About ten years ago, while pretending to get computerized, I started collecting literary birthdays and publication dates for my stepdaughter, who was teaching high school English at the time. Cutting and pasting, editing and adding dates and so on, were supposed to help me learn word processing. Obviously, that is still a work in progress. And so is the calendar, which I’ve kept nibbling at all this time, though I’m not entirely sure why — as an obsessive way to avoid real work, perhaps. Along the way, I’ve also incorporated birthdays and such for songwriters and scientists, and bits of poems, proverbs, song lyrics, and quotes in some way associated with a certain month or season, at least in my mind. Someday, I may learn to upload relevant portraits and illustrations. Someday, proper layout and formatting, with quotes and poems nicely indented, authors’ names highlighted, days of the month in a larger font, and other glitzy features may even happen. A fully searchable data base for all this stuff would be great too, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m having fun adding Youtube videos though, with some good ones here if the links keep working. In fairness to readers I should wait until this is more presentable before posting it, but realistically I may never live that long! Ready or not, here’s what I’ve got.
– LLF, 26 December, 2011
… July, she will fly
And give no warning to her flight …
– The first volume of Denis Diderot’s massive Encyclopédie is published in Paris in 1751.
– George Sand (aka Aurore Dudevant) French novelist 1804-1876
– William Strunk Jr. Cincinnati-born academic, editor; The Elements of Style (1918) 1869-1946
– James M. [Mallahan] Cain Annapolis-born journalist, mystery novelist; The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity (1943) 1892-1977
– Walter [Francis] White Georgia-born Harlem Renaissance novelist, essayist, political activist 1893-1955
– Uncle Tom’s Cabin author Harriet Beecher Stowe dies in 1896.
– Irna Phillips Chicago-born pioneering soap opera writer; ; The Guiding Light 1903-1973
– Juan Carlos Onetti Uruguay-born Spanish novelist, short-story writer 1909-1994
– Jean Stafford California-born novelist, short story writer; Pulitzer 1915-1974
– Hermann Hesse German-Swiss novelist, poet; 1923 Nobel, lyrical, mystical, symbolic novels Siddhartha (1922), Magister Ludi (1943) 1877-1962
– Wislawa Szymborska Polish poet; 1996 Nobel 1923-2012
– Francis Wyndham London-born novelist; wrote of wartime Britain 1924-
– Ed Bullins (aka Kingsley B. Bass, Jr.) Philadelphia-born playwright, ‘Minister of Culture’ for the Black Panthers 1935-
– A Farewell to Arms author Ernest Hemingway dies by suicide in 1961.
– Charlotte Perkins Gilman Connecticut-born feminist theorist, sociologist, essayist, lecturer; The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) 1860-1935
– George M. [Michael] Cohan Rhode Island-born playwright, Broadway producer, lyricist; “Give My Regards to Broadway”, “You’re a Grand Old Flag”, “Over There” 1878-1942
– Franz Kafka Czech writer, whose novels were published posthumously, against his wishes;The Trial (1925), The Castle (1926) 1883-1924
– Francis Steegmuller Connecticut-born Flaubert scholar, biographer, translator, fiction writer 1906-1994
– M. F. K [Mary Frances Kennedy] Fisher Michigan-born eminent food writer 1908-1992
– Elizabeth [Coles] Taylor English novelist, short story writer 1912-1975
– Ashley F. Bryan New York City-born folklorist, children’s author, illustrator 1923-
– Tom Stoppard [born Tomáš Straüssler] Czech-born British playwright; Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1966) 1937-
– Dave [David] Barry New York-born humorist, Miami Herald columnist; Pulitzer 1947-
— Christian Gellert German poet, novelist 1715-1769
– Nathaniel Hawthorne Salem Massachusettsborn novelist, short story writer; The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of the Seven Gables (1851) 1804-1864
– Stephen C. [Collins] Foster Pittsburg-born popular song writer; “Oh! Susanna” (1848), “My Old Kentucky Home” (1853) 1826-1864
– Fifty years after their work together drafting the Declaration of Independence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson die on the same day in 1826.
