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Each day, The Writer's Almanac features Garrison Keillor recounting the highlights of this day in history and reading a short poem or two. The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.
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2348 episodes

Displaying episodes 2348 through 2328
Bear In Mind by John Martin | Wednesday, November 29, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 28, 2017 | 11:01 pm
A bear is chasing me through a meadow and I’m running as fast as I can but he’s gaining on me—it seems he’s always gaining on me. I’m running and running but also thinking I should just turn around and say, “Stop it! Stop chasing me. We both know you aren’t going to catch me.... Read more »
Brushing Teeth with My Sister after the Wake by Jim Daniels | Tuesday, November 28, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 27, 2017 | 11:01 pm
at my kitchen sink, the bathroom upstairs clogged with family from out of town spending the night after the wake and the after-wake—cold beverages have been consumed and comfort food, leftovers bulging both the fridge and the minifridge. In our fifties, both half-asleep half-awake, we face each other. My sister’s smile foams white down her... Read more »
Mother's Prayer by Athena Kildegaard | Monday, November 27, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 26, 2017 | 11:01 pm
I stood on the porch of our raised cottage           and saw my two ruddy children crouched below in the grass           over a hard-backed beetle and I was taken with this phobia           that goes up and up with me and suddenly I saw myself fallen,           my body twisted on the pavement, a thigh bare and scraped... Read more »
The Partial Explanation by Charles Simic | Sunday, November 26, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 25, 2017 | 11:01 pm
Seems like a long time Since the waiter took my order. Grimy little luncheonette, The snow falling outside. Seems like it has grown darker Since I last heard the kitchen door Behind my back Since I last noticed Anyone pass on the street. A glass of ice water Keeps me company At this table I... Read more »
At the Lake House by Jon Loomis | Saturday, November 25, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 24, 2017 | 11:01 pm
Wind and the sound of wind— across the bay a chainsaw revs and stalls. I’ve come here to write, but instead I’ve been thinking about my father, who, in his last year, after his surgery, told my mother he wasn’t sorry—that he’d cried when the other woman left him, that his time with her had... Read more »
Couch on the Beach by Catherine Abbey Hodges | Friday, November 24, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 23, 2017 | 11:01 pm
Someone dragged a hide-a-bed onto the sand last night. This morning there it sits, empty as an open clam, clearly slept in, face to face with the Pacific. Less graceful than a Massey-Ferguson and less expected. Even the dogs, after marking it theirs, shake their heads. Still, I recognize the impulse, the urge to reach... Read more »
Minnesota Thanksgiving by John Berryman | Thursday, November 23, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 22, 2017 | 11:01 pm
For that free Grace bringing us past great risks & thro’ great griefs surviving to this feast sober & still, with the children unborn and born, among brave friends, Lord, we stand again in debt and find ourselves in the glad position: Gratitude. We praise our ancestors who delivered us here within warm walls all... Read more »
Winter Grace by Patricia Fargnoli | Wednesday, November 22, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 21, 2017 | 11:01 pm
If you have seen the snow under the lamppost piled up like a white beaver hat on the picnic table or somewhere slowly falling into the brook to be swallowed by water, then you have seen beauty and know it for its transience. And if you have gone out in the snow for only the... Read more »
But I, Too, Want to Be a Poet by Fanny Howe | Tuesday, November 21, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 20, 2017 | 11:01 pm
But I, too, want to be a poet to erase from my days confusion & poverty fiction & a sharp tongue To sing again with the tones of adolescence demanding vengeance against my enemies, with words clear & austere To end this tumultuous quest for reasonable solutions to situations mysterious & sore To have the... Read more »
Rural Delivery by Charles Simic | Monday, November 20, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 19, 2017 | 11:01 pm
I never thought we’d end up Living this far north, love. Cold blue heaven over our heads, Quarter moon like chalk on a slate. This week it’s the art of subtraction And further erasure that we study. O the many blanks to ponder Before the night overtakes us once more On this lonely stretch of... Read more »
First Formal by Sharon Olds | Sunday, November 19, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 18, 2017 | 11:01 pm
She rises up above the strapless, her dewy flesh like a soul half out of a body. It makes me remember her one week old, soft, elegant, startled, alone. She stands still, as if, if she moved, her body might pour up out of the bodice, she keeps her steady gaze raised when she walks,... Read more »
I Was Reading a Scientific Article by Margaret Atwood | Saturday, November 18, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 17, 2017 | 11:01 pm
They have photographed the brain and here is the picture, it is full of branches as I always suspected, each time you arrive the electricity of seeing you is a huge tree lumbering through my skull, the roots waving. It is an earth, its fibres wrap things buried, your forgotten words are graved in my... Read more »
Audience by Connie Wanek | Friday, November 17, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 16, 2017 | 11:01 pm
How kind people are! How few in the crowd truly hope the tightrope will break. Rare’s the man who’ll shoot the Pope or throw his shoe at a liar, though joining in—that’s natural. An audience of St. Paul’s sparrows is easily bored, easily frightened. One blasphemy and off they fly. Even a polite dog will... Read more »
A Pink Hotel in California by Margaret Atwood | Thursday, November 16, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 15, 2017 | 11:01 pm
My father chops with his axe and the leaves fall off the trees. It’s nineteen forty-three. He’s splitting wood for the winter. His gun leans behind the door, beside his goose-greased workboots. Smoke comes out of the metal chimney. At night I sleep in a bunk bed. The waves stroke the lake. In the mornings... Read more »
Bell Bottoms and Platform Shoes by Maria Mazziotti Gillan | Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 14, 2017 | 11:01 pm
A friend sends me a picture of herself from the 70s—bell bottoms, platform shoes a patterned button down shirt, hair puffed up from a perm. I can see the outline of the person she is now and she reminds me of myself in the 70s— married for eight years to a man I knew I... Read more »
Pear Trees on Irving Street by Richard Widerkehr | Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 13, 2017 | 11:01 pm
They float, these white trees— a few petals, fallen to the street, not stars fading, not snow. The trees have blossomed in a freezing east wind. None, I think, has any regrets or choice. If the night frost comes too thick, too fast, they’ll give what they have to, as if it were nothing— these... Read more »
Opposing Forces by Eamon Grennan | Monday, November 13, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 12, 2017 | 11:01 pm
Even in this sharp weather there are lovers everywhere holding onto each other, hands in one another’s pockets for warmth, for the sense of I’m yours, the tender claim it keeps making—one couple stopping in the chill to stand there, faces pressed together, arms around jacketed shoulders so I can see bare hands grapple with... Read more »
Before Dark by Wendell Berry | Sunday, November 12, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 11, 2017 | 11:01 pm
From the porch at dusk I watched a kingfisher wild in flight he could only have made for joy. He came down the river, splashing against the water’s dimming face like a skipped rock, passing on down out of sight. And still I could hear the splashes farther and farther away as it grew darker.... Read more »
A Poem of Thanks by Wendell Berry | Saturday, November 11, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 10, 2017 | 11:01 pm
I have been spared another day to come into this night as though there is a mercy in things mindful of me. Love, cast all thought aside. I cast aside all thought. Our bodies enter their brief precedence, surrounded by their sleep. Through you I rise, and you through me, into the joy we make,... Read more »
That I did always love... by Emily Dickinson | Friday, November 10, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (5:00) November 09, 2017 | 11:01 pm
That I did always love I bring thee Proof That till I loved I never lived – Enough – That I shall love alway – I argue thee That love is life – And life hath Immortality – This – dost thou doubt – Sweet – Then have I Nothing to show But Calvary –

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