The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
Dr. Zhivago was playing at the Paramount Theater in St. Cloud. That afternoon, we went into Russia, and when we came out, the snow was falling—the same snow that fell in Moscow. The sky had turned black velvet. We’d been through the Revolution and the frozen winters. In the Chevy, we waited for the heater... Read more »
In November of 1963, you were all the center of my days and when I heard on TV Kennedy had been shot, I wrapped you in your blue blanket and walked for miles (I was strong then), carrying you on sidewalks in the middle of a country stunned by rapid-fire bulletins. It was pink Chanel... Read more »
I fished alone that languid autumn evening. Fished as darkness kept coming on. Experiencing exceptional loss and then exceptional joy when I brought a silver salmon to the boat, and dipped a net under the fish. Secret heart! When I looked into the moving water and up at the dark outline of the mountains behind... Read more »
The day I learned my wife was dying I told myself if anyone said, Well, she had a good life, I’d punch him in the nose. How much life represents a good life? Maybe a hundred years, which would give us nearly forty more to visit Oslo and take the train to Vladivostok, learn German... Read more »
It was one of those days when the sun poured gold into the air, and flecks of light floated in shafts that fell through the branches of yellow leaf and green. We’d had dinner at a place on the edge of a lake, and now we were going back to town. There was a simple... Read more »
All day we packed boxes. We read birth and death certificates. The yellowed telegrams that announced our births, the cards of congratulations and condolences, the deeds and debts, love letters, valentines with a heart ripped out, the obituaries. We opened the divorce decree, a terrible document of division and subtraction. We leafed through scrapbooks: corsages,... Read more »