– Henry David Thoreau moves to Walden Pond in Concord Massachusetts in 1847.
– Walt Whitman’s poem “Leaves of Grass” is published in 1855.
– Mao Dun (aka Shen Yan-bing, Shen Dehong) Chinese novelist, editor, government official, cultural critic 1896-1981
– Lionel Trilling New York City-born literary critic, essayist 1905-1975
– [Marvin] Neil Simon New York City-born comedic playwright; The Odd Couple 1927-
– Ted [Theodore] Joans Illinois-born poet, jazz trumpeter, surrealist painter 1928-2003
– Poet John Crowe Ransom dies in Ohio in 1974.
July 4. Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.
– Mark Twain
– George Borrow English linguist, travel writer 1803-1881
– Jean Cocteau French writer, artist, filmmaker 1889-1963
– Naomi Long Madgett Virginia-born poet, educator,, publisher 1925-
– Verner von Heidenstam Swedish poet, novelist 1859-1940
– Eino Leino Finnish poet, playwright, novelist 1878-1926
– Bessie [Amalia Emery] Head South Africa-born Botswanian novelist, short story writer 1937-1986
– Paul McCartney meets John Lennon, leading in time to their forming the Beatles, in 1957.
– Novelist William Faulkner dies in Mississippi in 1962.
– Jan Neruda Czech writer, poet of Czech Realism school 1834-1891
– Miroslav Krleza Croatian-Yugoslav prolific novelist, poet, essayist, short-story writer, playwright 1893-1981
– Robert A. [Ansen] Heinlein Missouri-born engineer, science-fiction writer; Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), Hugo for The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1966) 1907-1988
– Harriette [Simpson] Arnow Kentucky-born novelist of Appalachian migrants’ experience; The Dollmaker (1954) 19081986
– Margaret [Abigail] Walker Alabama-born poet, novelist 1915-1998
– David McCullough Pittsburgh-born historian; NBA for The Path Between the Seas (1977), Pulitzers for Truman (1992), John Adams (2001) 1933-
– Jean de La Fontaine French prolific poet, writer; 12 volume Fables (1668-1694) 1621-1695
– Fitz-Greene Halleck Connecticut-born satirical poet; member Knickerbocker Group 1790-1867
– English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley dies in Greece in 1822.
– Alec [Alexander Raban] Waugh English novelist, Evelyn Waugh’s older brother; Island in the Sun 1898-1981
– Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Zurich-born US psychiatrist, author; On Death and Dying 1926-2004
– Shirley Ann Grau New Orleans-born Southern novelist, short-story writer; Pulitzer 1929-
– Anna Quindlen Philadelphia-born columnist, novelist 1953-
– Dorothy Thompson New York-born journalist; first journalist expelled from Germany by the Nazis 1894-1961
– Barbara Cartland (born Mary Barbara Hamilton McCorquodale) English prolific romance novelist; wrote over 600 books 1901-2000
– Oliver [Wolf] Sacks London-born neurologist, author; Awakenings 1933-
– June [Millicent] Jordan (aka June Meyer) Harlem-born poet, novelist, children’s author, essayist 1936-2002
– Dean [Ray] Koontz Pennsylvania-born thriller/horror writer 1945-
– Frederick Marryat London-born naval officer, adventure novelist 1792-1848
– Marcel Proust French novelist, eccentric, stream-of-consciousness pioneer; A La Recherche du Temps Perdu/Remembrance of Things Past 1871-1922
– Jean Kerr Pennsylvania-born playwright, novelist, wife of critic Walter Kerr; Please Don’t Eat the Daisies 1922-2003
– Alice [Ann] Munro Canadian short story writer; 2013 Nobel 1931-
– Arlo Guthrie New York-born folk guitarist, singer, songwriter, son of Woody Guthrie; “Alice’s Restaurant” 1947-
Summer has set in, with its usual severity.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge
– Robert Greene English dramatist 1558-1592
– Susan Bogert Warner New York City-born popular religious novelist; first US author to sell a million copies of one book 1819-1885
– E.B. [Elwyn Brooks] White New York-born writer, editor; revised Strunk’s The Elements of Style; Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, 1899-1985
– Harold Bloom New York City-born literary critic 1930-
– Composer George Gershwin dies in 1937.
