1793 – John Clare, English poet, essayist, and violinist, known especially for his poetry about nature and preserving the environment in the face of the agricultural revolution.
1808 – Ignace Nau, Haitian poet, storyteller, historian, lyricist, and politician who founded a literary society called “The School of 1836” and published a literary magazine.
1814 – Bhanubhakta Acharya, Nepali poet, writer, translator who is honored with the title of Adikavi (The First Poet) of the Nepali language.
1844 – Julia Daudet (born Julia Allard ), French writer, poet, literary critic, and journalist.
1859 – Marion Manville Pope, American poet, author, children’s writer, artist, world traveler, and philanthropist.
1875 – María Eugenia Vaz Ferreira, Uruguayan writer, poet, and teacher.
1882 – Catherine Pozzi, French poet, writer, salonnière, autobiographer, and diarist.
1886 – Huw Owen Williams (also known as Huw Menai), Welsh coal miner and poet who was a Welsh speaker but wrote only in English.
1889 – Emma Asson, Estonian writer, historian, and politician who was the first woman elected to the Estonian parliament; she helped write the first constitution of independent Estonia, especially provisions on education and gender equality. She also helped write the first history textbook in the Estonian language.
1894 – Isaak Babel, Russian journalist, translator, dramatist, and short-story writer who was arrested and executed during Stalin’s purges.
1900 – Adelina Adalis, Russian Soviet poet, prose writer, and translator who influenced modern Malaysian literature.
1901 – Mate Ujevic, Croatian poet, author, and encyclopedist.
1910 – Josefina Niggli, Mexican playwright, poet, and novelist of Anglo-American descent; writing about Mexican-American issues before the Chicano movement, she was the first and, for a time, the only Mexican-American writing in English on Mexican themes; her egalitarian views of gender, race, and ethnicity were progressive for their time and helped lay the groundwork for later Chicana feminists. She is now recognized as “a literary voice from the middle ground between Mexican and Anglo heritage.”
1915 – Birgit Tengroth, Swedish writer, poet, journalist, autobiographer, and actress.
1918 – Marcia Brown, American children’s author, illustrator, and three-time winner of the Caldecott Medal.
1922 – Louis R. Harlan, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Booker T. Washington.
1923 – Ashley Bryan, American writer and illustrator of children’s books, best known for his books based on African and African-American folklore.
1928 – Ellen Niit (born Ellen Hiob; also called Ellen Kross), Estonian author, children’s writer, poet, and translator.
1929 – Teresa Boguslawska, Polish poet and resistance fighter who took part in the Warsaw Uprising; in February 1944 she was arrested by the Gestapo and tortured during questioning. She died in 1945 at the age of 16.
1930 – Naomi Shemer, Israeli poet, writer, composer, singer, and songwriter who has been called the “first lady of Israeli song and poetry.”
1933 – David Storey, English playwright, screenwriter, and Booker Prize-winning novelist who was also a former professional rugby player.
1934 – Akinwande Oluwole “Wole” Soyinka, Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian playwright and poet.
1935 – Monique Wittig, French author and feminist theorist whose novel Les Guerilleres was a landmark in lesbian feminism.
1938 – Jeanne Goosen, award-winning South African poet, novelist, playwright, journalist, and children’s writer.
1938 – Helga Königsdorf, German author and physicist; her published works include novels, short-story collections, and nonfiction books about science and mathematics.
1940 – Sunita Jain, award-winning Indian scholar, novelist, short-story writer, children’s author, poet, and professor who writes in English and Hindi.
1940 – Bracha Serri, award-winning Yemen-born Israeli poet; her often overtly political and feminist poetry draws heavily on the metaphoric tradition of the great Yemenite poets.
1943 – Rose-Marie Huuva, award-winning Swedish writer, poet, author, artist, and textile artist.
1946 – Anna Grossnickle Hines, American author and illustrator of children’s books.
1948 – Tony Kornheiser, American sportswriter, sports analyst, columnist, broadcaster, and author.
1953 – Vairamuthu Ramasamy, award-winning Indian poet, novelist, lyricist, and translator who is a prominent figure in the Tamil literary world.
1957 – Cameron Crowe, American actor, film director, author, and screenwriter who was an editor at Rolling Stone magazine; he is married to musician Nancy Wilson of the rock band Heart.
1957 – Jane Hamilton, American novelist and short-story writer whose first two books, The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, gained fame as Oprah’s Book Club picks.
1961 – Benjamín Prado, award-winning Spanish novelist, essayist, and poet.
1973 – Carolyn Mackler, American author of bestselling teen novels.
1977 – Colin Gerard Tan, Singaporean poet who is also a technology entrepreneur.
1996 – Amini Cishugi, Congolese author, screenwriter, journalist, actor, singer-songwriter, blogger, and philanthropist.