January 23

Today is Sunday, January 23.
Birthdays: M.B. Stendhal (1783), Louis Zukofsky (1904), Walter M. Miller Jr. (1923), Derek Walcott (1930), Tom Reamy (1935), Fred Wah (1939), Cathy Hopkins (1953)


Quote: “The truest writers are those who see language not as a linguistic process but as a living element.” – Derek Walcott (winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature)


Zukofsky was a protégé of Ezra Pound’s, an artistic collaborator and close friend of William Carlos Williams’s, and the leader of a whole school of 1930s avant-garde poets, the Objectivists. Later in life he was close friends with such younger writers as Robert Creeley, Paul Metcalf, Robert Duncan, Jonathan Williams, and Guy Davenport. His work spans the divide from modernism to postmodernism, and his later writings have proved an inspiration to whole new generations of innovative poets.


Between 1951 and 1957, Miller published over three dozen science fiction short stories, winning a Hugo Award in 1955 for the story “The Darfsteller”. He also wrote scripts for the television show Captain Video in 1953. Late in the 1950s, Miller assembled a novel from three closely related novellas he had published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1955, 1956, and 1957. The novel, entitled A Canticle for Leibowitz, was published in 1959. A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic (post-holocaust) novel revolving around the canonisation of Saint Leibowitz and is considered a masterpiece of the genre. It won the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The novel is also a powerful meditation on the cycles of world history and Roman Catholicism as a force of stability during history’s dark times. After the success of A Canticle for Leibowitz, Miller never published another new novel or story in his lifetime, although several compilations of Miller’s earlier stories were issued in the 1960s and 1970s.


Thomas Earl Reamy was an American science fiction and fantasy author and a key figure in 1960s and 1970s science fiction fandom. He died prior to the publication of his first novel; his work is primarily dark fantasy. His books include one novel, Blind Voices (published posthumously), and a collection of short stories, San Diego Lightfoot Sue and Other Stories. He was the winner of the 1976 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

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