Monday, February 27, 2017

IWW Members' Publishing Successes



Kristy Kassie

Another one of my flash fiction pieces, “Love is Blind”, has been published by Freedom Fiction Journal!

Lynne Hinkey

My review of Jonathan White's Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean is up at the Internet Review of Books. Thanks Gary and Bob for all your hard work keeping this one of the top book review sites around!

Our own Mona Vanek has featured one of my IWW posts turned blog post on her website, Montana Scribbler. Thanks for being such a great source of support for all of us, Mona!

And thanks also to Wayne Scheer... as you'll see, his successes have fueled many of my own. He's a great inspiration to all of us!

Theresa A. Cancro

I just learned that a haiku of mine was recently selected for Icebox haiku site's, “From the Icebox Inbox - 39.” Scroll down.

Judith Kelly Quaempts

Our own Mona Vanek was kind enough to mention a recent story publication of mine, “Journeyman,” in her blog, Montana Scribbler. Many thanks to Mona for all she does to support IWW.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Notes For February 24th, 2017


This Day In Literary History

On February 24th, 1786, the legendary German writer and folklorist Wilhelm Grimm was born in Hanau, Germany. As a boy, Wilhelm was strong and healthy, but over the years, he would suffer from an increasingly severe illness that left him weak. He and his older brother Jacob were inseparable.

In 1803, Wilhelm enrolled at the University of Marburg to study law, one year after Jacob began his studies there. Around 1807, Wilhelm and Jacob began collecting folktales.

They were inspired by The Youth's Magic Horn, a multi volume collection of German folk songs and poems edited by Ludwig Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano. The first volume was published in 1805.

The Grimm brothers would invite storytellers to tell their tales, which the Grimms then transcribed and edited, adding their own distinctive touches to the stories.

By 1812, their first collection of folk tales was published as Kinder und Hausmärchen. (Children's and Household Tales) It contained 86 stories.

A second volume, containing 70 tales, was published in 1814. During the Grimm brothers' lifetime, five more editions of their story collections would be released, some containing new stories.

Since then, all 211 stories would be published in one volume as Grimms' Fairy Tales. Some scholars believe that the Grimm brothers, both devout Christians, cut the salacious elements from the stories they collected.

They did not, however, tone down the dark and violent elements of the stories, which led to complaints that the stories were inappropriate for children. Thus, since their initial publication, the Grimms' Fairy Tales have been softened and changed considerably by publishers.

The original, unaltered Grimms' Fairy Tales are still published, and parents who buy the book for their children are quite shocked by the content, as are other readers who remember the softer versions.

Classic tales as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as in all the Grimms' original stories, had different endings, with the villains often tortured horribly and / or put to death.

Little Red Riding Hood (her original name was Little Red-Cap) and her grandmother are saved when a huntsman cuts open the wolf's stomach. He later skins the dead wolf and keeps the skin as a souvenir.

In Cinderella, (Cinderella was her nickname; her real name was Ashputtel) the nasty stepsisters mutilate their feet to try and fit into the glass slipper. Later, they get their eyes pecked out by doves as punishment for their cruelty and vanity.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs originally ends with the Wicked Queen lured to Snow White and Prince Charming's wedding - where she's forced to wear hot iron shoes and dance until she dies.

Despite their dark and sometimes gruesome nature, the Grimms' Fairy Tales remain an all-time classic work of literature, inspiring generations of writers.

Though his older brother remained a lifelong bachelor, Wilhelm Grimm married his girlfriend, Henriette "Dortchen" Wild, in 1825. She bore him four children. Their firstborn son was named after his uncle Jacob.

In addition to the fairy tales he compiled with his brother, Wilhelm published three books under his own name, a collection of Danish folk songs, a study of German runes, and a study of German folk legends.

(The Grimms' Fairy Tales were also criticized as being "not German enough.")

Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm later became professors at the University of Gottingen. They joined five of their colleagues and formed the "Gottingen Seven," an activist group that protested against Ernst August, the King of Hanover, over his abrogation of the constitution. The King fired them all from the university.

