Today is Monday, April 9, 2018. It’s the birthday of director David Gordon Green. It’s also the birthday of writers Fern Michaels and Paule Marshall. Our poem for today is “word problem” by Rachel McKibbens, courtesy of Copper Canyon Press. You can show your support for original poetry here on Bidwell Hollow by purchasing a copy of McKibbens’s collection, “blud.”

David Gordon Green

Screenwriter and director David Gordon Green turns 43 today.

Born in Little Rock, AR, in 1975, Green grew up in Texas. Movies were his passion.

Photo of David Gordon Green.
2013-09-02 festival deauville-56.jpg” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by ISABELLE VERONESE

While many of Green’s friends watched sports, he became a film buff instead. Indulging his obsession, he studied film at the University of North Carolina School of Arts.

Green graduated in 1989 and then headed for Hollywood. He looked for any behind-the-scenes filmmaking job he could get.

But Hollywood proved to be short on professional opportunities and long on artificiality. Green found this disheartening. So he returned to North Carolina, leaving his path but not his passion.

Along with friends and several local actors, Green wrote and directed the 2000 film, “George Washington.”

It’s a movie not about the Founding Father, but about a group of boys in a small North Carolina town. Even though the film had a limited release, it won several notable awards and launched his career.

Green directed the 2008 film “Pineapple Express,” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. He’s directed episodes of the TV show “Eastbound and Down.”

And Green’s writing and directing a reboot of the “Halloween” franchise. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis will reprise her role as Laurie Strode in the film. It’s scheduled for release in October.

Fern Michaels

Cover of Fern Michaels's "Safe and Sound."
Affiliate link

It’s also the birthday of bestselling author Fern Michaels (affiliate link). She was born Mary Ruth Kuczir in 1933 in Hastings, PA.

Michaels married, moved to New Jersey, and had five children. When her youngest child started school, her husband suggested she get a job.

Not knowing what to do or where to start, Michaels began writing instead. She adopted the pen name, Fern Michaels.

Publishers rejected Michaels’s first manuscript. But her second manuscript did sell. She continued to write, though her husband didn’t support her doing so.

Michaels divorced her husband and kept on writing.

Michaels has written hundreds of books and novellas. Her work includes dozens of best sellers, such as “Family Blessing,” “Crown Jewel,” and “Pretty Woman.” And her success as a writer happened after she turned 40.

Being a bestselling author allowed Michaels to put all five of her kids through college. Doing so is what she considers her most significant achievement.

“Because when all else is said and done, the only thing that matters is family,” Michaels said.

Paule Marshall

And today in 1929, Paule Marshall (affiliate link) was born in Brooklyn.

Cover of Paule Marshall's "Brown Girl, Brownstones."
Affiliate link

The daughter of Barbadian immigrants, Marshall’s work emphasizes a need for black Americans to reclaim their African heritage.

Marshall graduated from Brooklyn College in 1953. She worked as a librarian before becoming the food and fashion editor at Our World, an African American magazine.

In 1959, Marshall published her first autobiographical novel, “Brown Girl, Brownstones.” It’s about the daughter of Barbadian immigrants who travels as an adult to her parents’ homeland.

“Brown Girl, Brownstones,” received positive critical attention when it published. And a dramatized version of the book aired as a CBS Workshop episode in 1960.

Langston Hughes invited Marshall to go with him on a State Department-sponsored trip to Europe in 1965. The two spent much of their time talking about literature. And Marshall credits the experience with helping her career.

About Hughes, Marshall said, “Decades have passed since his death in 1967, and I still miss him.”

Marshall writes about her time with Hughes in “Triangular Road.” It published in 2009.

Some of Marshall’s other books include “Praisesong for the Widow,” “The Chosen Place, the Timeless People,” and “The Fisher King.”

“word problem”

Pictured is The Mother you have neither seen

nor spoken to in twenty-three years. The total

of this absence amounts to 8,400 days of



If the memory develops three holes for

each day of CrushingLoss, what is the total

number of holes The Mother’s memory has

accrued if each hole splits in two every seven



Show your work.

– “word problem” from blud. Copyright 2017 by Rachel McKibbens. Used with permission of the author and Copper Canyon Press.

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