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The Writer's Almanac

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Title: The Writer's Almanac  
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Subject: Minnesota Public Radio, American Public Media, Garrison Keillor, Michael Simms (publisher), The Splendid Table
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The Writer's Almanac

The Writer's Almanac
Hosted by Garrison Keillor
Updates Daily

The Writer's Almanac is a daily radio and on-line program and podcast of poetry and historical interest pieces, usually of literary significance. Begun in 1993,[1][2] it is hosted by Garrison Keillor and is produced and distributed by American Public Media. Program sponsors include, among others, The Poetry Foundation (using funds from a large bequest from philanthropist Ruth Lilly),[3] publisher of Poetry Magazine and The Mosaic Foundation of Rita and Peter Heydon.

Each program is five minutes long and begins with the phrase "And here is the Writer's Almanac..." Each daily program includes vignettes about authors and other noteworthy people whose birthdays or significant events coincide with the date of the particular program, as well as excerpts of important events in history. The program continues with one or more poems usually chosen by Keillor, and ends with Keillor's traditional sign-off, "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch." The program's theme music is a version of the Swedish song "Ge mig en dag", performed by Richard Dworsky on the piano.[4]

Usually recorded two to three weeks in advance, Keillor typically records an entire week of programs at one time. Written by Betsy Allister, Joy Biles, Priscilla Kinter, Heather McPherson, and Holly Vanderhaar, the program is engineered and edited by Thomas Scheuzger, Noah Smith, and Sam Hudson. Production assistance is 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.[5][6] This program is 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.


  1. ^ Marcia Songer, Garrison Keillor: A Critical Companion (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000), ISBN 978-0313302305, p. 11. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  2. ^ David Kipen, "Flat, Slow and Fetching", Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1993.
  3. ^ "Eli Lilly heiress Ruth Lilly dies at 94", USA Today, December 31, 2009.
  4. ^ "Everything Prairie Home: Richard Dworsky Prairie Home Companion Discography". Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  5. ^ Joel Topcik, "Arts, Briefly: Keillor Uncensored", The New York Times, August 15, 2005.
  6. ^ "Kentucky Station Reinstates Keillor Show After Fan Outcry", Associated Press in Kentucky New Era, August 16, 2005.

External links

  • websiteThe Writer's Almanac
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