– Laurel Thatcher Ulrich Idaho-born historian; Pulitzer for A Midwife’s Tale (1991) 1938-
– Harper Lee’s splendid novel To Kill a Mockingbird is published in 1960.
– Julius Caesar Roman political leader, soldier, author; The Gallic Wars 100-44 BCE [death by assassination]
– Henry David Thoreau Massachusetts-born writer, Transcendentalist; Walden, On Civil Disobedience 1817-1862
– Lucy Fitch Perkins Indiana-born children’s author, illustrator; international “twins” series 1865-1937
– Stefan [Anton] George German lyric poet, translator 1868-1933
– Oscar Hammerstein II Pennsylvania-born musical comedy lyricist; collaborator on Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, The Sound of Music 1895-1960
– Pablo Neruda (born Neftalí Ricardo Reyes) Chilean politician, poet; 1971 Nobel 1904-1973 [death possibly caused or hastened by Pinochet’s takeover]
– Doris Grumbach New York City-born novelist, essayist, memoirist 1918-
– Donald E. [Edwin] Westlake Brooklyn-born mystery writer 1933-2008
– Christine McVie (born Christine Anne Perfect) English rock musician, singer, songwriter, Fleetwood Mac member; “Prove Your Love” 1943-
– John Clare English “peasant” poet 1793-1864
– Isaak Babel Russian short story writer, journalist, playwright; story collection Red Cavalry (1924) 1894-1940 [executed in Stalin’s purge]
– David Storey English novelist, playwright; The Changing Room 1933-
– Wole Soyinka Nigerian dramatist, poet, novelist; 1986 Nobel 1934-
– Paul Prudhomme Louisiana-born Cajun chef, cookbook author; Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen (1984) 1940-2015
– [James] Roger McGuinn Chicago-born folk-country-rock musician, singer, songwriter, Byrds founding member 1942-
– Cameron Crowe California-born journalist, screenwriter; Jerry Maguire(1986), Almost Famous (2000) 1957-
– South African Nobel winner and anti-apartheid activist Nadine Gordimer dies in 2014.
– Owen Wister Pennsylvania-born Western writer; The Virginian (1902) 1860-1938
– Irving Stone [Tannenbaum] San Francisco-born biographical novelist; Lust for Life (1934), The Agony and the Exstacy (1961) 1903-1989
– Woody [Woodrow Wilson] Guthrie Oklahoma-born folk singer, songwriter; “This Land Is Your Land”, “I Ain’t Got No Home” 1912-1967
– Natalia [Levi] Ginzburg Italian novelist 1916-1991
– Arthur Laurents Brooklyn-born playwright; West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959) 1918-2011
– Clement Clarke Moore New York City-born scholar, author; “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” 1779-1863
– “La Marseillaise” is officially adopted as the French national anthem in 1795.
– Thomas Bulfinch Massachusetts-born historian, mythologist 1796-1867
– Russian playwright and short-story master Anton Chekhov dies in 1904.
– Dorothy Fields New Jersey-born prolific Broadway lyricist; “On the Sunny Side of the Street”, “The Way You Look Tonight” (1935) 1905-1974
– [Ralph] Hammond Innes Sussex-born adventure, children’s writer 1913-1998
– [Jean] Iris Murdoch Irish-boern British philosopher, novelist; Under the Net (1954) 1919-1999
– Driss Chraïbi Moroccan French-language novelist; father of modern Moroccan novel 1926-2007
– Ann Jellicoe English playwright 1927-
The English winter–ending in July,
To recommence in August.
– Lord Byron
– Lauri Pohjanpää (aka Lauri Nordqvist) Finnish memoirist, poet of fable poems, , novelist 1889-1962
– Mari Evans Ohio-born poet, essayist, dramatist, TV producer; “Who Can Be Born Black?” 1923-
– Anita Brookner British novelist, art historian 1928-
– Reinaldo Arenas Cuban dissident, novelist 1943-1990 [death by suicide]
– J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye is published in 1951.
