Literary June

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


… June, she’ll change her tune,
In restless walks she’ll prowl the night …

– William Wilfred Campbell Canadian lyric poet 1860-1918
– John Masefield English poet; British Poet Laureate, Sea Fever 1878-1967

– Christopher Lasch Nebraska-born historian, writer 1889-1963
– Colleen McCullough Australian novelist; The Thorn Birds (1977) 1937-
– Tom Robinson English broadcaster, musician, singer, songwriter; “2 4 6 8 Motorway”, “Grey Cortina” 1950-

– Marquis de Sade (aka Comte Donatien-Alphonse-Fransois de Sade) French author; tried to justify cruelty–we derived the word sadism from his name 1740-1814
– Thomas Hardy English novelist, poet; Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891) 1840-1928

– Karl Gjellerup Danish poet, novelist; 1917 Nobel 1857-1919
– Dorothy West Boston-born short-story writer, novelist, publisher; ran Harlem Renaissance journal Challenge 1907-1998
– Barbara Pym English comic and mystery novelist; Quartet in Autumn 1913-1980
– Carol [Ann] Shields Illinois-born Canadian novelist; 1993 Pulitzer for The Stone Diaries 1935-2003
– Playwright George S. Kaufman dies in 1961.

– Czech writer Franz Kafka dies in 1924.
-[Irwin] Allen Ginsberg New Jersey-born Beat poet; “Howl” (1956) 1926-1997

– Larry McMurtry Texas-born novelist; The Last Picture Show (1966), Terms of Endearment (1975), Pulitzer for Lonesome Dove (1985), Oscar for Broke Back Mountain screenplay 1936-

– Ian Hunter [Patterson] English rock singer, songwriter; “Second Love” 1939-

– Jacques Roumain Haitian poet, novelist, short story writer 1907-1944
– Robert [Woodruff] Anderson New York City-born playwright, screenwriter, novelist; Tea and Sympathy (1953) 1917-
– The first Pulitzer Prizes are awarded in 1917.
– Robert [Lee] Fulghum Texas-born essayist; All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1986) 1937-

– John Maynard Keynes English economist; The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936) 1883-1946
– Ivy Compton-Burnett English novelist 1884-1969
– Federico Garcia Lorca Andalusian poet, dramatist 1898-1936 (executed during Spanish civil war)
– Short story writer O’Henry dies in 1910.
– Richard [McClure] Scarry Boston-born children’s author, illustrator; What Do People Do All Day (1968), Busytown books 1919-1994
– Christy Brown Irish poet, painter, novelist 1932-1981
-Bill Moyers Oklahoma-born journalist, presidential press secretary, activist 1934-

– Margaret Drabble English novelist 1939-
– David Hare British playwright, director; Plenty (1978), Pravda (1985) 1947-

– Ken [Kenneth Martin] Follett Welsh novelist 1949-
– Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury dies in 2012.

– Pierre Corneille French playwright; “father of French tragedy,”, El Cid (1636 or 1637) 1606-1684
– [Alexandr Sergeyevich] Pushkin Russian national poet; “Boris Godunov” (1825), “Eugene Onegin” (1831) 1799-1837 [killed in a duel — new calendar birth date]

– [James Morrison] Steele MacKaye Buffalo-born playwright, actor, theatre manager 1842-1894
– [Paul] Thomas Mann Czech-born German novelist; Death in Venice (1912), The Magic Mountain (1924), 1929 Nobel 1875-1955
– Maxine Kumin Philadelphia-born poet, novelist, children’s author; poetry Pulitzer 1925-

– George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four is published in 1949.

– Cynthia Rylant west Virginia-born children’s author 1954-

It is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes,
And pleasant scents the noses.

– Nathaniel Parker Willis

– R. D. [Richard Dodderidge] Blackmore English novelist; Lorna Doone (1869) 1825-1900
– Elizabeth Bowen Irish novelist, short story writer 1899-1973
– Gwendolyn [Elizabeth] Brooks Kansas-born poet; Pulitzer for Annie Allen (1949) 1917-2000

– Harry [Eugene] Crews Georgia-born gritty novelist; A Feast of Snakes (1976) 1935-2012
– Nikki [Yolande Cornelia] Giovanni Tennessee-born poet, civil rights activist 1943-

– [Karen] Louise Erdrich Minnesota-born novelist; Love Medicine 1954-

– Witty New Yorker writer Dorothy Parker dies in 1967.
– Novelist Henry Miller dies in 1980.

