Photo: Ishmael Reed in 2015. (Rommel Demano/Getty Images)
Happy 79th birthday to author, poet and activist Ishmael Reed! Reed is known for his satire and political and social commentary. His 1976 novel
Flight to Canada tells the story of three slaves on the run, and his 1972 novel Mumbo Jumbo was a National Book Award finalist. Check him out, you guys!
Please help me dear God to be a good writer and to get something else accepted.
Flannery O'Connor in A Prayer Journal.
March 25 is Flannery O'Connor’s birthday! We suggest you
mark the occasion by reading critic Juan
Vidal’s essay on A Prayer Journal,
a series of short meditations O'Connor penned between 1946 and 1947. The book
is chock full of pleadings and childlike confessions like “I would like to
write a beautiful prayer,” and “Dear God, tonight it is not disappointing because you have given
me a story.”
As Juan puts it, “No other writer in the history of American
letters has been able to pin down the intersection of faith, prayer, and art as
evocatively as O'Connor.”
“You have to free the world, free humanity, from oppression? Look inside, look sideways, look at the hidden violence of language. Never forget that language is where the other, parallel violence, the cruelty exercised on the body, originates.”—Ariel Dorfman, born on this day in 1942.
Cram your head with characters and stories. Abuse your library privileges. Never stop looking at the world, and never stop reading to find out what sense other people have made of it. If people give you a hard time and tell you to get your nose out of a book, tell them you’re working. Tell them it’s research. Tell them to pipe down and leave you alone.
Author’s Note: Happy birthday! Enjoy this little piece of Everlark-on-vacation, with slight influences from The Piña Colada Song! ;)
“Mind if I join you?
I try not to let myself look as annoyed as I really feel about this question. The entire reason I came out to use the hot tub so late at night was precisely because I wanted to be left alone, and not be bothered by the other loud, annoying hotel guests. I know it would be rude to make that apparent, though, so I put on the most fake smile I can muster, and turn to nod assent to the intruder.
I stop when I see him, caught off guard. He’s not what I’m expecting, not by a long shot. He’s my age, which immediately would make me coil away, my guard already up. But there’s something about him that already puts me at ease. Maybe it’s his gentle eyes, which I think are blue, but it’s so hard to tell for sure in this dim light. Or maybe it’s the kind smile plastered across his face as he looks down at me, genuinely awaiting my approval.
“Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to
grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after
– Douglas Adams, born March 11, 1952. (The universe misses you.)