Category Archives: Writer Birthdays

Happy birthday, Karl Marx!

By | May 5, 2021

Guest post by Mark Steven Karl Marx was born in Prussia 203 years ago today and his writing and thinking are as crucial now, during the year of a global pandemic, as ever before.  In a frequently quoted sentence written in the spring of 1845, Marx issued what reads as a statement of intent. “The philosophers,” he claimed, “have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is… Read More »

For Leo Bersani: On His 90th Birthday

By | April 16, 2021

Guest post by Mikko Tuhkanen A dual orientation in Leo Bersani’s thought never fails to make me tremble, for in it I think I recognize something indisputably true. On the one hand, Bersani repeatedly attends to the unavoidability of aggression in our encounters with the world: we are inhabited, he suggests,by an “intractable,” because constitutive, hatred of otherness. On the other, all such murderous impulses are supplemented by the logic of what Bersani, echoing Charles Baudelaire, calls “correspondence of… Read More »

Shirley Jackson and “Safer at Home”

By | December 14, 2020

Guest post by Jill E. Anderson December 14, 2020 would have been Shirley Jackson’s 104th birthday, and for those of us in the U.S., this day also marks about six months under some version of a forced quarantine. A thought has crossed my mind a number of times that time: what would Shirley Jackson have… Read More »

Happy Birthday, Willa Cather!

By | December 7, 2020

Guest post by Michelle E. Moore  The exceptionally prolific writer Willa Cather was born on December 7, 1873 in Gore, Virginia. Her literary work blends fiction with documentary while spanning vast distances across geographies, relationships, and time. Her personal papers document a lifetime of relationships kept afloat by near constant letter writing, sometimes conducted as she traveled long distances by rail to visit friends and… Read More »

Happy Birthday, Dylan Thomas!

By | October 27, 2020

Guest post by Adrian Osbourne Perhaps for many of us, particularly once beyond a certain age, birthdays provoke a mixture of happiness, as a day that celebrates our arrival into the world, and apprehension, for the passing of time and our inevitable exit. For Dylan Thomas, this antagonism proved a powerful source of literary inspiration.  Thomas was born 106 years ago in Swansea, on 27thOctober 1914, and has… Read More »

Happy birthday, Philip Pullman!

By | October 19, 2020

Guest post by Vanessa Joosen Today is Philip Pullman’s 74th birthday and that seems like a good moment to reflect on the role that age has so far played in his career. Pullman made his debut in the early 1970s and has been a prolific and outspoken writer ever since. He is best known for his trilogy His Dark… Read More »

Happy Birthday, Katherine Mansfield!

By | October 14, 2020

Guest post by Gerri Kimber I later undertook a PhD on Mansfield, and to date have written or edited over 30 volumes on her. Twelve years ago I helped to set up the international Katherine Mansfield Society, and was its Chair for ten of those years. All this because of a chance encounter with an old second-hand book in… Read More »

Poetry as a Tool for Organizing Communities (On Lewis MacAdams’s Birthday)

By | October 12, 2020

Guest post by Nate Mickelson Born October 12, 1944, the poet and activist Lewis MacAdams passed away in Los Angeles in April 2020 after a long illness. He was a champion of everyday people and an advocate for forging connections between the built and natural environments of the city. MacAdams served for thirty years as the director of Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), a community organization he… Read More »

The Unbearable Lightness of Anti-Fascism

By | February 10, 2020

Guest post by Tom Kuhn Bertolt Brecht was born on February 10, 1898. To celebrate the 122nd anniversary of his birth, Tom Kuhn explores a side of his work that is often less appreciated. The most recent volume in the Bloomsbury Methuen Drama Brecht list may come as a surprise. Bertolt Brecht’s Refugee Conversations is… Read More »

Happy birthday, Raymond Carver!

By | May 25, 2019

Guest post by Tim Groenland Raymond Carver, who died in 1988, would have celebrated his 81st birthday today. In the years since his untimely passing, the continued spread of his work – the appearance of previously unpublished stories, new translations in multiple languages, adaptations and homages such as that found in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Oscar-winning… Read More »