Wilhelm Grimm died of an infection in 1859. He was 73 years old.


Quote Of The Day

"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." - Wilhelm Grimm


Vanguard Video

Today's video features a dramatization of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin, performed by English actor-comedian Rik Mayall. Complete with the story's original ending, this one must be seen to be believed! Enjoy!


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Notes For February 23rd, 2017


This Day In Literary History

On February 23rd, 1633, the famous English writer Samuel Pepys was born in London, England. His father, John Pepys, was a tailor. His father's cousin, Richard Pepys, was an elected Member of Parliament who would later become the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland.

Samuel Pepys was the fifth of eleven children, but because of the high child mortality rate of the time, several of his siblings died, making him the eldest. He was sent to live with a nurse in Kingsland, north of London.

Around the age of eleven, he began his formal education at Huntingdon Grammar School. He attended St. Paul's school in London from 1646-50.

In 1649, at the age of sixteen, he witnessed the execution of Charles I, following the end of the English Civil War. This paved the way for the rule of Oliver Cromwell.

Pepys enrolled at Cambridge University in 1650. A year later, he transferred to Magdalene College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1654. In 1655, he came to live with another of his father's cousins, Sir Edward Montagu, who would become the first Earl of Sandwich.

That same year, Pepys married Elisabeth de St Michel, first in a religious ceremony, then in a civil ceremony. She was fourteen years old at the time.

From a very young age, Samuel Pepys suffered from painful kidney stones and hematuria. By 1657, his condition was so severe that he decided to undergo a risky procedure to surgically remove a very large kidney stone.

The operation took place at the home of Pepys' cousin, Jane Turner, and was a success. However, he did suffer from complications late in life. After he recovered from the operation, Pepys took a job working as a teller in the exchequer under George Downing.

On January 1st, 1660, Samuel Pepys embarked on an endeavor that would make him famous to this day: he began keeping a diary. Like most diaries, he used it to record the personal details of his daily life, including his business dealings.

He also recorded meetings with friends, his trivial concerns, jealousies, insecurities, his troubled marriage, and his extramarital affairs. These personal details would be intertwined with detailed commentary on the politics and national events of the time.

Within the first few months of entries, Samuel Pepys' diary chronicled General George Monck's march on London and Pepys' trip (he was a clerk for the Navy Board) with Sir Edward Montagu to the Netherlands to bring Charles II back from exile.

Over the next ten years, Pepys' diary would provide the most detailed account of the history of late 17th century England, including the Restoration, the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of London in 1666.

The diary also painted a revealing portrait of Pepys the man. He loved the theater. He was a connoisseur of good wine, literature, and music. He enjoyed the company of friends. He would often evaluate his life and finances, promising to work harder and abstain from wine and the theater, then later, he'd record his lapses.

He was a talented singer and musician. He played the lute, violin, viola, flageolet, recorder, and harpsichord, with varying levels of proficiency. As a singer, he performed at home, at coffee houses, and at Westminster Abbey.

Pepys also chronicled, sometimes in surprisingly graphic detail, his extramarital affairs. In one entry, he described how his wife Elisabeth caught him in a compromising position with her friend, Deborah Willet.

He wrote that Elisabeth, "coming up suddenly, did find me imbracing the girl con my hand sub su coats; and endeed I was with my main in her cunny. I was at a wonderful loss upon it and the girl also...." When he wrote about his affairs, Pepys was always filled with remorse - but that didn't stop his philandering.

Samuel Pepys kept his diary for nearly ten years. By 1669, his health began to suffer from all the work he put into it. He eyesight deteriorated, and he feared he might go blind, so for a while, he dictated his diary to his clerks before ending it altogether.

After he ended it, he would become an elected Member of Parliament and Secretary to the Admiralty. He also helped found the Royal Mathematical School at Christ's Hospital and was made its Governor. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1665 and served as its president from 1684-86.

