June 15 Writer Birthdays

1763 – Kobayashi Issawas, Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest who is regarded as one of Japan’s four haiku masters (The Great Four); he is better known by his pen name Issa, which means Cup of Tea.

1835 – Adah Isaacs Menken, American poet, essayist, and painter. and poet who was also the highest-earning actress of her time.

1844 – Charlotte Despard (née French), Anglo-Irish suffragist, socialist, women’s rights advocate, pacifist, Sinn Féin activist, and novelist.

1856 – Edward Channing, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian who is best known for his six-volume History of the United States.

1902 – Erik Erikson, Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning German-born American psychologist, author, and professor, known for his theory on the psychological development of human beings; he is most famous for coining the phrase, “identity crisis.”

1911 – Wilbert Awdry, English cleric and children’s author who was the creator of Thomas the Tank Engine.

1927 – Ibn-e-Insha (pen name for Sher Muhammad Khan), influential Pakistani Urdu poet, humorist, travel writer, and newspaper columnist.

1932 – Gene Roberts, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, editor, author, and professor.

1937 – Lola Lemire Tostevin, Canadian writer, poet, translator, literary critic, novelist, and linguist who is one of Canada’s leading feminist writers and a key figure in Canadian literary analysis; she writes mostly in English, but has published work in her native French, too.

1939 – Brian Jacques, English author and short-story writer, best known for his “Redwall” series of children’s fiction; his last name is pronounced “Jakes.”

1945 – Naseer Turabi, Pakistani poet, lyricist, columnist, and educator.

1953 – Ana Castillo, American Chicana novelist, poet, editor, short-story writer, essayist, playwright, and translator who is considered one of the leading voices of the Chicana experience; she is known for her experimental style and passionate sociopolitical commentary.

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