– Islam’s founder, prophet and Qur’an author Muhammad dies in Medina in 632.
– Thomas Paine dies in poverty in a New York City lodging house in 1809.

– Charles Reade English dramatist, novelist; The Cloister and the Hearth 1814-1884
– Marguerite Yourcenar Belgian-born author; Memoirs of Hadrian 1903-1987
– Harvey Sachs Cleveland-born classical music historian, biographer; The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824 (2010) 1946-
– Sara Paretsky Kansas-born mystery writer; Chicago-based V. I. Warshawski series 1947-

– John Howard Payne New York City-born actor, playwright, poet; lyrics for “Home Sweet Home” (1822) 1791-1852
– Bertha von Suttner Austrian novelist, peace activist 1843-1914
– Novelist Charles Dickens dies in 1870.
– Cole [Albert] Porter Indiana-born composer, lyricist; “From This Moment On”, “I Get a Kick Out of You”, “Just One of Those Things”, “Night and Day” 1891-1964

– S. N. [Samuel Nathaniel] Behrman Massachusetts-born playwright 1893-1973
– Joe [William] Haldeman Oklahoma City-born science fiction writer; stories Infinite Dreams (1978), Dealing in Futures (1985); Hugo, Nebula awards for The Forever War (1975) 1943-

– Patricia Cornwell Miami-born mystery novelist; medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta series 1956-

– Immanuel Velikovsky Russian-born historian; wildly speculative Worlds in Collision (1950) 1895-1979
– Terence Rattigan English playwright; The Browning Version (1948) 1911-1977
– Saul [Solomon] Bellow Canadian-born US author; Pulitzer for Humboldt’s Gift (1975), 1976 Nobel 1915-2005
– Maurice [Bernard] Sendak Brooklyn-born children’s author, illustrator; Caldecott for Where the Wild Things Are (1963) 1928-2012

– Great R&B and soul singer and pianist Ray Charles dies in 2004.

– Ben [Benjamin] Jonson English playwright, poet; comedies Volpone (1606), The Alchemist (1610) 1572-1637
– Bayard Taylor Pennsylvania-born journalist, novelist, poet 1825-1878
– Yasunari Kawabata Japanese novelist; 1968 Nobel 1899-1972 (death by suicide)
– Leopoldo Marechal Buenos Aires-born philosophical novelist, critic 1900-1970
– William [Clark] Styron Virginia-born novelist, essayist; The Confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie’s Choice 1925-2006
– Athol Fugard South African anti-apartheid activist, playwright; The Blood Knot (1961) 1932-

– Harriet Martineau English novelist, journalist 1802-1876
– Charles Kingsley English clergymen, novelist, poet, early evolution supporter; , children’s story The Water Babies (1863) 1819-1875
– Johanna Spyri Swiss author; Heidi (1881) 1829-1901

– Poet and editor William Cullen Bryant dies in 1878.
– Djuna Barnes New York-born poet, author, illustrator; Nightwood (1936) 1892-1982
– Anne Frank German-born Holocaust refugee, diarist 1929-1945 [death from typhus at Auschwitz]
– Rona Jaffe Brooklyn-born novelist; Mazes and Monsters (1981) 1932-2005
– Roy Harper English folk/rock guitarist, singer, songwriter; “Forever,” “Don’t You Weep” 1941-

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten

– James Russell Lowell

– Shakespeare’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew has its major London premiere in 1594.
– Frances Burney English novelist, diarist; created novel of manners 1752-1840
– William Butler Yeats Irish playwright, poet; 1923 Nobel 1865-1939

– Dorothy L. [Leigh] Sayers English mystery novelist; Peter Whimsey stories 1893-1957
– Mark Van Doren Illinois poet; Pulitzer for Collected Poems (1939) 1894-1972

– John Gibson Lockhart British lawyer, novelist, critic 1794-1854
– Harriet [Elizabeth] Beecher Stowe Connecticut-born abolitionist, novelist; Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) 1811-1896
– John Bartlett Massachusetts-born editor,; compiled Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations (1855) 1820-1905
– José Carlos Mariátegui Peruvian journalist, political essayist 1895-1930
– Ruthven Todd Scottish poet, editor, novelist 1914-1978
– Jerzy [Nicodem] Kosinski Polish-born US novelist, screenwriter; Being There (1979) 1933-1991 [death by suicide]
– John Edgar Wideman Washington DC-born novelist; PEN/Faulkner Awards for: Philadelphia Fire (1990), Sent For You Yesterday (1983) 1941-
– Renowned Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges dies in Switzerland in 1986.

