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 February 28, 2015

I watched them As they neared the lake They wheeled In a wide arc With beating wings And then They put their wings to sleep And glided downward in a drift Of pure abandonment Until they touched The surface of the lake Composed their wings And settled On the rippling water As though it were... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for February 27, 2015

The dead bee lies on the window ledge, a relic, its amber-yellow body barred in black and its head tucked in, dust gathering on every follicle and on the geodesic dome of the head—all tucked in and tucked away, so neat is death. And the many flies too, all sizes, lying on their sides as... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for February 26, 2015

Years later they find themselves talking about chances, moments when their lives might have swerved off for the smallest reason. What if I hadn’t phoned, he says, that morning? What if you’d been out, as you were when I tried three times the night before? Then she tells him a secret. She’d been there all... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for February 25, 2015

Imagine you wake up with a second chance: The blue jay hawks his pretty wares and the oak still stands, spreading glorious shade. If you don’t look back, the future never happens. How good to rise in sunlight, in the prodigal smell of biscuits – eggs and sausage on the grill. The whole sky is... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for February 24, 2015

Often in the morning the fog is thick over Jersey, Sometimes, like today, lifting later on To reveal with the clarity of a dream The wide river with its traffic, the cluttered far shore, And the hills beyond where hidden towns Send up spires like messages. The river is never terribly obscured Even when the... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for February 23, 2015

The snow is falling on the tall pale reeds near the seashore, and even though in places the sky is heavy and dark, a pale sun peeps through casting its yellow light across the face of the waves coming in. Someone has left a bicycle leaning against the trunk of a sapling and gone into... Read more »