The Writer's Almanac

Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.

Recent Episodes

The Writer’s Almanac for December 20, 2014

It is not so complicated. I am at the window grinding walnuts for bread. The chain link fence surrounds our dormant stamp of grass. When you speak, I watch your lips, or else I can’t understand. This winter is made simple by the cold. In lean air, the train whistle carries. Our neighbor’s faucet spills... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for December 19, 2014

Years ago, driving across the mountains in West Virginia, both of us are so young we don’t know anything. We are twenty-eight years old, our children sleeping in the back seat. With your fresh Ph.D. in your suitcase, we head out toward Kansas City. We’ve never been anywhere. We decide to go the long way... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for December 18, 2014

The first thing I saw in the morning Was a huge golden bee ploughing His burly right shoulder into the belly Of a sleek yellow pear Low on a bough. Before he could find that sudden black honey That squirms around in there Inside the seed, the tree could not bear any more. The pear... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for December 17, 2014

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 »

The Writer’s Almanac for December 16, 2014

In Manhattan, I learned a public kindness    was a triumph over the push of money, the constrictions of fear. If it occurred it came    from some deep primal memory, almost entirely lost— Here, let me help you, then you me,    otherwise we’ll die. Which is why I love the weather in Minnesota, every winter kindness... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for December 15, 2014

Up north, the dashboard lights of the family car gleam in memory, the radio plays to itself as I drive my father plied the highways while my mother talked, she tried to hide that low lilt, that Finnish brogue, in the back seat, my sisters and I our eyes always tied to the Big Dipper... Read more »