– S. Y. [Shmuel Yosef] Agnon Ukraine-born Israeli novelist; 1966 Nobel 1888-1970
– Erle Stanley Gardner Massachusetts-born attorney, mystery writer; Perry Mason series 1889-1970
– Christina Stead Australian satirical novelist, short story writer; The Man Who Loved Children 1902-1983
– Christiane Rochefort Paris-born short-story writer, essayist, novelist, feminist, social critic 1917-1998
– Erwin Knoll Vienna-born US journalist; editor of The Progressive 1931-1994
– William Makepeace Thackeray English novelist; Vanity Fair 1811-1863
– Pride and Prejudice author novelist Jane Austen dies in 1817.
– Tristan Corbiere (born Edouard Joachim Corbiere) French poet; precursor of surrealist, symbolist movements 1845-1875
– Nathalie Sarraute (aka Nathalie Ilyanova Tcherniak) Russian-born French novelist, literary critic, ‘nouveau roman’ theorist 1900-1999
– [Mary] Jessamyn West Indiana-born Quaker, novelist; The Friendly Persuasion (1945) 1902-1984
– S.I. [Samuel Ichiye] Hayakawa Canada-born educator, writer, US senator 1906-1992
– Clifford Odets Philadelphia-born socialist activist, playwright; Waiting for Lefty 1906-1963
– Labor activist and songwriter Joe Hill is sentenced to death for a Utah murder in 1914.
– Adolf Hitler publishes Mein Kampf in 1925.
– Yevgeny [Aleksandrovich] Yevtushenko Russian poet; “Baba Yar” 1933-
– Hunter S. [Stockton] Thompson Louisville-born journalist, author; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 1937-2005 [death by suicide]
– Dion [Francis] DiMucci Bronx-born pop singer, songwriter; co-wrote “Runaround Sue”, confessional “Your Own Back Yard” 1939-
– Italian poet Petrarch dies in 1374.
– Gottfried Keller Swiss German-language writer; realistic novel Green Henry 1819-1890
– Transcendentalist writer Margaret Fuller dies in a shipwreck off Fire Island, New York in 1850.
– Alice [Moore] Dunbar Nelson New Orleans-born poet, essayist, short story writer 1875-1935
– Vladimir [Vladimirovich] Mayakovsky Soviet Georgian poet 1893-1930
– A. J. [Archibald Joseph] Cronin Scottish physician, novelist; The Citadel, Shining Victory 1896-1981
– Stephen Coonts West Virginia-born suspense novelist 1946-
– Denise Gess Philadelphia-born novelist, columnist 1952-2009
– Jayne Anne Phillips West Virginia-born short-story writer, novelist 1952-
– Petrarch (born Francesco Petrarca) Italian scholar, humanist, poet, 1304-1374
– Gregor [Johann] Mendel Austrian Empire-born Czech monk, father of modern genetics; treatise “Experiments on Plant Hybridization” (1866) 1822-1884
– Erik [Axel] Karlfeldt Swedish poet; 1931 Nobel 1864-1931
– Mark Twain’s novel The Innocents Abroad is published in 1869.
– Frantz Fanon Martinique-born psychiatrist, anti-colonialist philosopher, writer; The Wretched of the Earth (1961) 1925-1961
– Cormac [Charles] McCarthy Rhode Island-born novelist 1933-
– Henry L. Dumas Arkansas-born novelist, short story writer, poet 1934-1968
– Alistair MacLeod Canadian academic, novelist, short story writer of Cape Breton life; novel No Great Mischief (1999) 1936-2014
Winter is cold-hearted,
Spring is yea and nay,
Autumn is a weather cock
Blown every way.
Summer days for me
When every leaf is on its tree.
– Poet Robert Burns dies in 1796.
