March 12 Writer Birthdays

1598 – Guillaume Colletet, French writer, poet, playwright, and translator.

1649 – Govert Bidloo, prolific Dutch poet, playwright, writer, physician, surgeon, anatomist, composer, physician, musician, librettist, and university teacher.

1739 – Josefa de los Dolores Peña y Lillo Barbosa (also known as sor Josefa de los Dolores or sor Dolores Peña y Lillo), influential Chilean writer, poet, epistolary writer, and Domenican nun whose work is today regarded as the best existing source for study of the Spanish language that was spoken during the Chilean Colonial period.

1743 – Ellenor Fenn (née Frere), prolific British author of children’s books who also wrote under the pseudonyms Mrs. Teachwell and Mrs. Lovechild.

1799 – Mary Howitt, English poet, author, linguist, and translator best known for writing the poem The Spider and the Fly and for translating the tales of Hans Christian Andersen.

1821 – Orsat “Medo” Pucić, Serbian writer, poet, historian, and politician who was an important member of the Catholic Serb movement.

1823 – Katsu Kaishū (nickname for Count Katsu Yasuyoshi, born Katsu Yoshikuni), Japanese statesman, naval engineer, and autobiographer who took the name Kaishū from a piece of calligraphy; he went through a series of given names and nicknames throughout his life, including Rintarō, Awa, and Yasuyoshi.

1831 – Kate Scott Turner (also known as Kate Anthon), U.S. poet who is best known for her friendship with poet Emily Dickinson.

1836 – Isabella Beeton, influential English journalist, bestselling author, publisher, cookbook writer, magazine writer, translator, and businessperson whose name is most associated today with her bestselling book, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management; the term “Mrs. Beeton” has become a generic name for domestic authority.

1860 – William Cabell Bruce, U.S. Senator who wrote books on historical topics, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Benjamin Franklin.

1864 – Alice Tegnér, Swedish writer, poet, composer, teacher, songwriter, organist, and pedagogue who is the foremost composer of Swedish children’s songs during the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century.

1867 – Raul Brandão, Portuguese writer, journalist, and military officer whose writing was notable for the realism of his literary descriptions and the lyricism of his language.

1875 – Hilda Martindale, British civil servant, author, and feminist who was one of Britain’s first female factory inspectors. She worked to improve working conditions, particularly those of women and children; argued in favor of women’s right to choose whether to leave their jobs upon getting married; fought for equal pay for women; and wrote a key report about lead poisoning in brickworks. Her books include A History of Women in the Civil Service, One Generation to Another (about her own family), Some Victorian Portraits, and Women Servants of the State.

1886 – Geoffrey Hodson, New Zealand writer, philosopher, occultist, theosophist, mystic, and Liberal Catholic priest.

1888 – Þórbergur Þórðarson, Icelandic writer, poet, critic, satirist, essayist, memoirist, short-story writer, and Esperantist who remains one of Iceland’s most beloved 20th century authors.

1894 – Yoshiki Hayama, Japanese novelist of proletarian literature; he spent time in jail due to his involvement with the labor movement, but later turned away from Marxism and became an enthusiastic supporter of Japanese imperialism.

1898 – Tian Han, Chinese writer, poet, playwright, screenwriter, translator, and songwriter who was part of the New Culture Movement of the early 20th century and who is considered by drama historians as one of the three founders of Chinese spoken drama; he also wrote the lyrics for “March of the Volunteers,” which was later adopted as the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China.

1906 – Abulhasan Alibaba oglu Alakbarzadeh, early Soviet Azerbaijani writer known under the pen name Abulhasan, the People’s Writer of Azerbaijan.

1906 – Wang Shiwei, Chinese journalist and literary writer who became famous for his contribution to the Chinese history of modern revolution and to Chinese modern literature but who later wrote critically of some aspects of the revolution, was expelled from the Communist Party of China, and was executed in 1947.

