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 17, 2015

Winter. Time to eat fat and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat, a black fur sausage with yellow Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries to get onto my head. It’s his way of telling whether or not I’m dead. If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for February 16, 2015

Now that the worst is over, they predict Something messy and difficult, though not Life-threatening. Clearly we needed To stock up on water and candles, making Tureens of soup and things that keep When electricity fails and phone lines fall. Igloos rise on air conditioners, gargoyles Fly and icicles shatter. Frozen runways, Lines in markets,... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for February 15, 2015

Watching the hands of my son kneading challah dough on the maple cutting board in my kitchen, a memory rises of my mother bending over our kitchen table in Flatbush, pressing, stretching, folding flour, water, eggs into a living elastic. Sometimes in my dreams, Mom appears, whispers of her mother in her kitchen in Zurawno... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for February 14, 2015

Not a red rose or a satin heart. I give you an onion. It is a moon wrapped in brown paper. It promises light like the careful undressing of love. Here. It will blind you with tears like a lover. It will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief. I am trying to be... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for February 13, 2015

The elm tree is our highest mountain peak; A five-foot drop a valley, so to speak. A man’s head is an eminence upon A field of barley spread beneath the sun. Horizons have no strangeness to the eye. Our feet are sometimes level with the sky, When we are walking on a treeless plain, With... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for February 12, 2015

There’s a tractor in the doorway of a church in Red Wing, Nebraska, in a coat of mud and straw that drags the floor. A broken plow sprawls beggarlike behind it on some planks that make a sort of roadway up the steps. The steeple’s gone. A black tar-paper scar that lightning might have made... Read more »