– Thomas Randolph English poet, dramatist 1605-1635
– Jack Anderson Milwaukee-born poet, New York Times dance critic 1935-
– [James] Brian Jacques Liverpool-born children’s novelist; Redwall series 1939-2011

– John Cleveland English metaphysical poet 1613-1658
– Adam Smith Scottish economist; influential treatise The Wealth of Nations 17231790 [baptism date]
– On this day in 1904, James Joyce first meets his future wife Nora in Dublin, then uses the date and place as the setting for his 1922 novel Ulysses.
– John Howard Griffin Dallas-born photographer, author, civil rights activist;he chemically darkened his skin, traveled in the segregated South to see how he would then be treated; resulting in his account Black Like Me(1961) 1920-1980
– Isabelle Holland Swiss-born US young adult, Gothic mystery novelist 1920-2002
– Erich [Wolf] Segal Brooklyn-born author; Love Story (1970) 1937-2010
– Joyce Carol Oates New York-born essayist, novelist 1938-

– J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye is published in Boston in 1951.

– Everhardus Johannes Potgieter Dutch writer, poet 1808-1875
– Henry Lawson Australian short story, ballad writer 1867-1922
– James Weldon Johnson Florida-born poet, diplomat, anthologist 1871-1938
– James Cameron British foreign correspondent, travel writer 1911-1985
– John [Richard] Hersey China-born US novelist, journalist; Pulitzer for novel A Bell for Adano (1944), Hiroshima (1946) 1914-1993
– Peggy [Margaret] Seeger New York City-born folk musician, songwriter; “Gonna Be an Engineer” 1935-

– Ivan [Alexandrovich] Goncharov Russian satirical novelist, travel writer; Oblomov (1859) 1812-1891
– Alexander Balloch Grosart Scottish clergyman, editor 1827-1899
– Philip Barry New York-born dramatist; The Philadelphia Story (1939) 1896-1949

– Sammy Cahn (born Samuel Cohen) New York City-born Broadway, popular lyricist; “Time After Time”, “Until the Real Thing Comes Along”, “The Second Time Around” 1913-1993
– Sylvia Porter Long Island-born financial writer 1913-1991
– Gail [Kathleen] Godwin Alabama-born novelist 1937-
– [James] Paul McCartney English rock musician, singer, songwriter, Beatles founding member; “Yesterday” 1942-

– Chris Van Allsburg Michigan-born children’s book illustrator, writer; Caldicotts for Jumanji (1982), The Polar Express (1985) 1949-

O my luve’s like a red, red rose That’s newly sprung in June;
O my luve’s like the melodie That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

– Robert Burns

– Blaise Pascal French mathematician, philosopher; Les Pensees 1623-1662
– Laura Z. [Zametkin] Hobson New York City-born novelist; Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) 1900-1986
– Dazai Osamu Japanese writer; The Setting Sun (1947) 1909-1948 (death by suicide)
– Tom Buchan Scottish poet, playwright 1931-1995
– Peter Pan author J. M. Barrie dies in 1937.
– Tobias Wolff Alabama-born reporter, fiction writer 1945-
– [Ahmed] Salman Rushdie Bombay-born exiled Indian-British writer; Booker Prize for Midnight’s Children (1981), was under death fatwa for The Satanic Verses (1988) 1947-

– Nick [Nicholas Rodney] Drake Burma-born English folk/jazz guitarist, singer, songwriter; “From the Morning”, “Fruit Tree”, “Northern Sky” 1948-1974 [death by suicide or accidental overdose]

