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  1. Thank you for trying to pickup where WA left off. I wish I had kept more of the emails since the archive is not available. As an aspiring poet, I am missing a daily dose of inspiration.

  2. Thank you for the kind words, Lara. I, too, missed the inspiration provided by The Writer’s Almanac. We’re working on publishing more poets’ work, instead of only what’s available in the public domain. And we’re also working on a podcast, as we know many people would prefer to listen to what we publish. Stay tuned!

  3. Any chance you can get someone to actually read poems aloud? Do a podcast or something similar? That was what He did so well, even if he read at a different rhythm than tge poem suggestes. FYI, I saw that GK was in mediation.

    • Hi Dan, great minds think alike! I’m working on launching a podcast soon, very soon. We won’t be able to replace The Writer’s Almanac, but maybe we can put some good into the world that others can enjoy.

  4. Anyone can create the same format as what GK did, but to do it in such detail where he would “ramble on” about one subject with details that a lot of us (would ?) never have heard of for the bulk of his 3.5 minutes or so was what rocked our world. One idea I just thought of was whether you could get other people to read the Poem? Just someone with a distinct voice that would give the Poem the weight and impact that GK did. They don’t have to have heard of WA or GK but just a voice that would bring the poem to life. Maybe they could be an actor or actress trying to get A Break?

      • Sure, yes, that’s a good start. We should also think of a woman that would work for the poems as well, maybe a woman who knows poetry and could bring out stuff in a poem we might not have hard with Garrison? I don’t know who but I’m thinking JANE HIRSCHFIELD (sp?) right now. Very famous poet in the 20th/21st centuries (Google her). You have to know there are billions and millions out there that want to make this happen!!!! Just advertise NOW!

        • We think having poets read their poems is a great idea. As you can imagine, this whole project is a lot of work, but this is something we’re working toward.

  5. Having been a fan for many years of WA delighted to discover Bidwell Holow this evening. A big thank you Nicholas for filling the void.

    • Thank you for reaching out, Michael. The pleasure is all mine. Just trying to give something others can use and enjoy.

  6. Well done on reading the Poem! For a poem like this your voice does very well–the inflection of it fits nicely. Good pausing in between the birthdays too. Sorry if I’m too particular here but I’m still in 12 step for Garrison…

  7. “…cherish’d till valour and love be no more.” I am grateful to you for becoming so central to my morning ritual, for stepping into the breach, for casting light on inspiration, daily. Namaste

    • It does me well, Juan, to hear I’m having a positive difference in your life. Thanks so much for your kind words.

    • You’ve made my day, Phil. I’m working hard at giving people like you something good and positive each day. Here’s to getting better and better with each go. Thanks for your comment.

    • Hi Lee, it looks like the podcast was delayed updating on iTunes today for some reason. It should now be available for you. Thanks for letting me know and for listening!

    • I agree, Bob. Some poets’ poems aren’t available in the public domain, meaning rights must be secured before publishing. Given budget and time constraints, this isn’t always possible. That’s the case with Ms. Bishop’s poetry.

      An error on my part, though, was including an Amy Lowell poem today. Lowell’s birthday is tomorrow, so I should have held this poem for tomorrow. Live and learn.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Hi Alan, Yeah, I realized this morning I mispronounced Worcester. What’s really sad is that I know a few folks from there who’ve previously explained this to me. Stubborn as a Missouri mule, I am.

      Appreciate your comment. When it comes to pronunciations, I can use all the help I can get.

  8. …or if you want to pronounce it like the natives, you can say, “Wustah!”

    Thanks so much for doing this, by the way. I used to love bringing little factoids home and sharing them with my daughters, who are now in high school. A lot of the information fit right in with what they were studying in school and served as a kind of gateway to further discussion of what they were studying. Now I am doing it again!

    • Not sure my southern-Midwest twang could do “Wustah” justice, John. It pleases me to know others find enjoyment in this little blog and podcast. Thanks so much for following along, and for letting me know you appreciate the effort. It means the world to me.

