March 27 Writer Birthdays

1665 – Pietro Pariati, Italian writer, poet, and librettist.

1724 – Jane Colden, U.S. botanist, writer, and artist who is thought to have been the first female botanist working in the U.S.; she is well known for her letters applying the Linnaean system of plant identification to American flora, and for her book about the flora of the Hudson Valley in New York state, including ink drawings of 340 different species.

1770 – Eleonora Charlotta d’Albedyhll (née Wrangel), Swedish countess, poet, writer, and salon holder.

1770 – Sophie Friederike Mereau, German novelist, poet, translator, publisher, and short-story writer associated with German Romanticism.

1834 – Melissa Elizabeth Riddle Banta, U.S. poet, teacher, and travel writer.

1862 – Jelena Dimitrijevic, Serbian short-story writer, novelist, poet, traveler, social worker, feminist, and polyglot who is considered to be the first woman in modern Serbian history to publish a work of travel-related prose.

1865 – Marion Emily Angus, Scottish poet and writer who wrote poetry in the Scots vernacular, or Braid Scots, defined variously as a dialect of English or a language closely related to it; her prose writings were mainly in standard English. She is seen as a forerunner of a Scottish Renaissance in inter-war poetry.

1879 – Catherine Carswell (née Macfarlane), Scottish journalist, writer, novelist, literary critic, biographer, and autobiographer who was part of the Scottish Renaissance literary movement. She was a close friend of English writer D.H. Lawrence and wrote a biography of him after his death; she also wrote a biography of poet Robert Burns that was controversial because of it honesty.

1883 – Marie Under, Estonian writer, poet, translator, and archivist who is considered one of Estonia’s greatest poets; she was nominated eight times for the Nobel Prize.

1892 – Thorne Smith, U.S. writer of humorous supernatural fantasy fiction, notably his two Topper novels, which were considered racy in the 1930s, containing ghosts, drinking, and sex; the Topper books were adapted for film and a television series.

1892 – Swami Vipulananda (also known as Vipulananda Adigal), Sri Lankan Tamil Hindu author, poet, teacher, ascetic, literary critic, and social reformer who was instrumental in the revival of the Hindu religion and native traditions in Sri Lanka after a long period of dormancy and decline.

1895 – Juan Guzmán Cruchaga, Chilean writer, poet, and diplomat.

1897 – Effa Louise Manley, U.S. baseball franchise owner, sports executive, and author who co-owned the Negro Leagues baseball team the Newark Eagles, along with her husband Abe Manley; in 2006, she posthumously became the first (and, to date, only) woman inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. She also wrote a book about the Negro Leagues that included a lot of autobiographical material.

1905 – Elsie MacGill (full name Elizabeth Muriel Gregory MacGill), award-winning Canadian aeronautical engineer, activist, author, broadcaster, engineering writer, and biographer; the world’s first woman to earn an aeronautical engineering degree and the first woman in Canada to receive a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, she worked as an aeronautical engineer during World War II and did much to make Canada a powerhouse of aircraft construction, earning the nickname “Queen of the Hurricanes,” for overseeing production of Hawker Hurricane aircraft, and becoming so well known that True Comics published a comic-book biography of her. She was also a commissioner on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada, and was an activist for women’s equality, maternity leave, and abortion rights. She also wrote a biography of her mother, My Mother, the Judge: A Biography of Judge Helen Gregory MacGill.

1910 – Ai Qing (艾青), Chinese writer who was regarded as one of the finest modern Chinese poets.

1914 – Budd Schulberg (born Seymour Wilson Schulberg), U.S. novelist, screenwriter, and sports writer who was best known for his Academy Award-winning screenplay for On the Waterfront.

1917 – Kamakhkhi Prasad Chattopadhyay, Indian Bengali writer and poet.

1920 – Luca Perrone, Italian poet and linguist.

1922 – Barnaby Conrad, U.S. artist and author who was also a nightclub proprietor, bullfighter, and boxer.

1922 – Dick King-Smith (real name Ronald Gordon King-Smith), award-winning British author of children’s books who wrote 130 books, despite the fact that he started at the age of 56; his book The Sheep-Pig was published in the United States as Babe the Gallant Pig and adapted into the popular movie Babe.

1923 – Louis Simpson, Pulitzer Prize-winning Jamaican poet, editor, and educator who relocated to the U.S.

1927 – Cecil Bødker, Hans Christian Andersen Medal-winning Danish writer, poet, children’s writer, and designer; she is best known for her young-adult novels about the character Silas.

1926 – Frank O’Hara, National Book Award-winning U.S. poet, writer, novelist, art critic, and curator at the Museum of Modern Art.

1935 – Abelardo Castillo, award-winning Argentine novelist, playwright, essayist, and short-story writer.

1939 – Leila Kasra, Iranian writer, poet, songwriter, and lyricist.

1942 – Michael Jackson, English author and journalist who was best known for writing about beer and whisky.

1946 – Michael Vaillancourt Aris, Cuban-born British scholar and author who wrote and lectured on Bhutanese, Tibetan, and Himalayan culture and history.

1947 – Oliver Friggieri, Maltese poet, novelist, literary critic, and Existentialist philosopher.

1949 – Dubravka Ugrešic, Amsterdam-based Croatian novelist, short-story writer, and essayist; she is also a literary scholar, much of whose work focuses on contemporary Russian literature.

1950 – Julia Alvarez, Dominican-U.S. novelist, poet, essayist, and children’s writer who is considered one of the world’s most important Latina writers.

1952 – Dana Stabenow, U.S. author of science fiction, mystery and crime fiction, thrillers, and historical adventures; many of her books are set in her native Alaska.

1955 – Patrick McCabe, award-winning Irish author whose dark, violent novels are set in modern-day Ireland.

1962 – Kevin J. Anderson, U.S. science-fiction author who has written spin-off novels for Star Wars, The X-Files, and other popular series, as well as work set in his own science-fiction worlds; with Brian Herbert, he is the co-author of the Dune prequel series. He is married to writer and sometimes writing partner Rebecca Moesta.

1966 – Bettina Balàka, award-winning Austrian novelist, poet, essayist, playwright and short story writer.

1988 – Victor Heringer, award-winning Brazilian writer, poet, novelist, essayist, and translator.

1993 – Chidera Nneoma Okolie, award-winning Nigerian novelist and short-story writer who gained national attention when her debut novel When Silence Becomes Too Loud was endorsed by then President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan.

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