Pepys was attacked off and on by his political enemies and arrested twice on unsubstantiated charges of being a Jacobite - a radical plotting to restore the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

He was released both times, as no charges brought against him could be proven in court. After his second release in 1690, he retired from public life at the age of 57. He died in 1703 at the age of 70. Having no children, he willed his estate to his nephew, John Jackson.

Samuel Pepys' diaries would remain unpublished until 1825. To write his diary entries, Pepys used tachygraphy, one of many forms of shorthand employed at the time. This required translation into standard English.

The first to translate Pepys' diaries was Reverend John Smith. He didn't know that the key to the tachygraphy system was stored in Pepys' library a few shelves above the diaries. So it took Smith several years, from 1819-1822, to finish his translation.

It was an incomplete translation, as the clergyman refused to translate the salacious sections of Pepys' diaries - especially the entries about his extramarital affairs.

A complete and definitive edition of Samuel Pepys' diaries was translated by Robert Latham and William Matthews and published in nine volumes, along with companion and index volumes, between 1970 and 1983.


Quote Of The Day

“Saw a wedding in the church. It was strange to see what delight we married people have to see these poor fools decoyed into our condition.” - Samuel Pepys


Vanguard Video

Today's video features readings from Samuel Pepys' diaries. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Notes For February 22nd, 2017


This Day In Literary History

On February 22nd, 1892, the legendary American poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine. Her unusual middle name, St. Vincent, was given to her in honor of St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City, where her uncle's life had been saved shortly before she was born.

Edna and her two sisters were raised by their mother to be independent and outspoken feminists. Edna's strong feminist convictions developed at a very young age. She was often angered when she or other girls received unequal treatment compared to boys.

In elementary school, she often angered her principal with her frank opinions on gender inequality. When she asked him to call her Vincent - a boy's name - he refused, but instead of calling her Edna, he called her by girls' names that began with the letter V.

After several years of separation, when Edna was twelve, her mother divorced her father for his financial irresponsibility. The family lived in poverty and moved from place to place. When she started high school, Edna began developing her writing talent.

Soon, her poetry appeared in her high school magazine and in other literary magazines. At the age of 14, she was awarded the Gold Badge for her poetry by St. Nicholas Magazine, a then famous and progressive literary and art magazine for children.

Around this time, Edna came to understand and accept her bisexuality, and she would remain openly bisexual throughout her life. In 1912, when she was twenty years old, Edna St. Vincent Millay first became famous - for losing a poetry contest.

She had entered her classic poem Renascence in a poetry contest held by The Lyric Year magazine and was awarded fourth place. The decision proved scandalous for the magazine. Its readers were shocked.

The other poets who had entered the contest were also shocked - and embarrassed - as they considered Renascence to be the best poem. The first place winner, poet Orrick Johns, said of his first prize, “the award was as much an embarrassment to me as a triumph." The second place winner offered to give Edna his $250 prize money.

Not long after the contest debacle, Edna gave a poetry reading and piano recital in Camden, Maine, at the Whitehall Inn. Among those attending the event was Caroline Dow, director the New York YWCA National Training School. She was so impressed that she offered to pay for Edna's tuition at Vassar College. So, at the age of 21, Edna began her college education.

After she graduated in 1917, Edna moved to New York City's Greenwich Village and took up the life of a bohemian poet, having affairs paramours of both sexes, immersing herself in the culture of the Village, and writing some of her best poetry.

Her classic poetry collection A Few Figs From Thistles, published in 1920, courted controversy with its feminist themes and meditations on female sexuality.

In 1923, Edna won the Pulitzer Prize for her poem, The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver. That she year, she married Eugen Jan Boissevain, with whom she had fallen in love. She was 31 years old and he 43. His late wife, Inez Millholland, was a labor lawyer and war correspondent whom Edna had known in Greenwich Village.

Edna and Eugen would remain together for 26 years, until his death in 1949. Eugen supported his wife's career and took care of the household. They maintained an open marriage, each having lovers on the side. One of Edna's lovers was George Dillon, a young poet 14 years her junior for whom she would write several sonnets.