  9. I just found this site. You da man!!
    I really missed the Writer’s Almanac. Thanks for helping fill the void. I just subscribed.
    Ralph

  10. I am so grateful for Bidwell Hollow. The ending of Writers Almanac left a GiANT hole in my morning routine. Thank You for this most excellent option. I have asked to be on the mailing list several times, but have not been added, am I doing something wrong?

  11. Two thoughts on today’s readings – 1) Julie Andrews had been passed over for the role of Eliza Doolittle in the film version of My Fair Lady. Though Andrews had originated the role on Broadway, the Hollywood types thought that Audrey Hepburn would be more marketable. When she then won the Oscar for Maria in Sound of Music, one critic wagged that Julie Andrews won the Oscar for My Fair Lady.

    2) When you provide us a poem in the public domain, would it be possible to give us the dates for the author. Not all of these names are as well known as others…

    Thank you for your work!

    • Hi Mary Beth, that’s really interesting about Julie Andrews’ role in “The Sound of Music.” I’d read that about the movie being viewed as a vehicle for Audrey Hepburn’s career. But I didn’t know about the drama around Andrews and “My Fair Lady.”

      As for providing the dates for poets whose work is in the public domain, do you mean the date the poem originally published or the dates for the poet’s life?

      Thanks again!

      • Thanks for your reply, Nicholas. I think either the date of the poem’s first publication, or of the poet would be fine. Either way would give some context… which can then be fleshed out in the world of Wikipedia. Thank you.

      • Dear Nic
        Thanks again for your gracious responses. I realized that I had the information incorrect for Julie Andrews’ Oscar. While she was nominated for Sound of Music, she actually won best actress for Mary Poppins, which makes the movie critic’s snarky remark even more biting.

        • Great update, Mary Beth. I love the behind-the-scenes stories for everything from musicals to movies to books. Thank you for engaging my interest!

          By the way, I’ve started putting in the years for a poet’s life when publishing a poem that’s in the public domain. It can sometimes be difficult to nail down when exactly a poem published, and I try my hardest to be completely factual in everything I publish. So in lieu of a poem’s publish date, I thought the poet’s lifespan would be a decent alternative.

    • Gracias por comentar. Perdona mi pobre español. Se debe considerar un día internacional en honor a Márquez.

  12. Dear Nicholas,
    What a wonderful poem! My constant inner strife!
    Be safe in the snow if you are in it.
    Yours,
    Marissa

  13. As a new resident in Colorado having met few folks in the San Juan rookies Garrison
    Provided me with warmth and comfort to each day. Like being neighbors in Mr. Rogers neighborhood. Reminding me there are no strangers but opportunities to share common
    Experiences.

  14. Thank you for keeping this wonderful venue alive. Very best of luck to you / to us all, and if I can help in any way, I would be delighted. For now: Possible readers? – John Lithgow, Jack Nicholson (where is he, these days??)
    To Lara Dolphin (#1 above) – I have many past WA emails, but alas not all. I would be glad to share. Maybe a group effort could put them together … ??? — SPW

  15. Hi, Susan:
    I would be able to contribute my WA emails (favorites that I saved over the years) to a database if anyone is interested in collecting them. It would be nice to be able to access more of them. Unfortunately, I don’t have time right now to organize that type of effort, but I am happy to participate.
    –Lara

    • Somebody please,please! start an archive of WA posts. I didn’t save mine, knowing (haha) that i could always look them up again. Maybe even just a blog or webpage where people could send in the ones they have?
      That said, I just found this site, looking forward to getting some daily inspiration again, thank you!

