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 March 3, 2015

Over the back of the Florida basker, over the froth of the Firth of Forth, Up from Tahiti and Madagascar, Lo, the sun walks north. The first bright day makes sing the slackers While leaves explode like firecrackers, The duck flies forth to greet the spring And sweetly municipal pigeons sing. Where the duck quacks,... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for March 2, 2015

In Istanbul, my ears three mornings heard the early call to prayer. At fuller light, heard birds then, water birds and tree birds, birds of migration. Like three knowledges, I heard them: incomprehension, sweetened distance, longing. When the body dies, where will they go, those migrant birds and prayer calls, as heat from sheets when... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for March 1, 2015

We’ve moved into a bigger house. Now our voices wander among the rooms calling, Where are you? And what we can’t forget of other houses confuses us as we answer back and forth, Over here! It’s a little like returning to the village where you were born, the sad bewilderment of discrepancies between what you... Read more »

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 »