– Nicholas Rowe English poet, dramatist; Poet Laureate 1674-1718
– Anna [Latitia Aikin] Barbauld British writer, poet, editor 1743-1825
– Charles W. [Waddell] Chesnutt Cleveland-born novelist; 1928 Spingarn Medal 1858-1932
– Charlemae Hill Rollins Mississippi-born librarian, educator, biographer; fought blacks’ stereotyped portrayal in children’s literature 1897-1979
– Lillian Hellman New Orleans-born playwright; The Children’s Hour (1934), The Little Foxes (1939), Toys in the Attic (1960) 1905-1984

– Brian [Douglas] Wilson California-born rock musician, singer, songwriter, Beach Boys founding member; “California Girls” 1942-

– Vikram Seth Indian poet, novelist, travel writer 1952-

– William Edmonstoune Aytoun Scottish lawyer, poet, humourist 1813-1865
– Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis Brazilian novelist, short story writer 1839-1908
– Jean Paul Sartre French existentialist philosopher, author; No Exit (1944), declined 1964 Nobel 1905-1980
– Mary McCarthy Seattle-born novelist 1912-1989
– Ann Allen Shockley Kentucky-born librarian, novelist, journalist; portrayed difficulties of black lesbians 1927-
– Francoise Sagan (born Françoise Quoirez) French novelist, playwright, screenwriter 1935-2004
– Henry Taylor Virginia-born poet; 1986 Pulitzer 1942-
– Ray [Raymond Douglas] Davies English rock musician, songwriter, Kinks founding member; “Sunny Afternoon”, “Victoria”, “Waterloo Sunset” 1944-

– Ian [Russell] McEwan British novelist; Booker Prize for Amsterdam (1998) 1948-

– H. [Henry] Rider Haggard English adventure novelist; King Solomon’s Mines (1885), She (1887) 1856-1925
– Erich Maria Remarque (aka Erich Paul Remark) German-born US novelist; All Quiet on the Western Front 1898-1970
– Anne Morrow Lindbergh New Jersey-born author, aviator; wife of Charles Lindburgh 1906-2001
– Leon Rosselson English folk singer, songwriter, children’s author; “The World Turned Upside Down”” 1934-

– Kris Kristofferson Texas-born actor, country/folk singer, songwriter; “For the Good Times”, “Help Me Make It Through the Night”, Me and Bobby McGee” 1936-

– Octavia [Estelle] Butler California-born science fiction novelist; Hugo, Nebula, Locus Awards 1947-2006

– Irvin S. [Shrewsbury] Cobb Kentucky-born writer, humorist 1876-1944
– Anna Akhmatova (born Anna Andreyevna Gorenko) Russian-Ukrainian poet 1888-1966

– Frank Fraser Darling British conservationist, author 1903-1979
– Wolfgang Koeppen German post-war novelist 1906-1996
– Jean Anouilh French dramatist 1910-1987
– Michael Shaara New Jersey-born novelist; The Killer Angels 1929 –
– David Leavitt Pittsburgh-born novelist 1961-

– St. John of the Cross (born Juan de Yepes y Alvarez) Spanish Carmelite priest, mystical poet; Dark Night of the Soul (1618) 1542-1591
– Ambrose [Gwinett] Bierce Ohio-born journalist, short story writer; The Devil’s Dictionary, “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” 1842-1914? [he disappeared in Mexico]

– Ernesto Sábato Argentinian physicist, painter, novelist; 1984 Cervantes Prize 1911-2011
– Norman Cousins New Jersey-born journalist; Saturday Review editor 1912-1990
– John [Anthony] Ciardi Boston-born poet, critic, translator 1916-1986

– Pete Hamill Brooklyn-born journalist, novelist 1935-
– Anita Desai India -born British novelist; Cry, the Peacock (1963) 1937-
– Stephen Dunn New York City-born poet; 2002 Pulitzer 1939-

I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds and bowers,
Of April, May, of June and July-flowers;
I sing of May-poles, hock-carts, wassails, wakes,
Of bridegrooms, brides and of their bridal cakes

