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 January 18, 2015

In the long July evenings, the French woman who came to stay every summer for two weeks at my aunt’s inn would row my brother and me out to the middle of the mile-wide lake so that the three of us would be surrounded by the wild extravagance of reds that had transformed both lake... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for January 17, 2015

Spirits among us have departed—friends, relatives, neighbors: we can’t find them. If we search and call, the sky merely waits. Then some day here come the cranes planing in from cloud or mist—sharp, lonely spears, awkwardly graceful. They reach for the land; they stalk the ploughed fields, not letting us near, not quite our own,... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for January 16, 2015

And on certain nights, maybe once or twice a year, I’d carry the baby down and all the kids would come all nine of us together, and we’d build a town in the basement from boxes and blankets and overturned chairs. And some lived under the pool table or in the bathroom or the boiler... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for January 15, 2015

How like a winter hath my absence been From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen! What old December’s bareness everywhere! And yet this time remov’d was summer’s time, The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime, Like widow’d wombs... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for January 14, 2015

“When can we have cake?” she wants to know. And patiently we explain: when dinner’s finished. Someone wants seconds; and wouldn’t she like to try, while she’s waiting, a healthful lettuce leaf? The birthday girl can’t hide her grief— worse, everybody laughs. That makes her sink two rabbity, gapped teeth, acquired this year, into a... Read more »

The Writer’s Almanac for January 13, 2015

A gaggle of geese return to our street each winter while migrating from one place to another. They arrive in January, around my husband’s birthday, and I am surprised to find them behind our house, honking like cab drivers in traffic. Most leave with babies but one pair can’t manage to have any; I’ve watched... Read more »