The Writer's Almanac

Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.

Recent Episodes

How to Clean an Oil-Slicked Penguin by Andrew Gent | Tuesday, March 15, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

Like the punch line to a very bad joke the obvious and actual answer is: “carefully”. First, you must learn to hold the penguin from behind, to avoid the beak, pressing both wings against the body until you need to hold each out (again, carefully) to clean in and around the extremities. Next, contrary to... Read more »

Sonnet 65 by William Shakespeare | Saturday, March 12, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea, But sad mortality o’er-sways their power, How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea, Whose action is no stronger than a flower? 0, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out Against the wreckful siege of battering days, When rocks impregnable are not so stout, Nor... Read more »

With Their Wings by Jean Nordhaus | Friday, March 11, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

                    —for Delia On the evening you were born, after the tremendous churning that brought you forth, an owl flew onto the rail of the balcony where we sat, as darkness bled from backlit hills into the sky. In twilight, she perched on the ledge measured us with wide, light- gleaning eyes, then sailed off on... Read more »

The Love a Life Can Show Below... by Emily Dickinson | Thursday, March 10, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

The Love a Life can show Below Is but a filament, I know, Of that diviner thing That faints upon the face of Noon— And smites the Tinder in the Sun— And hinders Gabriel’s Wing— ‘Tis this—in Musi—hints and sways— And far abroad on Summer days— Distils uncertain pain— ‘Tis this enamors in the East—... Read more »