  16. I’m really enjoying your choice of daily poems. It’s somehow refreshing to be reading a lot of old Public Domain poems. I thought I’d miss the newer ones, like those read on Writer’s Almanac, but I don’t (though I sorely miss Garrison’s deep, sonorous, fatherly, voice). I also like that you will sometimes use a poem by an obscure writer I didn’t know, whose birthday it is–as your daily choice. Which is nice. You are doing a really fine job with this. When I signed up to have a daily e-mail reminder sent to me, I did so with some hesitation, but seeing the reminder fills me with a little stab of curiosity and joy, when it arrives each day. Keep up the GREAT work!!! And Thankyou!

    p.s. One thing I would consider doing on the online version, is to add a couple lines at the bottom that start with, “It is also the birthday of William Rontgen, Gloria Swanson and on this day in 1968 Yuri Gargaran died.” Or whatever the heck you find interesting. It doesn’t have to be a long exposition of events. Just a few sentences. Who else was born? Who got married? Who died? Who might have won an academy award or grammy. What wars might have started? You don’t have to do a whole write up. “Oliver Hardy married….” Just a couple choice non literary people and non literary events. A couple sentences with a few names.

    • Great feedback, Michael, and those of us working on Bidwell Hollow appreciate you. As someone who used to receive the WA’s daily email, I know how much it can be to try and stay on top of. There were weeks when I would have to wait until Saturday or Sunday to catch-up on the Writer’s Almanacs I missed earlier in the week. But that just made the weekends all the sweeter.

      Until we can hire some professional talent, we won’t have anything close to Garrison Keillor’s voice. But perhaps we’re helping fill a void left by the loss of something upon which many of us relied for inspiration, nourishment, or even just a few moments of peace in a hectic world.

    • Haha, Michael, I do not blame you. I’m more than satisfied to count you as a reader. No Facebook required!

      • Don’t hire someone else to voice this. You’re doing it and you should use your own voice. It’s a nice voice. It’s grows on one day by day.

  17. It is so very good to have a good new website devoted to writers and poetry in particular. The emptiness since Garrison Keillor’s program was cancelled has been dismal. Thank you for this new venue.

  18. I would greatly appreciate information about the author of the poems. A brief biography would be good. Thanks for your blog.

  19. Don’t hire someone else to voice this. You’re doing it and you should use your own voice. It’s a nice voice. It’s grows on one day by day.

  20. Monday, 4/2/’18, 11:05AM

    Hope you received my earlier “post,” and will get back to me (I’m not too knowledgeable about how the Internet works.)
    Thanxalot, and stay well.

  21. THANK YOU! I appreciate my daily dose of “culture” on this web site. It’s a wonderful follow-up to the defunct Writer’s Almanac.

  22. Thank you Nicholas! The tragic ending of Writer’s Almanac still affects me deeply –
    so shockingly abrupt and so hideously handled by Minnesota Public Radio I ltruly look
    forward to your daily posts. Everyone out there: if you care about poetry, literature,
    awareness and inspiration, please email your friends about Bidwell Hollow!!!

  23. What a wonderful poem! Very evocative. Also it is a foggy morning here, so the opening is appropriate! Thank you for this daily email. I very much enjoy it.

    • Glad you enjoyed the poem, Donald. One can put a lot into a small package. It thrills me to hear you’re enjoying Bidwell Hollow!

  24. I am also much interested in any of the WA emails. I only occasionally heard one of the WA episodes on the radio. It seems like out there somewhere in the virtual universe folks would have a treasure trove of the emails and/or audio versions to share.

  25. Your postings are my brain-jumpstart every day! Please keep them up even though we’ll be able to access The Writer’s Almanac once again now that Keillor has settled with MPR. We need you both!! So please, please, please, keep doing your Bidwell Hollow! I’d miss it terribly AND can certainly benefit from having two such wonderful offerings — and don’t care if there’s overlap! I also read two “on this day” types of web sites and like them both. I’m a retired writer, editor, and college professor so I need everything possible to purposefully fill my time! Though that’s not really a problem, it’s a benefit! THANKS!