– Frances Parkinson Keyes Virginia-born journalist, religious novelist 1885-1970
– [Harold] Hart Crane Ohio-born poet; The Bridge (1930) 1899-1932 (died after leaping from a ship in the Gulf of Mexico]
– Ernest [Miller] Hemingway Illinois-born novelist, short-story writer; A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), Pulitzer for The Old Man and the Sea (1953), 1954 Nobel 1899-1961 [death by suicide]
– Joseph [Otto] Kesselring New York City-born writer, playwright; Arsenic and Old Lace (1939) 1902-1967
– Yrjö Jylhä Finnish poet, translator 1903-1956
– Marshall McLuhan Canadian media analyst, communications theorist 1911-1980
– Mohammed Dib Algerian-born French-language novelist, short story writer, poet; trilogy Algérie (1952-1954) 1920-2003
– John [Champlin] Gardner New York-born academic, literary critic, novelist; Grendel 1933-1982
– Tess Gallagher Washington-born poet 1943-
– Buchi Emecheta Nigerian novelist, children’s author; she divorced her husband after he read and burned her first novel 1944-
– Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) London-born folk/rock musician, singer, songwriter; “Wild World”, “Moon Shadow” 1948-
– Emma Lazarus New York City-born poet; her sonnet “The New Colossus” is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty 1849-1887
– Hella Maria Wuolijoki (born Murrik, aka Juhani Tervapää) Estonian-born Finnish writer, playwright, Marxist 1886-1954
– Stephen Vincent Benet Pennsylvania-born poet; Pulitzer for John Brown’s Body (1928) 1898-1943
– Mark McGarrity (aka Bartholomew Gill) Massachusetts-born mystery writer 1943-2002
– Carolivia Herron Washington DC-born novelist, children’s writer 1947-
– David Shields Los Angeles-born novelist; comic novel Dead Languages (1989) 1956-
– Poet Carl Sandburg dies in North Carolina in 1967.
– Henry David Thoreau is jailed for refusing to pay his poll tax in 1846.
– Raymond [Thornton] Chandler Chicago-born mystery writer; Philip Marlowe novels, The Big Sleep (1939), The Little Sister (1949) 1888-1959
– Hubert Selby, Jr. Brooklyn-born violent novelist; Last Exit to Brooklyn 1928-2004
– John [Treadwell] Nichols California-born novelist; The Sterile Cuckoo, The Milagro Beanfield War 1940-
– Nancy Mairs California-born poet, autobiographical essayist 1943-
– Lisa Alther Tennessee-born novelist; Kinflicks (1976) 1944-
– Lynn Lauber Ohio-born short story writer 1953-
– Writer Eudora Welty dies in 2001.
– Alexandre Dumas pere (born Davy de la Pailleterie Dumas) French novelist; The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo 1802-1870
– Henrik Pontoppidan Danish realist writer; 1917 Nobel 1857-1943
– Lord Dunsany (born Edward John Moreton Crax Plunkett) Irish poet, dramatist 1878-1957
– Junichiro Tanizaki Japanese novelist; pre-war family saga Makioka Sisters (1943-48) 1886-1965
– Robert Graves London-born poet, novelist 1895-1985
– Zelda Fitzgerald Alabama-born writer, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald 1900-1948
– John D. [Dann] MacDonald Pennsylvania-born mystery writer; Travis McGee series 1916-1986
– English poet and critic Samuel Taylor Coleridge dies in 1834.
– Josephine Tey (born Elizabeth Mackintosh) Scottish playwright, mystery novelist; The Daughter of Time (1951) 1896-1952
– Elias Canetti Bulgaria-born German-language British/Swiss novelist, playwright; 1981 Nobel 1905-1994
– Midge Decter Minnesota-born liberal turned neoconservative writer; The Liberated Woman and Other Americans (1970) 1927-
– David Madden Tennessee-born poet, novelist, playwright, short story writer 1933-
– Robyn Carr Minnesota-born historical novelist; Virgin River series 1951-
– Bob Dylan goes electric at the Newport Folk Festival, playing a set with a rock band – thus outraging acoustic folk purists in 1965.
