The Writer's Almanac with Garrison KeillorThe Writ

The Writer's Almanac with Garrison KeillorThe Writ

United States

A poem each day, plus literary and historical notes from this day in history

Episodes

Windnoon by W. S. Merwin | Saturday, May 20, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

On the green hill with the river beyond it long ago and my father there and my grandmother standing in her faded clothes wrinkled high-laced black shoes in the spring grass among the few gravestones inside their low fence by the small white wooden church the clear panes of its windows letting the scene through... Read more »

This Poem by Wesley McNair | Saturday, August 19, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Before the age of doing and photographing and filming and texting what you did, back when people simply did, a girl got married at seventeen, recalled tonight under lamplight in an Ozark farmhouse by my old, widowed Aunt Dot, the woman who once was her. There were no photos of the girl as she waited... Read more »

Toward the End of August by David Budbill | Friday, August 18, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Toward the end of August I begin to dream about fall, how this place will empty of people, the air will get cold and leaves begin to turn. Everything will quiet down, everything will become a skeleton of its summer self. Toward the end of August I get nostalgic for what’s to come, for that... Read more »

Ordinary Sex by Ellen Bass | Thursday, August 17, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

If no swan descends in a blinding glare of plumage, drumming the air with deafening wings, if the earth doesn’t tremble and rivers don’t tumble uphill, if my mother’s crystal vase doesn’t shatter and no extinct species are sighted anew and leaves of the city trees don’t applaud as you zing me to the moon,... Read more »

all that by Charles Bukowski | Wednesday, August 16, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

the only things I remember about New York City in the summer are the fire escapes and how the people go out on the fire escapes in the evening when the sun is setting on the other side of the buildings and some stretch out and sleep there while others sit quietly where it’s cool.... Read more »

The Sound of Summer by David Budbill | Tuesday, August 15, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

The screened door slamming tells me it is summer. There are other sounds only in the summer, too. The hummingbirds moving from feeder to feeder on the porch, chickadee’s two-note song we hear early on summer mornings, ravens croaking back to their aeries on the ledges every summer evening. There are other birds too, visitors... Read more »

Unknown Neighbor by Kate Light | Sunday, August 13, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Hi, she says, leaning on the railing. What are you doing, homework? Well, sort of, I say. I’m waiting for my friend. I’m waiting for my heart, she says. (Me too, I think; my friend.) Out on a long walk? I ask. Well, she says, I have a girl friend, I’ve known her 50 years;... Read more »

Black Bears by Louis Jenkins | Saturday, August 12, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

I like black bears. They are relatively common around here, and they are usually not aggressive. Actually, they are generally affable, loners mostly, but not opposed to hanging out with humans now and then. In fact, I’ve found that in many ways they are a lot like us. My friend, Richard, an older male, drops... Read more »

Falling by Jane Attanucci | Friday, August 11, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

I’ve fallen many times: the usual stumbles over secret schoolgirl crushes, head-over-heels for teen heartthrobs. I loved them all. I’ve fallen so many times: tripped down the aisle over husband, daughter, son. Madly and deeply, I love them all. I’ve fallen again and again: new friends, a mentor, a muse, numerous books, a few authors,... Read more »

After the Wedding by John Daniel | Thursday, August 10, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

          for Marilyn After the white balloons were swept away on the wind that had swallowed most of our vows, after the embraces and tears, the flung rose petals, after new friends and old friends and aunts from everywhere, after you tossed the bouquet, and the cries of the children raised coyote cries on the rim,... Read more »

The Calculus by Paul Hostovsky | Wednesday, August 09, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

My hygienist likes to include me in the decision-making. “Shall we use the hand scaler or the ultrasonic today?” she asks me. I like the way she says “we,” like we’re doing something intimate and collaborative, like building a snowman, or more like dismantling one after an ice storm, flake by frozen flake. “The calculus... Read more »

The New Criticism by Paul Hostovsky | Tuesday, August 08, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

My stepdaughter says I’m boring. “Everything you say is boring and like so seventies.” Her mother says I’m wonderful, though. “She’s being fresh. Don’t listen to her,” she says. But I can’t help listening because I want to be fresh and not boring, and I want to say ‘like’ like my stepdaughter because everything is... Read more »

Heritage by Louis Jenkins | Monday, August 07, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Great-Grandmother Murphy was a proud woman. She came from a well-to-do family that had con- nections back east. She had presence and bearing. Great-Grandpa Murphy was an Irishman of dubi- ous ancestry and background. Nevertheless they got married, as people do. Grandpa Murphy shuf- fled along as they walked downtown, looking at the ground or... Read more »

Candlelight by Tony Hoagland | Sunday, August 06, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Crossing the porch in the hazy dusk to worship the moon rising like a yellow filling-station sign on the black horizon, you feel the faint grit of ants beneath your shoes, but keep on walking because in this world you have to decide what you’re willing to kill. Saving your marriage might mean dinner for... Read more »

Walking the Dog on the Night before He Is to Be Fixed by John Stone | Saturday, August 05, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

As far as I can tell, old chum, neuter is neither here nor there, but in-between, a state that has a certain charm, like pewter, prized for durability, if not for sheen. Tomorrow night you’ll stroll in wary fashion after the sleep, the knife, the careful scars that promise to put an end to wayward... Read more »

It was a quiet way by Emily Dickinson | Friday, August 04, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

It was a quiet way— He asked if I was his— 1 made no answer of the Tongue But answer of the Eyes— And then He bore me on Before this mortal noise With swiftness, as of Chariots And distance, as of Wheels. This World did drop away As Acres from the feet Of one... Read more »

Exotic Treats by Laura McKee | Thursday, August 03, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Especially on long drives through the country, you like to tell that story about your old girlfriend whose parrot was killed one afternoon by a raccoon who stole in through the pet door. It was horrible, you say. Feathers everywhere. Are you laughing? Stop laughing. She really loved that bird.

The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm by Wallace Stevens | Wednesday, August 02, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

The house was quiet and the world was calm. The reader became the book; and summer night Was like the conscious being of the book. The house was quiet and the world was calm. The words were spoken as if there was no book, Except that the reader leaned above the page, Wanted to lean,... Read more »

On Closing the Apartment of my Grandparents of Blessed Memory by Robyn Sarah | Tuesday, August 01, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

And then I stood for the last time in that room. The key was in my hand. I held my ground, and listened to the quiet that was like a sound, and saw how the long sun of winter afternoon fell slantwise on the floorboards, making bloom the grain in the blond wood. (All that... Read more »

Limericks by Gary Johnson | Monday, July 31, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

A young man climbed up Mount Rainier On a day that was perfectly clear And through his telescope He watched a big dope Steal his bicycle and disappear. … There was a young lady of Newark Who rode a train daily to work Then returned to the station For the same transportation At six o’clock... Read more »

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