January 19 Writer Birthdays

1655 – Nalan Xingde (born Nalan Chengde; Manchu name Nara Singde), Qing dynasty Chinese poet, famous for his ci poetry.

1714 – Joseph de La Porte, French poet, playwright, and literary critic; he also wrote fictional travel books that were based on real voyages, though he never traveled himself.

1720 – Franciszek Bohomolec, Polish writer, poet, playwright, and linguist who satirized the ignorance and folly of the Polish aristocracy.

1803 – Sarah Helen Power Whitman, U.S. poet, essayist, transcendentalist, and Spiritualist, and a romantic interest of Edgar Allan Poe.

1809 – Nicole Craig, Trinidadian poet, short-story writer, advertising copywriter, curator, and artist.

1809 – Edgar Allen Poe, U.S. author, poet, editor, and literary critic who was a central figure in the Romantic movement and in all of American literature and who is considered one of the country’s earliest practitioners of the short story, the inventor of detective fiction, and an early contributor to the emerging genre of science fiction; his work is characterized by mystery and the macabre.

1810 – Talhaiarn (bardic name for John Jones), Welsh poet and architect who as an architect is best know for overseeing the building of the Crystal Palace; as a writer, he is known for collaborating with John Thomas and Thomas Oliphant on a series of four books called, “Welsh Melodies with Welsh and English Poetry.”

1826 – Juan José Cañas, Salvadoran writer, poet, politician, and diplomat.

1848 – Arturo Graf, Greek-born Italian poet, writer, critic, and lecturer of German ancestry; he was one of the founders of the Giornale della letteratura italiana and is considered one of Italy’s key lyrical writers.

1859 – Marie Nizet (also called Marie Mercier), Belgian writer and poet who developed an interest in Romania and wrote poems in support of Romania during the country’s war for independence; after her death, a collection of her love poems was published to critical acclaim.

1870 – Aniello Califano, Italian poet and writer who is best known as the author of numerous Neapolitan songs that are still popular today.

1872 – María Enriqueta Camarillo (also known as María Enriqueta Camarillo y Roa de Pereyra), award-winning Mexican poet, novelist, short-story writer, children’s writer, and translator.

1876 – Dragotin Kette, Slovene writer, children’s author, and impressionistic and neo-Romantic poet who is considered one of the founders of Modernism in Slovene literature.

1882 – Brij Narayan Chakbast (also spelled Brij Narain Chakbast), Indian Urdu poet, writer, playwright, and lawyer who was active in the Indian Home Rule movement; Indian patriotism was a major theme in his work.

1898 – Julia Montgomery Street, award-winning U.S. writer, poet, novelist, children’s writer, and child psychologist; many of her stories were based on carefully researched North Carolina historical subjects.

1899 – Juan José Morosoli, Uruguayan writer, poet, journalist, short-story writer, and playwright whose masterpiece is Perico, a collection of short stories for children.

1906 – Robin Hyde, South African-born New Zealand poet, journalist, short-story writer, and educator who is considered one of New Zealand’s major poets.

1908 – Paz M. Latorena, Filipina poet, editor, author, and teacher; she was one of the foremost writers of the first generation of English writers in the Philippines.

1921 – Patricia Highsmith, award-winning U.S. author novels and short stories, best known for her psychological thrillers.

1921 – Fodéba Keïta, Guinean writer, playwright, composer, poet, dancer, and politician who founded the first professional African theatrical troupe, Theatre Africain, and arranged Liberté, the national anthem of Guinea.

1924 – Jean-François Revel, French journalist and author of political nonfiction.

1925 – Nina Bawden, award-winning British novelist and author of children’s books.

1931 – Robin MacNeil (full name Robert Breckenridge Ware MacNeil), Canadian-born television news anchor, journalist, and novelist who paired with Jim Lehrer to create the television news program The MacNeil/Lehrer Report.

1931 – Mahananda Poudyal, award-winning Indian-born Nepali writer, poet, short-story writer, essayist, editor, teacher, travel writer, literary critic, social worker, translator, political thinker, and collector of folktales.

1937 – Appadurai Muttulingam, award-winning Sri Lankan author and essayist.

1937 – Mikhail Nozhkin, Russian writer, poet, actor, composer, musician, and songwriter.

1938 – Anne Karin Elstad, award-winning Norwegian author known for her book series featuring the character Julie.

1941 – Khosrow Sinai, award-winning Iranian screenwriter and film director who specializes in social documentaries.

1941 – Breda Smolnikar, Slovenian fiction writer for adults and children who also writes under the pseudonym Gospa.

1946 – Julian Barnes, English author of literary fiction, recipient of the 2011 Man Booker Prize.

1947 – Paula Deen, U.S. cooking personality, television host, restaurateur, and cookbook author.

1954 – Esther Shkalim, Israeli Mizrahi feminist poet and curator of Jewish art; her poetry explores the experience of the female, Jewish, and Mizrahi identities, in the family and public spheres.

1958 – Allen Steele, Jr., U.S. science-fiction writer of novels and short stories.

1969 – Casey Sherman, U.S. journalist and true-crime author.

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