In 1925, Edna and her husband bought Steepletop in Austerlitz, New York. The 500-acre estate had been a blueberry farm. They built a barn, a writing cabin, and a tennis court on their new estate, and Edna started a garden where she grew her own vegetables.

During World War II, Edna found herself criticized for the pacifist themes in her poetry. Years before, she had written Aria da Capo, (1921) an antiwar one-act play in verse.

Now, as critic Merle Rubin observed, "She seems to have caught more flak from the literary critics for supporting democracy than Ezra Pound did for championing fascism." Edna had also written poems about Nazi atrocities committed during the war.

In 1943, Edna became the sixth person (and the second woman) to be awarded the Frost Medal, a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to American poetry. Her husband died of lung cancer in 1949.

A year later, Edna St. Vincent Millay fell down her staircase at home and was found dead eight hours later. The autopsy revealed that she actually died of a heart attack, which had caused her to fall down the stairs. She was 58 years old.

After Edna's death, her sister Norma and her husband, painter Charles Ellis, moved into Steepletop. In 1973, they set aside some of the estate's vast acreage and established the Millay Colony for the Arts, which they would run until Norma died in 1986.

One of Norma's closest friends was Mary Oliver, a teenage poet who had moved into Steepletop and lived there for seven years. A huge fan of Norma's sister Edna, whose papers she would help organize, Mary would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize, as her idol had done before her.

Edna St. Vincent Millay remains a major influence on American poetic voice.


Quote Of The Day

"You see, I am a poet, and not quite right in the head, darling. It’s only that." - Edna St. Vincent Millay


Vanguard Video

Today's video features a rare recording of Edna St. Vincent Millay reading her classic, Pulitzer Prize winning poem, The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Notes For February 21st, 2017


This Day In Literary History

On February 21st, 1903, the legendary French writer Anaïs Nin was born. She was born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris.

Her father, Joaquin Nin, was a Cuban pianist and composer. Her mother, Rosa Culmell, was a classically trained singer of French and Danish descent. She had two younger brothers, Thorvald and Joaquin.

When Anaïs was a young girl, her family traveled throughout Europe. They lived for a time in Spain and in America, then moved back to her mother's French homeland. There, they lived in an apartment rented from an American friend who had gone away for the summer.

Anaïs, then in her teens, stumbled across the man's collection of French erotic paperbacks and read them all. By then, she had already determined to become a writer, and had begun keeping the diaries for which she would become most famous.

At sixteen, she completed her primary education and became an artist's model. She had begun learning English while her family was living in America; soon she became fluent in English, though French would remain her native language.

In March of 1923, at the age of twenty, Anaïs married her boyfriend, Hugh Parker Guiler, a banker who years later would reinvent himself as an experimental filmmaker named Ian Hugo. The couple settled in Paris and would maintain an open marriage.

While her husband was preoccupied with his banking career, Anaïs took up writing and flamenco dancing. Her first book, published in 1932, was an acclaimed work of non-fiction titled D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study. She wrote it in just over two weeks.

At the time of its publication, literary critics had begun turning their backs on Lawrence, the legendary English writer best known for his classic and controversial novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover. Anaïs' masterful, scholarly study of Lawrence's works was an eyebrow raiser - no woman had dared praise his controversial writings before.

At the time she wrote her book, Anaïs Nin was living the bohemian life in Paris. She met the legendary American writer Henry Miller, then a down-and-out expatriate trying to start his own career as a novelist. She let him read her diaries, and they were a revelation to him.

Her writing had the poetry and passion that his lacked. With Anaïs serving as his muse, Miller wrote his classic debut novel, Tropic of Cancer (1934), which made his name as a writer. Meanwhile, Anaïs worked on her own fiction.

While they tried to keep their writing careers going, Anaïs and Henry struggled to make ends meet, as France had also fallen victim to the Great Depression. They and their writer friends soon discovered they could make $1 per page writing pornographic literature for an anonymous private collector.