– Robert Herrick

– [Robert] Erskine Childers London-born Irish nationalist, novelist; The Riddle of the Sands (1903) 1870-1922 [executed by firing squad]
– George Abbott New York-born producer, director, actor, playwright; Pulitzer for Fiorello! (1959), co-wrote/directed: Wonderful Town (1953), Pyjama Game (1954), screenplay for All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), 1887-1995
– George Orwell (born Eric Arthur Blair) Bengal-born British journalist, novelist, essayist; Animal Farm (1945), Nineteen Eighty-four (1949) 1903-1950
– Nicholas Mosley British novelist, biographer 1923-
– Dorothy Gilman New Jersey-born author; Mrs. Pollifax espionage series 1924-
– Eric Carle Massachusetts-born children’s book author, illustrator; The Very Hungry Caterpillar 1929-

– John Mactaggart Scottish civil engineer, writer; Mactaggart’s Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia 1791-1830
– Pearl S. [Sydenstricker] Buck Chinese-born US writer, humanitarian; The Good Earth (1931), 1938 Nobel 1892-1973
– Walter Farley New York-born horse story writer; The Black Stallion (1941) 1915-1989
– Colin [Henry] Wilson English philosopher, novelist; The Outsider (1956) 1931-
– Thomas Boyle Pennsylvania-born thriller writer 1939-
– Barbara De Wayne Chase-Riboud Philadelphia-born sculptor, novelist, poet; Sally Hemings (1979) 1939-
– Chris Isaak California-born musician, singer, songwriter; “Wicked Game” 1956-

– The first magazine for women, Ladies’ Mercury is published in London in 1693.
– Bankim Chandra [Chattopadhyay] Chatterjee Bengali novelist, poet; ‘national song’ of India, “Vande Mataram” 1838-1894
– [Patricio] Lafcadio Hearn Greece-born Greek/Anglo-Irish author, translator; macabre works featuring Japanese culture 1850-1904
– Ivan Vazov Bulgarian poet, novelist, playwright 1850-1921
– Emma Goldman Lithuania-born US anarchist, feminist, revolutionary; memoir Living My Life (1931) 1869-1940
– Paul Lawrence Dunbar Ohio-born poet, novelist, short story writer 1872-1906

– Helen Keller Alabama-born lecturer, writer; memoir My Life 1880-1968
– W.L. [William Laughton] Lorimer Scots scholar, author; The New Testament in Scots 1885-1967
– Vernon P. [Phillips] Watkins Welsh poet, translator; friend of Dylan Thomas 1906-1967
– The first Newbery Medal for children’s literature is awarded in 1922.
– Frank [Francis Russell] O’Hara Baltimore-born poet, playwright, art critic 1926-1966
– [Thelma] Lucille Clifton Buffalo-born poet 1936-2010

– James P. [Patrick] Hogan London-born science fiction novelist 1941-2010
– Alice McDermott Brooklyn-born novelist; A Bigamist’s Daughter 1953-

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau Swiss “Father of Romanticism”, author; The Social Contract (1762), The Confessions (1781) 1712-1778
– Luigi Pirandello Italian playwright; Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921), 1934 Nobel 1867-1936
– Author Robert Louis Stevenson sets sail for the South Seas in 1888.
– Eric Ambler English suspense novelist 1909-1998
– Mark Helprin New York-born political writer, conservative commentator 1947-
– Jane Ransom Colorado-born poet, novelist 1958-

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery French writer 1900-1944
– John [Willard] Toland Wisconsin-born historian; Pulitzer for The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945 (1970) 1912-2004
Susan [Vance Akers] George Akron-born French political scientist, social activist, satirist; A Fate Worse Than Debt (1988), The Lugano Report (1999) 1934-

– Breece Dexter Pancake West Virginia-born short story writer 1952-1979

– John Gay English dramatist; Beggar’s Opera (1728) 1685-1732
– Alexander Dyce Scottish literary historian, editor 1798-1869
– Winston [Mawdsley] Graham English suspense novelist; Marnie, Poldark series 1910-2003
– Czeslaw Milosz Polish-born US poet 1911-2004

– Molly Hunter Scottish children’s novelist 1922-
– Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone With the Wind is published in 1936.
– David McPhail New Hampshire-born children’s author, illustrator 1940-
– Paddy [Patrick] nash Irish folk-pop-punk musician, singer, songwriter; “People Before Profit” 1970-

– Playwright Lillian Hellman dies in 1984.

What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.

– Gertrude Jekyll


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