March 18 Writer Birthdays

1634 – Madame de La Fayette, French writer, novelist, historian, lady-in-waiting, and correspondent; her novel La Princesse de Clèves was France’s first historical novel and one of the earliest novels in all of literature.

1652 – Anne Margrethe Qvitzow, Danish poet, writer, memoirist, and translator.

1829 – Mary Ann Harris Gay, U.S. writer and poet from Decatur, Georgia, best known for her Civil War memoir Life in Dixie During the War, which inspired passages in Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone with the Wind.

1842 – Stéphane Mallarmé, French symbolist poet whose work influenced Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, and Surrealism.

1892 – Robert P.T. Coffin, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. poet, writer, editor, and literary critic who was poetry editor for Yankee magazine.

1893 – Wilfred Edward Salter Owen, English poet, known for his shocking, realistic war poetry.

1904 – Margaret Lilardia Tucker, Aboriginal Australian activist and writer who was among the first Aboriginal authors to publish an autobiography. Her birthdate is sometimes given as March 28.

1915 – Richard Condon, U.S. novelist who is known for his political satire.

1916 – Dinanath Nadim, influential Indian Kashmiri poet who also wrote in Hindi and Urdu, but is credited with beginning the modern era of Kashmiri poetry; he was also a composer and librettist for operas.

1919 – Tatiana Belinky, prolific Russian-born Brazilian writer, poet, journalist, literary critic, essayist, children’s writer, translator, and theatre director.

1920 – Arisen Ahubudu, award-winning Sri Lankan author, poet, playwright, historian, scholar, music composer, and lyricist.

1921 – Bartolomeu Anania, Romanian writer, poet, author, translator, and Orthodox bishop.

1921 – Claire Pratt (full name Mildred Claire Pratt), Canadian writer, poet, essayist, artist, editor, and graphic designer.

1922 – Mehdi Azar-Yazdi, Iranian writer, poet, editor, and children’s author whose books are adaptations of works from Classical Persian literature; his most notable book was the award-winning Good Stories for Good Children.

1923 – Ryūichi Tamura, Japanese writer, poet, novelist, translator, and linguist.

1927 – George Plimpton, U.S. journalist and sportswriter who was the founder of The Paris Review.

1929 – Christa Wolf, German literary critic, novelist, and essayist.

1931 – Ali Kerim, award-winning Azerbaijani poet, writer, novelist, and translator.

1932 – John Updike, U.S. novelist, poet, short-story writer, art critic, and literary critic who has won two Pulitzer Prizes.

1935 – Muzi Epifani (full name Maria Luisa Gabriella Epifani), Italian writer, poet, journalist, and translator.

1939 – Marja-Leena Mikkola, Finnish author, poet, screenwriter, and politician.

1944 – Luciano Caruso, Italian poet, playwright, artist, journalist, philologist, nonfiction writer, art theorist, art critic, magazine editor, and performing artist.

1945 – Joy Fielding, Canadian novelist, literary critic, and screenwriter who began her career as an actress; she tends to set her novels in large American cities, to highlight her themes of urban alienation and loss of identity.

1948 – Di Morrissey, prolific, bestselling Australian novelist and children’s book author.

1948 – Susan Patron, Newbery Medal-winning U.S. children’s book author and librarian; best known for her novel, The Higher Power of Lucky.

1950 – Nabeel Yasin, Iraqi poet, journalist, philosopher, magazine editor, and political activist whose work was censored under the regime of Saddam Hussein, until Yasin fled to Hungary in 1980; a documentary about his life entitled The Poet of Baghdad was filmed by director Georgie Weedon and broadcast on Al Jazeera English in 2009.

1951 – Haruhisa Handa, Japanese poet, playwright, professor, calligrapher, printmaker, singer-songwriter, lyricist, and ballet dancer who founded the Japanese Blind Golf Association; he is also known by the names Toshu Fukami, Toto Ami, and Leonardo Toshu.

1953 – Franz Wright, Austrian-born Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose father, James Wright, won in the same category.

1954 – Hisaki Matsuura, noted Japanese professor, poet, philosopher, novelist, and film critic.

1959 – Luc Besson, French screenwriter, film director, and producer.

1960 – Mariam Tsiklauri, Georgian poet, writer, children’s author, and translator.

1975 – Ishaq Samejo, Pakistani poet, writer, and literary critic who writes in the Sindhi language.

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