fiction? ›

Like most nonfiction books, an almanac has a table of contents and an index. The index is frequently located in the front rather than the usual place in the back of the book.

How accurate is the almanac? ›

The almanacs say they can predict weather with around 80 percent accuracy, but a University of Illinois study disagreed, saying the Almanac was only about 52 percent accurate—which is essentially random chance.

How accurate are almanac predictions? ›

Accuracy. Publishers claim that "many longtime Almanac followers claim that their forecasts are 80% to 85% accurate" on their website.

How is the almanac so accurate? ›

The Farmers' Almanac has stated that its method is an exclusive mathematical and astronomical formula that relies on sunspot activity, tidal action of the moon, planetary position and other factors. The Farmers' Almanac is the oldest source of consecutively published weather forecasts.

When was the first almanac published? ›

The first almanac printed in colonial North America was An Almanac for New England for the Year 1639, compiled by William Pierce and printed in Cambridge, Mass., under the supervision of Harvard College.

Do good work and keep in touch? ›

In the words of Garrison Keillor, “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”

What are the allegations against Garrison Keillor? ›

A producer fired from The Writer's Almanac in 1998 sued MPR, alleging age and sex discrimination, saying Keillor habitually bullied and humiliated her and ultimately replaced her with a younger woman.

Is Lake Wobegon a real place? ›

Lake Wobegon is a fictional town created by Garrison Keillor as the setting of the recurring segment "News from Lake Wobegon" for the radio program A Prairie Home Companion broadcast from St Paul, Minnesota.

What is the longest running NPR show? ›

All Things Considered - Wikipedia.

What did the almanac singers sing about? ›

The Almanac Singers was an American New York City-based folk music group, active between 1940 and 1943, founded by Millard Lampell, Lee Hays, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie. The group specialized in topical songs, mostly songs advocating an anti-war, anti-racism and pro-union philosophy.

Is almanac a form of poetry? ›

Almanac is a collection of lyrical and narrative poems that celebrate, and mourn the passing of, the world of the small family farm.

Who was in the almanac singers? ›

Who writes the poem? ›

A poet is a person who studies and creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be the creator (thinker, songwriter, writer, or author) who creates (composes) poems (oral or written), or they may also perform their art to an audience.

Who are the authors of Blizzard? ›

David Laskin is the author of The Children's Blizzard, winner of the Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award for nonfiction and the Washington State Book Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Smithsonian magazine. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

How did Paul Auster become a writer? ›

After graduating from Columbia University (M.A., 1970), Auster moved to France, where he began translating the works of French writers and publishing his own work in American journals. He gained renown for a series of experimental detective stories published collectively as The New York Trilogy (1987).

Who is the best ghostwriter? ›

The 10 Most Famous Ghostwriters in History.
  1. 1 – Alan Dean Foster. ...
  2. 2 – Peter Lerangis. ...
  3. 3 – H.P. Lovecraft. ...
  4. 4 – Raymond Benson. ...
  5. 5 – Andrew Neiderman. ...
  6. 6 – Ryan Nerz/Daniel Ehrenhaft. ...
  7. 7 – Mark Twain. ...
  8. 8 – Aleister Crowley.
Feb 3, 2022

How much does it cost to have someone write a book for you? ›

If you hire a ghostwriter, you can expect to pay $51–$70/hour for 1–3 pages/hour, according to the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA). That means that if you're writing a 200-page book, hiring a ghostwriter will cost you around $3,400–$14,000.

Can you pay someone to write a book for you? ›

One common solution that a lot of entrepreneurs use is to hire a ghostwriter. A ghostwriter is someone hired to author a book that someone else will be credited for. Quite simply, you're paying someone to write your book for you.

What did Garrison Keillor say at the end of each show? ›

Keillor sang, performed skits and ended each show with a monologue about his fictional hometown, Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above-average”, weekly broadcasts which made listeners feel they knew him.

Has Prairie Home Companion been Cancelled? ›

The show went off the air in 1987, with a "final performance" on June 13, and Keillor married and spent some time abroad during the following two years.

How old is Garrison Keillor now? ›

Which almanac is more accurate? ›

The Farmers' Almanac has these dramatic headlines each winter and The Old Farmer's Almanac's headline are more mundane, but much more accurate.

Is the 2023 World Almanac out yet? ›

The 2023 edition of The World Almanac reviews the biggest events of 2022 and will be your go-to source for questions on any topic in the upcoming year.
Product Details.
Publisher:Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:12/06/2022
Series:The World Almanac and Book of Facts
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Dec 6, 2022

What is an almanac still published today called? ›

Published every September, The Old Farmer's Almanac has been published continuously since 1792, making it the oldest continuously published periodical in North America. The publication was started by Robert B. Thomas and follows in the heritage of American almanacs such as Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack.

Is an almanac religious? ›

Like the study of the natural world in general in that time and place, almanacs were rooted in Protestantism. They presented simple, widely held religious ideas—God's power, redemption through Christ, the promise of heaven—to an increasingly literate public.

