February 22 Writer Birthdays

1804 – William Whipper, American anti-slavery activist and essayist.

1819 – James Russell Lowell, American poet, social critic, journalist, essayist, and abolitionist.

1876 – Zitkála-Šá (Lakota: Red Bird, or Cardinal, and also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, her missionary-given and later married name), Yankton Dakota Sioux writer, editor, translator, violinist, educator, and political activist; she wrote several works chronicling her struggles with cultural identity and the pull between the majority culture she was educated within and her Dakota Sioux culture into which she was born.

1892 – Edna St. Vincent Millay, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, writer, translator, playwright, and librettist; the poet Richard Wilbur asserted, “She wrote some of the best sonnets of the century.” She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work.

1925 – Edward Gorey, American writer and artist noted for his illustrated books; his characteristic pen-and-ink drawings often depict vaguely unsettling narrative scenes in Victorian and Edwardian settings.

1935 – Danilo Kis, Serbo-Hungarian novelist and essayist.

1938 – Ishmael Reed, American poet, novelist, and essayist.

1950 – Julie Walters (Dame Julia Mary Walters), award-winning English actress and autobiographer; she is a mulitple BAFTA Award winner, has won a Golden Globe, and has been nominated for two Academy Awards; she is best known internationally for playing Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter films.

1971 – Elisha Cooper, American writer and illustrator of children’s books.

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