    • Hi Julie, thank you for this inspiring comment! I’m as excited as anyone to be able to read old Writer’s Almanac posts once the archives are made available. WA is obviously the inspiration for Bidwell Hollow. But the goal for Bidwell Hollow is to be more than a cheap imitation of Mr. Keillor’s program. Even if he brings back new episodes of WA, Bidwell Hollow will continue if readers and listeners like you continue to support it. And if the interest in our daily episodes does wane, I’ll tweak the format and see if I can’t find an itch us literary lovers need scratching. Thanks again for writing!

  26. My spouse and i got now ecstatic Jordan managed to deal with his inquiry while using the precious recommendations he acquired using your web page. It is now and again perplexing to just find yourself giving for free thoughts that many other people could have been trying to sell. And now we discover we now have the writer to be grateful to for that. The entire illustrations you’ve made, the easy blog menu, the relationships your site help to create – it’s got everything unbelievable, and it’s aiding our son in addition to the family know that that idea is satisfying, which is highly fundamental. Thank you for the whole thing!

  27. Came across a poem posted online today and reflected on how much I missed the Writers Almanac that I had followed over the years. Looked online hoping to find an ‘update’ in that regard and came across your site. Thrilled to see you doing this work and look forward to your daily offerings. I am now subscribed and wish you the very best for success with this project. nick j, San Diego, CA

  28. Monday, April 23, 2018, 1:15-ishPM (sunny’n’crisp in Medford OR at mid-day)
    I’ve written before; many thanks for this Brief Respite from the “Work-a-Day World” (or, in my case, “Retired” World!”)

    Stay well.

  29. Thanks for creating this website that allows us to put the day in an historical context and gives us a poem in which to frame our thoughts for the day- a quiet time to reflect and find a chapel of sorts in our souls to which we can retreat to during the day. Quiet time with poetry is such a gift. Thank you for making it more accessible and providing food and thought for our souls in an all too busy and loud world. We all need sanctuaries and this website provides such a place regardless of where we live or work. Thank you for doing this for all of us.

    • Hi Lisa, I’m happy to do it. It pleases me to know you find some peace and solace from these daily posts.

  30. Nick — I haven’t been receiving my daily emails since 4.27.18
    Can you check on this and hopefully resurrect it? I look forward to it and miss it.
    I checked with my ISP, and there’s nothing undelivered on their server.
    Thx.
    Joan

    • Hi Joan. I apologize for just now getting back to you. Today I posted an update. Unfortunately, I’m not able to keep up with a daily publishing schedule. I’m resuming publishing on May 21 but will be publishing new episodes twice a week. Thanks so much for reading!

  31. Nick, you are doing a great job. Sorry for your loss. I think if you published once or twice a week, that is still a very worthy contribution.
    Thanks,
    Maureen

  32. Nick, First of all I am sorry to hear of your loss. I am glad you took time away. That is definitely important.
    Secondly, no problem withe new schedule. I have really enjoyed site and I missed it when it wasn’t there. I am glad to see it is back, and I hope it can become daily again. Until then, I will enjoy the “visit” as it comes.
    Ralph

    • Thank you, Ralph. I’m excited to get back to publishing, twice a week for now, perhaps daily again in the not-too-distant future.

  33. Nick — My sincere condolences and my gratitude for your commitment to this site. Whatever you can share with us will be deeply appreciated.
    Joan

  34. So sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you so much for your intention, effort and gift. Don’t let the perfect ruin the good. Sometimes the right thing to do is to take a step back.

    “Never mistake motion for action.” – Ernest Hemingway

    Peace be with you.

    • Excellent words, James, and a befitting quote. It took a battle inside myself before accepting that doing something good is better than not doing something that’s perfect.

  35. I’m sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You’re doing fantastic work and it is appreciated. Thank you for your efforts.

    • This means so much to me, David. I’m thrilled every time I hear that someone enjoys Bidwell Hollow.

  36. I am so grateful to have Bidwell Hollow and relieved it will continue. Your work is thoughtful and inspiring.
    Thank You!