At first, they did it more for their own amusement than for the money, but soon it became an important source of income during the hard times of the Depression. $1 per page back then is equivalent to $15 per page in today's money.

Believe it or not, for Henry Miller, writing decent erotica in those days was a struggle. Anaïs Nin, however, was brilliant at it. Her erotica, told from a woman's perspective, was dazzling, poetic, sensual, and even philosophical at times, while also surprisingly graphic.

She explored all the known sexual taboos, including male and female homosexuality, sadomasochism, and incest. Though she retained her original manuscripts for these stories, she never intended to have them published.

Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller became close friends and ultimately lovers. When Miller's wife June arrived in Paris, the relationship would become something of a ménage à trois. Anaïs came to love June and found herself attracted to the woman, she preferred sex with men.

In 1936, Anaïs published her first novella, House Of Incest, which would prove to be one of her most famous works of fiction. The Nin family had feared that it was going to be an expose of a recent incestuous affair between Anaïs and her father.

Instead, it was a novella filled with surrealist prose poetry, metaphors, and psychological symbolism, based on a series of dreams she had. Anaïs would later chronicle the actual incestuous affair in her famous diaries.

Shockingly, one of her therapists had encouraged her to seduce, then abandon her father as an act of revenge for his abandonment of her when she was a young girl. The therapist believed that this would leave Anaïs feeling empowered. It didn't.

In the summer of 1939, with the winds of war brewing, Anaïs and her husband left Paris and moved to New York City. She would remain in America for pretty much the rest of her life. In 1947, she met Rupert Pole, an ex-actor sixteen years her junior, in an elevator while on her way to a party. They began dating, then ran off together.

The couple married in Arizona before moving to California. While Anaïs would live with Rupert until her death in 1977, she annulled their marriage in 1966 for tax reasons - and because she had never formally divorced her first husband.

Anaïs continued to write fiction and maintain her diaries. In 1958, she began publishing Cities of the Interior, her classic "continuous novel" which appeared in a series of five volumes. The most famous volumes were the third, The Four-Chambered Heart, and the fourth, A Spy in the House of Love.

While living in California, Anaïs struck up friendships with experimental filmmakers and appeared in a few films. Her most famous film role was of the goddess Astarte in Kenneth Anger's classic film, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1956). She also appeared in Maya Deren's classic experimental film, Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946).

Over the years, Anaïs' famous diaries would be published in a series of eleven volumes. They would also appear as collections of excerpts, the most famous of which was Henry and June: From a Journal of Love (1986).

Henry and June: From a Journal of Love contained excerpts from Anaïs' diaries chronicling her relationship with Henry Miller and his wife, June. This memorable volume would be adapted by director Philip Kaufman as the highly acclaimed and controversial 1990 feature film Henry & June.

Starring Fred Ward as Henry Miller, Uma Thurman as June, and, in a bravura performance, Maria de Medeiros as Anaïs Nin, it was the first movie to be rated NC-17, which had replaced the X rating.

Bowing to pressure groups, most theaters banned NC-17 rated pictures as they had X-rated films, and Henry & June played on only a few hundred screens nationwide. It earned most of its profits in videotape sales and rentals, which were unaffected by the NC-17 rating.

Still, film critics, most famously the legendary film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, decried the film's rating as undeserved and protested the NC-17 rating in general as unnecessary and continuing the X rating's tradition of imposing censorship on filmmakers.

(Since most theaters, especially shopping mall multiplexes, refused to play X or NC-17 rated movies, filmmakers were forced to cut their pictures to obtain a lower rating in order to get a wider distribution and hopefully make a profit.)

By 1976, Anaïs was losing her battle with cancer when a publisher approached her about releasing a volume of her famous erotic short stories, which everyone knew about but nobody had seen - except for the anonymous patron who had paid her to write them.