1912 – Kathleen Kylie Tennant, award-winning Australian novelist, playwright, short-story writer, critic, journalist, biographer, and historian; her work was known for its well-researched, realistic, yet positive portrayals of the lives of the underprivileged in Australia.

1920 – Françoise d’Eaubonne, French feminist writer, biographer, and science-fiction author who coined the term “ecofeminism.”

1922 – Jack Kerouac, U.S. and French-Canadian novelist and poet who was one of the pioneers of the Beat Generation; his iconic autobiographical novel, On the Road, is regarded as a defining work of the postwar Beat and Counterculture generations, with its protagonists living life against a backdrop of jazz, poetry, and drug use.

1923 – Ugo Attardi, Italian painter, sculptor, and writer.

1925 – Constantin Chiriță, Romanian writer and children’s author whose work is still popular among Romanian teens; some of his books have been adapted for television.

1925 – Harry Harrison, U.S. science-fiction author whose novel Make Room! Make Room! was the basis for the film Soylent Green.

1927 – Micheline Dupray, French poet, author, and essayist.

1928 – Edward Albee, influential U.S. playwright, screenwriter, author, university teacher, and theater director who won three Pulitzer Prizes and two Tony Awards; his works reflect a mastery and Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd, and explore the psychology of maturing, marriage, and sexual relationships.

1928 – Gina Calleja, English-born Canadian author and illustrator of children’s books.

1928 – José Miguel Varas, award-winning Chilean writer and journalist.

1929 – Vera Kohnová, young Czechoslovakian Jewish diarist who wrote about her feelings and about events during the Nazi occupation; she died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1942. Her final diary entry before she was captured ended with, “We are here just tomorrow and after tomorrow, who knows what will be then. Bye-bye, my diary!”

1931 – Greg Laconsay, Filipino writer, novelist, editor, lexicographer, and sex educator.

1936 – Virginia Hamilton, Newbery Award-winning U.S. African-American children’s book author, recognized for her contributions to multicultural literature for youth.

1947 – Niyi Osundare, leading Nigerian poet, dramatist, linguist, and literary critic whose poetry is influenced by the oral poetry of his Yorùbá culture, as well as other poetic traditions of the world, including African American, Latin American, Asian, and European; his creative and critical writings are also closely associated with political activism, decolonization, Black internationalism, and the environment.

1948 – Sandra Brown, U.S. bestselling author of romance and thrillers.

1952 – Naomi Shihab Nye, Palestinian-U.S. poet, songwriter, and novelist.

1952 – Danielle Simard, Canadian writer, children’s author, illustrator, and graphic artist.

1953 – Carl Hiaasen, U.S. journalist and author of humorous crime fiction and young-adult novels; much of his fiction takes place in Florida and explores environmental themes and political corruption.

1955 – Gaspard Musabyimana, Rwandan nonfiction writer who currently lives in Belgium but whose work focuses on the history and culture of his native country.

1956 – Ruth Ozeki, Canadian-U.S. novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest.

1956 – Pia Pera, Italian novelist, short-story writer, essayist, translator, and professor, best known for her translations of Russian authors including Pushkin and Nabokov; later in her career, she specialized in writing novels connected to her passion for gardening.

1958 – Kathrin Schmidt, German writer, poet, science-fiction author, editor, journalist, social scientist, and psychotherapist.

1960 – Majda Koren, award-winning Slovenian writer, children’s author, web editor, and teacher.

1970 – Dave Eggers, U.S. novelist, memoirist, nonfiction writer, short-story writer, children’s author, editor, publisher, and philanthropist, best known for his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius; Utne Reader has named him one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World.”

1973 – Léonora Miano, award-winning Cameroonian novelist and anthologist.

1984 – Elchin Safarli, Azerbaijani novelist and journalist who writes in Russian.

1991 – Kai Cheng Thom, award-winning Canadian novelist, poet, children’s author, memoirist, essayist, and social worker.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: