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
The stormy March has come at last,
With winds and clouds and changing skies;
I hear the rushing of the blast
That through the snowy valley flies.
– William Cullen Bryant
– William Dean Howells Ohio-born novelist, editor, critic; edited Atlantic Monthly 1871-1881, novel A Modern Instance (1882) 1837-1920
– [Giles] Lytton Strachey British biographer, critic, Bloomsbury Group member; Eminent Victorians 1880-1932
– Ryunosuke Akutagawa Japanese writer 1892-1927
– Ralph [Waldo] Ellison Oklahoma -born novelist, essayist, short story writer; NBA for The Invisible Man (1952) 1914-1994
– Robert Lowell Jr. Boston-born poet, pacifist; Pulitzer 1917-1977
– Richard [Purdy] Wilbur New York City-born poet; 2nd poet laureate 1921-
– Harry Belafonte (born Harold George Bellanfanti, Jr.) Harlem-born activist, actor, singer, songwriter 1927-
– Richard Wright’s novel Native Son is published in 1940.
– Sholem Aleichem (born Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich) Ukraine-born Yiddish author; stories basis for Fiddler on the Roof 1859-1916
– John Jay Chapman New York City-born writer, literary critic; Emerson and Other Essays (1898) 1862-1933
– Dr. Seuss (born Theodor Seuss Geisel) Massachusetts-born children’s author/illustrator; Pulitzer; Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat 1904-1991
– The first issue of Time magazine is published in 1923.
– Novelist D. H. Lawrence dies in 1930.
– Mikhail [Sergeyevich]Gorbachev Russia-born Soviet political leader, 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, memoirist 1931-
– Tom [Thomas Kennerly, Jr.] Wolfe Virginia-born journalist, novelist; The Right Stuff (1979), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) 1931-
– John [Winslow] Irving New Hampshire-born novelist; The World According to Garp (1978), The Cider House Rules (1985), Oscar for The Cider House Rules screenplay )1999) 1942-
– Lou [Lewis Allen] Reed Brooklyn-born rock musician, songwriter; “Sweet Jane” 1942-2013
– Thomas Otway English dramatist, poet 1652-1685
– William Godwin English libertarian philosopher, writer; consort of Mary Wollstonecraft, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s father 1756-1836
– Edward Thomas English writer, poet 1878-1917
– Yury Karlovich Olesha Ukrainian writer, journalist, playwright 1899-1960
– Doc [Arthel Lane] Watson North Carolina-born folk/bluegrass guitarist, singer, songwriter 1923-2012
– James Merrill New York City-born poet; 1976 Pulitzer 1926-1995
– Patricia MacLachlan Wyoming-born children’s writer; Sarah Plain and Tall 1938-
– Robyn Hitchcock English rock musician, singer, songwriter; “Balloon Man” 1953-
– Johann David Wyss Swiss folklorist, writer; Swiss Family Robinson 1743-1818
– Alan Sillitoe British writer, poet; The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1975) 1928-
– Irina G. Ratushinskaya Ukrainian poet, dissident 1954-
No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.
– Hal Borland
– Constance Fenimore Woolson New Hampshire-born writer 1840-1894
– Frank Norris Chicago-born naturalist, writer 1870-1902
– Charles H. [Henry] Fuller, Jr. Philadelphia-born playwright; 1982 Pulitzer for A Soldier’s Play 1939-
– Michelangelo [Buonarroti] Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet 1475-1564
– [Savinien] Cyrano de Bergerac French dramatist, satirist, soldier 1619-1655
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning English poet; Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850) 1806-1861
– Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Twice Told Tales is published in 1837.
– Ring [Ringold Wilmer] Lardner, Sr. Michigan-born Jazz Age satirical writer; Gullible’s Travels, Etc. (1917), You Know Me, Al (1916) 1885-1933
– Little Women author Louisa May Alcott dies in 1888.
– Gabriel Garcia Marquez Colombian novelist; One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), 1982 Nobel 1928-2014
– Ewald Christian von Kleist German lyric poet 1715-1759
– Alessandro Manzoni Italian poet, novelist 1785-1873
– Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” is published in 1923.
– Abe Kobo Japanese playwright 1924-1993
– Dan Jacobson South African-born British novelist, short-story writer 1929-
– Donald Barthelme Philadelphia-born postmodernist writer 1931-1989
– Georges Perec French novelist 1936-1982
– [John] Townes Van Zandt Texas-born country-folk musician, singer, songwriter; “Pancho and Lefty” 1944-1997
– Kenneth Grahame Scottish essayist, children’s writer; The Wind in the Willows (1908) 1859-1932
– Gene [Eugene] Fowler Colorado-born journalist, novelist, biographer 1890-1960
– Eric Linklater Welsh-born Scottish novelist, poet, history writer 1899-1974
– John A. [Angus] McPhee New Jersey-born science writer; Pulitzer for Annals of the Former World (1998) 1931-
– Richard [George] Fariña Brooklyn-born writer, folk singer, songwriter; novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, songs “Children of Darkness”, “Quiet Joys of Brotherhood”, “Pack Up Your Sorrows” 1937-1966
– Playwright Sherwood Anderson dies in 1941.
– Tom [Thomas Dale] Rapp North Dakota-born folk musician, songwriter, Pearls Before Swine founding member 1947-
– Edmund Waller English poet 1606-1687
– William Cobbett (aka Peter Porcupine) English writer, reformer, publisher; political pamphlets, gazettes with strong radical viewpoints in America, England 1763-1835
– Taras Shevchenko Ukranian national poet and painter 1814-1861
– David Garnett English novelist, editor 1892-1981
– [Victoria Mary] Vita Sackville-West British gardener, novelist, poet; The Land 1892-1962
– Peter [Courtney] Quennell English Byron scholar, literary historian 1905-1993
– Mickey [Frank Morrison] Spillane Brooklyn-born mystery novelist; Mike Hammer stories 1918-2006
– John [Davies] Cale Wales-born rock musician, singer, songwriter, Velvet Underground founding member; “Helen of Troy” 1942-
Our life is March weather, savage and serene in one hour.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
– [Karl Wilhelm] Friedrich von Schlegel German Romantic writer, critic 1772-1829
– Joseph Karl Benedikt, [Freiherr von Eichendorff] German poet, novella writer, autobiographer; folksong-style poetic lyrics set to music by Schumann, Brahms, others 1788-1857
– Pedro Antonio de Alarcón Spanish novelist; El Sombrero de Tres Picos 1833-1891
– Ina Donna Coolbrith (born Josephine Donna Smith) Illinois-born poet, librarian; first California poet laureate 1842-1928
– Henry W. [Watson] Fowler English lexicographer, philologist 1858-1933
– Jakob Wasserman German novelist 1873-1934
– Paul V. Coates New York City-born columnist 1921-1968
– David Rabe Iowa-born playwright, novelist 1940-
– In 1302, this is Romeo and Juliet’s ill-fated wedding day , according to Shakespeare.
– Torquato Tasso Italian Renaissance poet; epic poem “Jerusalem Delivered” 1544-1595
– Henric Spieghel Dutch Renaissance poet 1549-1612
– Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein is published in 1818.
– D. J. [Dennis Joseph] Enright British poet, novelist 1920-2003
– Douglas Adams British science fiction satirist; Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 1952-2001
– Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun opens on Broadway in 1959.
– John Aubrey English biographer, antiquary; first to propose that Stonehenge was built by Druids 1626-1697
– Gabriele D’Annunzio Italian soldier, novelist 1863-1938
– Ralph Hodgson English lyric poet, animal lover 1871-1962
– Rui Ribeiro Couto Brazilian poet, short story writer, diplomat 1898-1963
– [Kathleen] Kylie Tennant Australian novelist, short story writer, literary critic 1912-1988
– [Jean Louis] Jack Kerouac Massachusetts-born beat novelist, poet; On the Road (1957) 1922-1969
– Edward [Franklin] Albee Washington DC-born playwright; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), Pulitzers for: A Delicate Balance (1966), Seascape (1974), Three Tall Women (1991) 1928-
– John Gross English writer, literary critic, anthologist 1935-2011
– Virginia Hamilton Ohio-born prolific young adult novelist; NBA, Newbery for M.C. Higgins, the Great (1971), 1936-2002
– James Taylor Massachusetts-born guitarist, singer, songwriter; “Fire and Rain” 1948-
– Oswald Garrison Villard Germany-born US anti-imperialist, journalist, grandson of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison 1872-1949
– Hugh Walpole New Zealand novelist, critic, dramatist 1884-1941
– Janet Flanner (aka Genêt) Boston-born writer; Paris columnist for the New Yorker 1892-1978
– L. Ron [Lafayette Ronald] Hubbard Nebraska-born science fiction writer, Scientology founder 1911-1986
– W. O. [William Ormond] Mitchell Canadian writer 1914-1998
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
– Charles Dickens
– Isadore Gilbert Mudge Brooklyn-born librarian, author, bibliographer 1875-1957
– Albert Einstein German-born physicist, vital quantum theorist 1879-1955
– Das Kapital author Karl Marx dies in London in 1883.
– Marguerite de Angeli Michigan-born children’s writer 1889-1987
– Max Shulman Minnesota-born screenwriter, novelist, humorist; created character Dobie Gillis 1919-1988
– Colin Fletcher Wales-born travel writer 1922-2007
– John [Barrington] Wain English novelist, poet 1925-1994
– Bertrand Blier French novelist, director 1939-
– The Monkey-wrench Gang author Edward Abbey dies in 1989.
– Paul von Heyse German writer; 1910 Nobel 1830-1914
– Lady Gregory (born Isabella Augusta Persse) Irish playwright, translator, poet; Yeats’ patron, co-founder, co-director of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre 1852-1932
– Lionel Pigot Johnson English Catholic poet, critic 1867-1902
– Richard Ellman Michigan-born Irish literary scholar, biographer, critic; NBA for biography James Joyce (1959) 1918-1987
– Ry [Ryland Peter] Cooder Los Angeles-born folk/blues/rock/you-name-it guitarist, singer, songwriter; “Across the Borderline” 1947-
– Gerbrand Adriaenszoon Bredero Dutch poet, playwright 1585-1618
– Comtesse de La Fayette(born Marie Madeleine Pioche de la Vergne) French literary salon hostess, novelist; La Princesse de Cleves (1678) 1634-1693
– Sully Prudhomme (aka Rene Francois Armand Prudhomme) French poet; first Nobel in literature, 1901 1839-1907
– Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter is published in Boston in 1850.
– Percy MacKaye New York-born poet, playwright; pageant The Canterbury Pilgrims (1903) 1875-1956
– Cesar Vallejo Peruvian poet 1892-1938
– Sid [Albert Sidney] Fleischman New York City-born children’s writer; Newbury for The Whipping Boy 1920-2010
– Fred Neil Cleveland-born folk/blues singer, songwriter; “Everybody’s Talkin’”, “The Dolphins” 1936-2001
– Jerry Jeff Walker (born Ronald Clyde Crosby) New York-born outlaw country musician, songwriter; “Mr. Bojangles” 1942-
– Karl Ferdinand Gutzkow German novelist, dramatist 1811-1878
– Kate Greenaway English childrens’ author, illustrator 1846-1901
– John [Benson] Sebastian New York City-born folk/rock singer, songwriter; “Do You Believe in Magic” 1944-
– William [Ford] Gibson South Carolina-born science fiction novelist, ‘cyberpunk’ pioneer; Neuromancer (1984) 1948-
– Stephane Mallarme French symbolist poet, Poe translator 1842-1898
– Robert P. Tristram Coffin Maine-born poet, reporter; Pulitzer for Strange Holiness (1935) 1892-1955
– Wilfred Owen English WW I poet 1893-1918
– George Plimpton New York-born actor, author; Paper Lion (1966) 1927-2003
– John [Hoyer] Updike Pennsylvania-born novelist, poet; the “Rabbit” series, 2 Pulitzers 1932-2009
– Michael S. Harper Brooklyn-born poet; first poet laureate of Rhode Island, 1938-
– James McMurtry Texas-born country-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, novelist Larry McMurtry’s son; “Choctaw Bingo”, “Levelland” 1962-
– Pioneer rock and roll guitarist and songwriter Chuck Berry dies in 2017.
Indoors or out, no one relaxes
In March, that month of wind and taxes,
The wind will presently disappear,
The taxes last us all the year.
– Ogden Nash
– Richard Francis Burton English explorer, translator, travel writer; among first Englishmen to explore Arabia, reach Mecca; translated The Arabian Nights 1821-1890
– Irving Wallace Chicago-born novelist, screenwriter 1916-1990
– Peter [Henry] Abrahams South African novelist, autobiographer; key figure in South Africa’s literary heritage; Down the Rabbit Hole 1919-
– Philip [Milton] Roth New Jersey-born novelist; Portnoy’s Complaint 1933-
– Herman Wouk’s novel The Caine Mutiny is published in 1951.
– Eminent British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke dies in 2008.
– Ovid [Publius Ovidius Naso] Roman poet, writer; Metamorphoses 43 BCE-17 CE
– [Johann Christian] Friedrich Hölderlin German schizophrenic lyric poet 1770-1843
– Henrik Ibsen Norwegian playwright; Peer Gynt (1867), A Doll’s House (1879), An Enemy of the People (1882), Hedda Gabler (1890) 1828-1906
– Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, widely considered the first detective story, is published in 1841.
– Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published in 1852.
– B. F. ]Burrhus Frederic] Skinner Pennsylvania-born behavioral psychologist, philosopher, author; Walden Two (1948), Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971) 1904-1990
– Hugh MacLennan Nova Scotian novelist, essayist 1907-1990
– Lois Lowry (born Lois Ann Hammersberg)Hawaii-born children’s author; The Giver (1993) 1937-
– Ellen Conford New York City-born children’s, young adult writer 1942-
– English poet Robert Southey dies in 1843.
– Phyllis McGinley Oregon-born poet, children’s author 1905-1978
– German poet and playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe dies in 1832.
– Randolph Caldecott English illustrator, medal namesake (awarded to books for young children ) 1846-1886
– Louis L’Amour North Dakota-born Western novelist 1908-1988
– Gabrielle Roy Canadian French-language novelist 1909-1983
– Nicholas Monsarrat English seafaring novelist; The Cruel Sea (1953) 1910-1979
– Haing S. Ngor Cambodian-born doctor, Oscar-winning actor in The Killing Fields (1984), autobiographer; Haing Ngor: A Cambodian Odyssey 1940-1996 [accidentally murdered during a robbery outside his Los Angeles home]
– Houston A. Baker, Jr. Kentucky-born essayist, literary critic; focus is defining African American literary tradition 1943-
It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
– Mark Twain
– Fannie [Merritt] Farmer Boston-born cookbook author 1857-1915
– Roger Martin du Guard French novelist, dramatist; 1937 Nobel 1881-1958
– [Christina] Ama Ata Aidoo Ghanaian dramatist, short story writer 1940-
– Eudora Welty’s novel The Optimist’s Daughter is published in 1972.
– [Georgius] Agricola German scientist, ‘father of mineralogy’; De Re Metallica (1556) 1494-1555
– William Morris English poet, artist, designer and true Renaissance man 1834-1896
– Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow dies in Massachusetts in 1882.
– [Thomas] Malcolm Muggeridge English journalist, satirist 1903-1990
– Lawrence Ferlinghetti Yonkers-born beat poet, activist, City Lights bookstore founder 1919-
– Dario Fo Italian playwright, actor, director; 1997 Nobel 1926-
– Nick Lowe English rock musician, producer, songwriter; “I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock and Roll” 1949-
– Tennessee Williams’ play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof premieres in New York in 1955.
– Bella Cohen Spewack Transylvania-born US writer, playwright; often wrote with husband Samuel Spewack; Kiss Me Kate 1899-1990
– [Mary] Flannery O’Connor Georgia-born novelist; A Good Man Is Hard to Find 1925-1964
– Hoyt [Wayne] Axton Oklahoma-born country singer, songwriter, actor; “Joy to the World”, “Never Been to Spain” 1938-1999
– In 1956, English folk singer Ewan MacColl meets his future wife Peggy Seeger, and shortly afterwards writes the great love song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” for her.
– Toni Cade Bambara (born Miltona Mirkin Cade) New York City-born writer, essayist, scriptwriter 1959-1995
– Louise Otto (aka Louise Otto-Peters) German feminist, author 1819-1895
– Edward Bellamy Massachusetts-born author 1850-1897
– A. E. [Alfred Edward] Housman, English poet; A Shropshire Lad (1896) 1859-1936
– Robert [Lee] Frost San Francisco-born New England poet; “Mending Wall”, “The Road Not Taken” 1874-1963
– Leaves of Grass author, poet Walt Whitman dies in 1892.
– Joseph [John] Campbell New York City-born writer on mythology, comparative religion 1906-1987
– Tennessee [Thomas Lanier] Williams Mississippi-born playwright; The Glass Menagerie (1944) Pulitzers for: , A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) 1911-1983
– Elizabeth Jane Howard British novelist 1923-
– Gregory [Nunzio] Corso Greenwich Village-born Beat poet 1930-2001
– Erica [Mann] Jong New York City-born novelist; Fear of Flying 1942-
– Mystery novelist Raymond Chandler dies in California in 1959.
– Heinrich Mann German novelist, essayist, brother of Thomas Mann 1871- 1950
– Budd Schulberg New York City-born novelist, screenwriter; 1954 Oscar for On the Waterfront screenplay 1914-2009
Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.
– Lewis Grizzard
– William Byrd II Virginia-born colonial writer 1674-1744
– Maxim Gorki (born Alexei Maximovich Peshkov) Russian dramatist, novelist, among first Russian writers expressing worker’s view; The Lower Depths 1868-1936 [new calender birth date]
– Nelson [Abraham] Algren Michigan-born novelist; NBA for The Man with the Golden Arm (1949) 1909-1981
– Bohumil Hrabal Czech writer 1924-1997
– Mario Vargas Llosa (born Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa) Peruvian novelist, politician 1936-
– Novelist Virginia Woolf dies by suicide in 1941.
– Howard Lindsay New York-born playwright, producer 1889-1968
– Ernst Junger German novelist, essayist 1895-1998
– Judith Guest Detroit-born screenwriter, novelist; Ordinary People (1976) 1936-
– Anna Sewell English writer; Black Beauty (1877) 1820-1878
– Paul Verlaine French lyric poet 1844-1896
– Gabriela Zapolska (born Maria Gabriela Korwin-Piotrowska) Hungary-born Polish actress, novelist, playwright of Naturalist school 1857-1921
– Sean O’Casey Irish playwright 1880-1964
– Tracy Chapman Cleveland-born folk/blues/pop singer, songwriter; “Fast Car” (1988) 1964-
– René Descartes French mathematician, philosopher; 1596-1650
– Andrew Marvell English metaphysical poet 1621-1678
– English metaphysical poet John Donne dies in London in 1631.
– Great English mathematician and physicist Isaac Newton dies in 1727.
– Edward FitzGerald English writer; translator of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (1859) 1809-1883
– [Nikolai Vasilievich] Gogol Ukraine-born Russian realist writer; satirical Dead Souls (1842) 1809-1852
– The First installment of Charles Dickens’ first novel The Pickwick Papers is published in 1836.
– Jane Eyre author Charlotte Brontë dies in 1855.
– Andrew Lang Scottish author, scholar; fairy books 1844-1912
– Octavio Paz Mexican writer, diplomat 1914-1998
– John Fowles English novelist; The French Lieutenant’s Woman 1926-2005
– John [William] Jakes Chicago-born historical novelist; The Blue and the Gray 1932-
– Judith [Perelman] Rossner Bronx-born writer; Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1975) 1935-2005
– Marge Piercy Detroit-born novelist; Gone to Soldiers 1936-
– Tennessee Williams’ play The Glass Menagerie opens in New York in 1945.
To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.