She still didn't want to publish them, but her ex-husbands Hugh Parker Guiler and Rupert Pole, both of whom she still loved, had fallen into poverty. She figured that the money could be used to help them out. She died in January of 1977 at the age of 73. Six months later, Delta of Venus was published.

As the publisher had expected, the short story collection became a huge hit, though Anaïs Nin had considered the stories an embarrassment because they were more caricature than serious writing and had been penned for a private patron's money rather than written for publication.

Nevertheless, they provided a memorable exhibition of Nin's talent for erotic literature. They also added to her legacy as a feminist icon. With the success of Delta of Venus, a second erotic short story collection, Little Birds, was published in 1979.


Quote Of The Day

"If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it." - Anaïs Nin


Vanguard Video

Today's video features Anaïs Nin reading from her famous diaries. Enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2017

IWW Members' Publishing Successes



Gary Presley

I once wrote an essay that appeared in the NYTIMES's "Modern Love," which was later chosen to be read by the actor Colin Farrell on Boston's NPR station, WBUR. Today I've learned it's one of three Modern Love essays to be distributed to public radio stations across the nation in honor of St. Valentine's Day.

Pardon my pride and accept my recognition that yahooing three times about one essay seems a bit, ah, too much, but if you haven't heard it and want to hear it, it can be found here.

Jeannette de Beauvoir

I’m psyched to share the release of my coming-of-age novel, Our Lady of the Dunes, published by Homeport Press. We’re having a launch party this Saturday in Provincetown, Massachusetts, if anyone could care to come.

I began this novel on a writing residency that I recommend to everyone on the list. I spent two weeks in a dune shack, no electricity, no running water, just me and the sea and the manual typewriter.

It was an amazing experience and I hope that it’s an amazing book that came out of it.

Bill Brier

Black Opal Books will publish my three mystery novels this year. The stories took eight years to complete, and I couldn’t have written them without the help and support of many of you in Novels-L.

Write me and I’ll send you an attached Advanced Reader Copy of The Devil Orders Takeout for free.

Mark Kilfoil

Incremental Love, under my pen name PB Cruz is available as an eBook from Amazon. A while back I subbed it on Romance Writing as Incremental.

Thanks to all who sent me crits, they helped a great deal to improve the story.

Mel Jacob

I've reviewed books every month for both SFRevu and Gumshoe Review, but keep forgetting to post.

For February at SFRevu:

Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey:

Noted author Jacqueline Carey offers a lyrical retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest that humanizes Caliban, but doesn't change his sad fate.

Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold:

A ghostly tale in which Penric of Martensbridge, a sorcerer with the rank of a learned divine, and his demon Desdemona aid in the capture and recovery of a fugitive shaman.

The Weaver by Emmi Itäranta:

A bleak dystopian tragedy. Some readers will find the story dark, obscure, and slow-moving as the author's lyrical prose meanders through a tale as complex as any web woven by the weavers on an island threaten by the encroaching sea where dreamers are imprisoned or killed.

The Wishing World by Todd Fahnestock:

A story for middle school readers. Who has not dreamed of a world where dreams come true and good overcomes evil? The heroine wants her missing family returned.

At Gumshoe Review:

The Ghosts of Misty Hollow (Ghost of Granny Apples) by Sue Ann Jaffarian:

Ghosts abound in Misty Hollow, but they appear hesitant and shy, yet haunt Emma Whitehouse. Something happened in the past that will not let the ghosts rest so they rely on psychic Emma and the ghost of her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Granny Apples.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Notes For February 17th, 2017


This Day In Literary History

On February 17th, 1864, the legendary Australian writer Banjo Paterson was born. He was born Andrew Barton Paterson in New South Wales, Australia. When Banjo was five, his family lost their wool crop. After his uncle died, the family took over his farm in Illalong.

The farm was close to the main route between Melbourne and Sydney; Banjo grew up around horses and horsemen of all sorts, including coachmen, drovers, and polo players. Thus began his love for horses and the inspiration for his future writings.