Why is it called an almanac? ›

The earliest documented use of the word in any language is in Latin in 1267 by Roger Bacon, where it meant a set of tables detailing movements of heavenly bodies including the Moon. It has been suggested that the word almanac derives from a Greek word meaning calendar.

What is the difference between an almanac and an encyclopedia? ›

The difference between almanac and encyclopedia is that the almanac is an annual publication with astronomical, astrological or other events of the year whereas the encyclopedia is a single or multi-volume publication that contains knowledge on many subjects or many aspects of one subject.

Why is there a hole in the Farmers Almanac? ›

That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper).

Is there any truth to Farmers Almanac? ›

Though weather forecasting, and long-range forecasting, in particular, remains an inexact science, many longtime Almanac followers maintain that our forecasts are 80% to 85% accurate.

Can Farmers Almanac be trusted? ›

The Old Farmer's Almanac, known for its yellowish cover, old-timey art style, and grocery store newsstand ubiquity, offers similar numbers. “Traditionally, we're 80 percent accurate … some years are better than other years,” says Tim Goodwin, the publication's associate editor.

Can weather predictions be wrong? ›

The Short Answer: A seven-day forecast can accurately predict the weather about 80 percent of the time and a five-day forecast can accurately predict the weather approximately 90 percent of the time. However, a 10-day—or longer—forecast is only right about half the time.

Does the Farmers Almanac account for climate change? ›

The Old Farmer's Almanac tries to predict the direction of change in both precipitation and temperature. The IPCC model ensemble, over two short forecast periods, achieves an accuracy of 67% to 73%. In 230 years of forecasts, the Old Farmer's Almanac is normally 80% accurate.

What is the old vs new Farmers Almanac? ›

The Farmers Almanac was first printed in 1818 by David Young. It varies from the Old Almanac by predicting weather 16 months in advance (versus 18 months) for seven climate zones in the U.S. and for five zones in Canada. That's quite a few less than the Old Farmers Almanac (18 U.S. regions and 7 in Canada).

Who is the best weather forecaster? ›

AccuWeather gathers the best and most comprehensive weather data to deliver forecasts with Superior Accuracy. Forecasts are pinpointed for every location on Earth and extend further ahead than any other source.

Why do we read the Almanac? ›

An almanac is an annual publication that contains a wealth of information about the forthcoming year. Weather predictions, best dates for planting crops, dates of eclipses, times of tides, and farmers' planting dates are all pieces of information found in an almanac.

Why can't we predict weather accurately? ›

Why is predicting the weather so difficult for meteorologists? Well, meteorologists need to track multiple conditions and variables at the same time across vast areas, and many of these variables interact and affect one another. Weather prediction is more than just a moving target.

Who owns writers almanac? ›

The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions, LLC, the same small media company responsible for A Prairie Home Companion. Please consider supporting our production so that we may continue to offer The Writer's Almanac on the web and as an email newsletter at no cost to poetry fans.

Who is Garrison Keillor married to? ›

What type of book is an almanac? ›

almanac, book or table containing a calendar of the days, weeks, and months of the year; a record of various astronomical phenomena, often with climate information and seasonal suggestions for farmers; and miscellaneous other data.

Why did Live from Here get Cancelled? ›

Because MPR was uncertain when—or even if—Live from Here could ever resume in-person performances, it diverted resources from the show toward its flagship program Marketplace. Live from Here was immediately cancelled following its June 13 remote broadcast, without affording the show a series finale.

Where does Garrison Keillor live in Minneapolis? ›

But Keillor and his wife, Jenny Lind Nilsson, downsized in the extreme, moving from their 10,200-square-foot historic mansion on St. Paul's Summit Avenue to a condo about one-tenth its size near downtown Minneapolis.

Did Garrison Keillor move to Denmark? ›

Keillor's move to Denmark was accompanied by much fanfare, particularly since his humor played on themes of small-town America and values inherited from the Scandinavian immigrants who settled his Lake Wobegon. But he had problems working here, and found he could write more easily in the United States.

Who is the new host of Prairie Home Companion? ›

Mandolin Virtuoso Chris Thile on Taking Over 'A Prairie Home Companion' from Garrison Keillor. Chris Thile talks about taking over A Prairie Home Companion from Garrison Keillor.

Why did they change the name of Prairie Home Companion? ›

NEW YORK (Reuters) - “A Prairie Home Companion,” the U.S. radio variety show that Garrison Keillor presented for decades until his retirement last year, is to be renamed after the raconteur was accused of sexual misconduct.


1. "Cat, O Cat"
(Garrison Keillor)
2. News From Lake Wobegon
(Garrison Keillor)
3. A Prairie Home Companion: "America the Beautiful" Tour Stop
(Garrison Keillor)
4. The Fitzgerald Theater
(Radio Heartland)
5. PWS Nov. 17, 2016 David Wyatt, Greg Kosmicki, Erik Campbell, and William Trowbridge
(WSC Press)
6. A Prairie Home Companion Joke Show - November 1, 2014
(Garrison Keillor)


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