The Writer's Almanac
|'The Writer's Almanac'|
|Hosted by||Garrison Keillor|
|Original release||1993 – 2017|
The Writer's Almanac was a daily radio and on-line program and podcast of poetry and historical interest pieces, usually of literary significance. Begun in 1993, it was hosted by Garrison Keillor and was produced and distributed by American Public Media. Program sponsors included, among others, The Poetry Foundation (using funds from a large bequest from philanthropist Ruth Lilly), publisher of Poetry Magazine and The Mosaic Foundation of Rita and Peter Heydon.
Each program was five minutes long and began with the phrase "And here is the Writer's Almanac..." Each daily program included vignettes about authors and other noteworthy people whose birthdays or significant events coincided with the date of the particular program, as well as excerpts of important events in history. The program continued with one or more poems usually chosen by Keillor, and ended with Keillor's traditional sign-off, "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch." The program's theme music was a version of the Swedish song "Ge mig en dag", performed by Richard Dworsky on the piano. Earlier, the show's original theme music was from Antonín Dvořák's Slavonic Dance, Op. 72, No. 8.
Usually recorded two to three weeks in advance, Keillor typically recorded an entire week of programs at one time. Written by Betsy Allister, Joy Biles, Priscilla Kinter, Heather McPherson, and Holly Vanderhaar, the program was engineered and edited by Thomas Scheuzger, Noah Smith, and Sam Hudson. Production assistance was by Kathy Roach and Katrina Cicala.
In 2005 the program was briefly cancelled by Kentucky public radio station WUKY due to concerns about purportedly indecent content in some of the poems read on the program. The station reinstated the program after receiving an "outpouring of support" for the show. This program was distributed in APM's Classical 24 stream and a large percentage of stations that carry it air all or mostly Classical Music during other times.
On November 29, 2017, after allegations of his inappropriate behavior between Keillor and an individual who worked with him, Minnesota Public Radio terminated its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies. This effectively ended the distribution and broadcast of The Writer's Almanac and rebroadcasts of The Best of A Prairie Home Companion hosted by Keillor.
References[edit | edit source]
- Marcia Songer, Garrison Keillor: A Critical Companion (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000), ISBN 978-0313302305, p. 11. Excerpts available at Google Books.
- David Kipen, "Flat, Slow and Fetching", Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1993.
- "Eli Lilly heiress Ruth Lilly dies at 94", USA Today, December 31, 2009.
- "Everything Prairie Home: Richard Dworsky Prairie Home Companion Discography". Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- Joel Topcik, "Arts, Briefly: Keillor Uncensored", The New York Times, August 15, 2005.
- "Kentucky Station Reinstates Keillor Show After Fan Outcry", Associated Press in Kentucky New Era, August 16, 2005.
- Angie Andresen, "Statement from Minnesota Public Radio Regarding Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion", Minnesota Public Radio, November 29, 2017.
[edit | edit source]
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