He was tutored by a governess until he was old enough to ride a pony and could ride to the bush school for his education. Banjo was a good student and athlete but failed to win a scholarship to the University of Sydney.

So, he took a job as a law clerk, which he would use as a stepping stone toward becoming a solicitor. While working as a solicitor, Banjo took up writing and began his literary career as a poet. He described himself as a "bush poet."

His first published poem, which appeared in the Australian nationalist literary magazine The Bulletin, blasted the British government's war in the Sudan. He struck up friendships with other great Australian writers such as E.J. Brady, Breaker Morant, and Henry Lawson.

In 1895, Banjo Paterson's classic first poetry collection, The Man From Snowy River and Other Verses was published. The title poem, written when Australia was at the cusp of gaining independence from England, would come to symbolize the national identity of Australia and her people.

The title character of this classic ballad is an Australian horseman who embarks on a heroic quest to capture a racehorse who escaped from its paddock and is now living with wild horses in the mountains. The poem and its author were commemorated on the Australian $10 note.

The Man From Snowy River would be adapted as a classic Australian feature film in 1982, directed by George Miller and starring Kirk Douglas, Tom Burlinson, and Terence Donovan.

Another of Paterson's classic bush ballads would be set to music and become the most popular Australian song of all time, affectionately referred to as "the unofficial national anthem of Australia."

Waltzing Matilda told the story of a swagman (Australian itinerant laborer) camping in the bush who catches a jumbuck (sheep) to eat. The sheep's owner arrives with three policemen to arrest the swagman, who commits suicide. His ghost then haunts the site.

Paterson sold the rights to the song, and the lyrics would be modified somewhat over the years. This is the original version:

Oh there once was a swagman camped in the billabong
Under the shade of a Coolabah tree
And he sang as he looked at the old billy boiling,
Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me?

Who'll come a waltzing Matilda my darling
Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me
Waltzing Matilda leading a tucker bag
Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me?

Down came a jumbuck to drink at the water hole
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him in glee
And he said as he put him away in the tucker bag
You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

You'll come a waltzing Matilda my darling
You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me
Waltzing Matilda leading a tucker bag
You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

Down came the squatter a riding on his thoroughbred
Down came policemen one, two and three
Where is the jumbuck you've got in the tucker bag?
You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

You'll come a waltzing Matilda my darling
You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me
Waltzing Matilda leading a tucker bag
You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

But the swagman he ups and he jumps in the water hole
Drowning himself by the Coolabah tree
And his ghost can be heard as it sings in the billabong
Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me?


During the Second Boer War, Banjo Paterson became a war correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He also served as a war correspondent during the Boxer Rebellion in China, where he met Australian writer and adventurer George "Chinese" Morrison.

Back home in Australia, Paterson married his girlfriend Alice Emily Walker, who bore him two children, Grace and Hugh. Continuing his journalism career, he became editor of the Sydney Evening News (1904–06) and of the Town and Country Journal (1907–08).

During the first world war, unable to get a job as a war correspondent in Flanders, he became an ambulance driver for the Australian Voluntary Hospital in Wimereux, France.

Paterson went home, but later returned to the French front as a commissioned officer with 2nd Remount Unit, Australian Imperial Force. He was wounded, went temporarily missing in action, and served again in Cairo. He would be discharged with the rank of major.

He kept writing. Though primarily known as a poet, he also published essays, short story collections, two novels, An Outback Marriage (1906) and The Shearer's Colt (1936), and a children's book called The Animals Noah Forgot (1933).

Banjo Paterson's classic bush ballads were originally published without sheet music. They would be set to sheet music by many different performers over the years, establishing him as one of the all time great folk song writers.

He died of a heart attack in 1941, at the age of 76.


Quote Of The Day

"I have followed the wandering teamster's track, and it always led to a pub." - Banjo Paterson


Vanguard Video

Today's video is a "virtual movie" of Banjo Paterson reading his classic poem, The Man From Snowy River, the soundtrack taken from a rare recording of the author. Enjoy!

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