  37. I teach middle school English and relied heavily on that other old website for new poetry to share with my students. You are providing a valuable service in sharing written word. Thank you for your ventures. Please continue- two days is still two days more with poetry.

    • You got it, Brinid. There have been a few teachers who’ve reached out to me with similar sentiments to yours. It never occurred to me when starting this that educators could use something like Bidwell Hollow. Knowing that this is the case gives me even greater purpose.

  38. Thanks, Nick, and deepest condolences. Looking forward to the next installments.

    FYI-“Onthisday.com” helps fill a hole, and Keillor’s “Writers Almanac” archive is now online. I’ve been revisiting May ’17, “today’s” poem is John Updike’s “Marching Through a Novel”-

    Each morning my characters
    greet me with misty faces
    willing, though chilled, to muster
    for another day’s progress
    through dazzling quicksand,
    the march of blank paper…

    https://www.writersalmanac.org/index.html%3Fp=7985.html

  39. I discovered your site a couple weeks ago, in Poetry History month. As a writer trying to maintain an author page, books, research, author pages, marketing and leading a writers cooperative I say. Walking it back to a lot of work, but manageable is commendable. I’m sticking with you.

  40. You do what you can do. I’m happy to receive this once a week if that means a better quality of life for you. Thank you for the time you’ve put into this. I’m sure the few of us who are speaking up here represent a much bigger group of fans.

    • I appreciate it, Deirdre. It’s hearing from people like you that make the time worthwhile.

  41. Death is the worst thing that can happen in any family. Sorry to hear of your loss. I’m glad you’re not letting Bidwell Hollow go, though. It’s something very special and magical. Good Luck with everything.

    • What wonderful words, Michael. I’m happy you enjoy Bidwell Hollow. Thank you for reading and writing.

  42. Dear Nick – I want to support you on your schedule change. I can imagine the pressure a daily post like this entails. Thank you for continuing to write 2 posts a week. Actually, I agree with those who said that even once-a-week posts would be gratefully received.
    Sympathy to you on the loss in your family.
    Always take care of yourself first!
    With gratitude,

  43. Nick,

    I am sorry for your loss. I have enjoyed Bidwell Hollow and I’m glad to hear it will continue. I have often thought of the amount of time you have to put into each episode with the research, music and photos. I am glad it will continue.

    Shelia

  44. Important not to lose yourself in your project . . . no matter how worthy, no matter how much your readers appreciate your efforts. Post as you have time. We’ll keep our eyes out. Take care . . . and thank you, THANK YOU!

  45. Nick, I am so sorry for your loss and your thoughtful update about your recent absence which had the side benefit of allowing we fans of Bidwell Hollow to learn – and appreciate – what it takes for you to keep the spirit of “Writer’s Almanac” alive. Even a twice weekly post is truly appreciated as you try to develop needed assistance to resume your daily posts. Have you thought of making $$ contributions possible to help you in this regard? I am sure that I am one of many who would step up to the plate to ensure that Bidwell Hollow achieves its full potential.

    • Thank you for your condolences. I’ve considered various funding options for Bidwell Hollow. And more than a few folks have suggested this. I’m not sure I’m much of a businessman. I also worry that money will complicate things. But it does seem that additional funding could return Bidwell Hollow to a daily entity, while also improving the quality of the product and offerings. So, long story short, I’m researching options for bringing funds into Bidwell Hollow, while minimizing the negative impact on readers and listeners.

  46. Hi Nick,
    Take your time coming back, you’ve earned a good rest. A twice weekly entry in time will be much appreciated. Jane Kenyon’s poem “notes from the other side” gives us all hope when we lose somebody close to us. Keep up the good work but and mind yourself.
    Regards
    Michael O Sullivan

  47. Mr. Barron, I too have enjoyed the stories about literary figures and events and poetry you have posted, and was glad to hear that you intend to keep posting, albeit in a more abbreviated fashion, which is completely understandable. Keep up the good work. And thank you. Brian

  48. Welcome back! So happy to see this post this morning. I hope this new format will work for you and aleve any stress. Nicely done!