– George Bernard Shaw Irish critic, playwright; Major Barbara (1905), Androcles and the Lion (1912), Pygmalion (1913), Saint Joan (1923); 1925 Nobel 1856-1950
– Aldous [Leonard] Huxley English novelist, essayist; Brave New World (1932) 1894-1963
– James Lovelock English scientist, inventor, NASA consultant, author; Gaia: a New Look at Life on Earth (1972) 1919-
– Chairil Anwar Sumatra-born influential Indonesian poet 1922-1949
– Mick [Michael Philip] Jagger London-born rock singer, songwriter, Rolling Stones founding member; “Midnight Rambler”, “Sympathy for the Devil” 1943-
– Lawrence Watt-Evans Massachusetts-born science-fiction writer 1954-
Hot July brings cooling showers,
apricots, and gillyflowers.
– Sara Coleridge
– Giosuè Carducci Italian poet, critic; national poet of modern Italy, 1906 Nobel 1835-1907
– [Joseph] Hilaire [Pierre] Belloc Anglo-French poet, essayist, historian, satirist, novelist; nonsense verse The Bad Child’s Book of Beasts (1896) 1870-1953
– Elizabeth Hardwick Kentucky-born novelist, essayist 1916-2007
– Stephen W. [Ward] Sears Ohio-born Civil War historian; Landscape Turned Red (1983) 1932-
– Expatriate American writer Gertrude Stein dies in Paris in 1946.
– John Gorka New Jersey-born singer-songwriter, guitarist; ‘Branching Out’, ‘Italian Girls’ 1958-
– Gerard Manley Hopkins English Catholic convert, poet 1844-1889
– [Helen] Beatrix Potter English socialist, children’s author, illustrator; Peter Rabbit 1866-1943
– Kenneth Fearing Illinois-born poet, novelist, Partisan Review founder-editor 1902-1961
– [Clarence] Malcolm Lowry English novelist, short story writer, poet; Under the Volcano (1947 1909-1957
– John [Lawrence] Ashbery New York-born poet; Pulitzer 1927-
– Alexis de Tocqueville French political theorist, writer; Democracy in America (1835) 1805-1859
– Booth Tarkington Indianapolis-born novelist; The Magnificent Ambersons 1869-1946
– Don [Donald Robert Perry] Marquis Illinois-born journalist, poet; Archie and Mehitabel stories 1878-1937
– Eyvind Johnson Swedish novelist; 1974 Nobel 1900-1976
– Stanley [Jasspon] Kunitz Massachusetts-born poet; Pulitzer, NBA 1905-2006
– Chester Himes Missouri-born mystery novelist; Harlem-based detective series 1909-1984
– Victor Mulisch Dutch novelist, playwright; focused on war, the Holocaust 1927-2010
– Chang-rae Lee South Korean-born US novelist; Native Speaker (1995) 1965-
– Giorgio Vasari Italian painter, architect, author; The Lives of the Artists 1511-1574
– Emily [Jane] Bronte English novelist; Wuthering Heights (1847) 1818-1848
– Thorstein [Bunde] Veblen Wisconsin-born sociologist, economist, writer; Theory of the Leisure Class, Higher Learning in America 1857-1929
– Poet Joyce Kilmer is killed in the World War I battle of Ourcq in 1918.
– Jose Antonio Villarreal Los Angeles-born novelist, early books of chicano life; Pacho (1959) 1924-2010
– The first Penguin paperback book is published in 1935.
– Buddy [George] Guy Louisiana-born electric blues guitarist, songwriter 1936-
– L. A. [Larry Alan] Morse Indiana-born mystery writer 1945-
– Archer Mayor New York-born mystery writer 1950
– Brett Halliday (aka Davis Dresser) Chicago born prolific mystery writer 1904-1977
– Primo Levi Italian chemist, Holocaust survivor, writer If This Is a Man (1947) 1919-1987
– Susan Cheever New York City-born novelist, short story writer, memoirist, novelist John Cheever’s daughter; Note Found in a Bottle 1943-
– Steven Womack Nashville-born mystery writer 1952-
– J.K. [Joanne Kathleen] Rowling English children’s author; Harry Potter series 1965-
– Novelist and social critic Gore Vidal dies in 2012.