Stepping Into the Void Left by “The Writer’s Almanac”
Update from Nick: The first six months of 2018 were quite a ride. With little promotion, people found Bidwell Hollow. And they responded to it. It was clear early on that Bidwell Hollow filled a need people had for interesting, literary-based content.
But running a daily blog and podcast is a lot of work. Then, “The Writer’s Almanac” came back in May of 2018. Not wanting to compete directly with a living legend, I made the tough decision to stop producing the original version of Bidwell Hollow.
Still, I kept working, researching and thinking. What should I do with Bidwell Hollow?
Once I honed in on an idea, I did more research, planning, and then building.
And now I’m ready to tell you that Bidwell Hollow will become a weekly podcast telling seldom-told stories about notable writers and poets. If you want to learn more, including how you can listen to Bidwell Hollow, head on over to our About page.
The best way to stay connected to Bidwell Hollow is to subscribe to our weekly newsletter. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll give us a listen!
When on Nov. 29, 2017, Minnesota Public Radio terminated its contracts with “The Writer’s Almanac’s” Garrison Keillor, many of us lost something we relied on daily. We lost a source of inspiration.
The reasons and justifications for ending of “The Writer’s Almanac” are not for me to discuss. I couldn’t be further removed from the events that led to “The Writer’s Almanac” ending than if I were a leaf floating on the sea.
What I do know is that I relied on the Almanac to trigger my creativity. “The Writer’s Almanac” was often the first thing I read each day. It served as a spark for my writing and other artistic endeavors.
Without the Almanac I’ve been in a creative desert, and I’ve been searching for a replacement.
Searching for “The Writer’s Almanac” Replacement
First, I searched online. I found places publishing daily poems. I found lists of writers’ and other creators’ birthdays. I found “today in history” blog posts. But nowhere did I find a blog that combined these elements.
And I waited for someone else to start a replacement for “The Writer’s Almanac.” A lot of people loved the Almanac. Surely someone will pick up the mantle, I thought.
This was happening while I was trying to figure out what to do with a website and company I started earlier this year, Bidwell Hollow, LLC. I formed the company in case I ever did any consulting work. And, just in case, I purchased BidwellHollow.com.
But I decided I didn’t want to do any consulting work, so what should I do with this company and its website?
Then one day these two paths intersected. Instead of waiting for someone else to do something, I would be the one to try and give others something that inspires, as “The Writer’s Almanac” once inspired me.
Stepping Into the Void
And so, Bidwell Hollow will begin publishing daily blog posts on Jan. 1, 2018. You can subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss it. And you can get a taste of what’s to come by following Bidwell Hollow on Facebook and Twitter.
Our blog format will be familiar to those who knew “The Writer’s Almanac.” There will be a daily poem, followed by the stories behind some of the world’s greatest creators. But there will also be some elements unique to Bidwell Hollow that we think augments our mission of inspiring creativity in others.
Starting out, the daily poems will be pulled from what’s available in public domain while we work on securing rights to other work. After all, we recognize that Bidwell Hollow can be a platform for artists.
There are other ideas we’re considering for our future, but we’re going to walk before we run. And we take our first step on Jan. 1. Come walk with us.
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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.
Nicholas E. Barron
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!
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.
Nicholas E. Barron
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.
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?
Morgan Freeman, perhaps?
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!
Nicholas E. Barron
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.
Just found you today Thank You. Looking forward to the journey ahead with you.
Loved the Almanac. Thank You again
Nicholas E. Barron
Hi Linda, thanks for reading. Hope I can give you a little something to enjoy.
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
How hard would it be for you to get out to Boulder?
Susan Ping Wong
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
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.
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!
Would we need permission to repost?
Susan Ping Wong
Thanks, Lara, for asking if we need permission to repost. We wondered that, too.
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.
Hi, Everyone. The Writer’s Almanac Archives are back!
Somebody finally came to their senses.
Thanks, Nick, for keeping up the excellent new work of Bidwell Hollow!