  49. Thanks for filling the sudden void. What a wonderful initiative! Today’s Pelizzari poem an unexpected, and beautiful, supplement to Carlos Rovelli’s recent book, The Order of Time. Thank you for all you do!

  50. Yes, beautiful poem…thank you for sharing! And yes, thanks for all your hard work, dedication.We do appreciate your edition whenever you are able to deliver it!

  51. I have always found this poem very moving:
    Incident

    Once riding in old Baltimore,
    Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
    I saw a Baltimorean
    Keep looking straight at me.

    Now I was eight and very small,
    And he was no whit bigger,
    And so I smiled, but he poked out
    His tongue, and called me, “N#####.”

    I saw the whole of Baltimore
    From May until December;
    Of all the things that happened there
    That’s all that I remember.

    Countee Cullen

  52. Love the Pushkin story. Family legend is that my Mother’s Father (I never knew him, a Latvian killed in WWII) could recite Eugene Onegin by heart

  53. Nick — If you haven’t already written the next email, you might want to read up on and possibly consider adding Richard Powers [birthday June 18, 1957] — he’s been awarded high prestige for every one of his 12 books and recognized as one of the most dazzling, innovative and gritty American novelists. His intellect is astounding, and his humor knows no bounds.
    [By way of disclosure — he doesn’t know I’m sending this.]

  54. Nick — Further disclosure — I should also clarify that I don’t represent Powers in any way — I discovered him thru one of his novels and emailed him in appreciation, to which he graciously replied.

  55. Poetry and music roadmaps into that unexplored mystery which wraps our brief flight.
    Thank you for nourishing us along the way!

  56. Hello Nick — I’ve not received any posts from Bidwell since 6.21 — are you still publishing them? Hope so — I miss them.
    Joan

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    • “Relic,” excellent and unexpected suggestion! “The Shining” also deserves to be on this list. I hesitated to include four King books, but he certainly deserves the honor. I’ll update the list. Thanks for the suggestions!

  58. Nick, you’re great, and thanks for not giving up. I add ‘The Woman in Black.’ I couldn’t read it at night. Classically scary and well crafted.

  59. Anything by John Bellairs, my go-to guy for spooky juvenile horror. Especially The House With a Clock in its Walls, The Spell of the Sorcerer’s Skull, The Drum the Doll and the Zombie, The Lamp From the Warlock’s Tomb, and The Doom of the Haunted Opera.

    So much better than anything by that cheesy RL Stine!

    • I’ve not read any Bellairs, but now I want to. Maybe I’ll start with “The House With a Clock in its Walls.” I’ll read a few and pick one or two to add to the list. Thanks, William!

  60. This is an inspirational interview and piece.
    I especially appreciate it being about poetry.
    The next generation of modern poets cater to self-care and inspiring pieces as well as prose and sonnets. I believe we can bridge the chasm to the classics as well.
    Kindly,
    Artemis Skye McNeil

  61. Great interview by a practicing poet who reaches for a large audience. We at Bottom Dog Press are proud to have published her and her work. She’s great to work with as well–open and wise.

  62. loved this article. I am desperately searching for writing groups especially for poets its a dieing art to make things rhyme. any suggestions on where to turn might be helpful. I have a gift and everyone loves me work but where do I turn when it seems like there is absolutely no where to go?

  63. I just read your muskrat poem. Not only do I love it, I’ve had an opportunity to use the comeback.

    I live in Ecuador. The main delicacy of the area is cuy. Someone from the States asked if I’d eaten it. As with the women in the poem, this woman asked what it tasted like. Actually, she asked if it tasted like chicken. “No,” said I, “it tasted a lot more like squirrel.” It really was great fun, especially since it’s true.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your work.

    • Hi Linda, yes! I’m working on some new poet interviews that will feature poems from those artists. Also, starting Friday will be a new weekly email that will contain a hand-picked poem. Thank you for your support!