1588 – Herman Hugo, Belgian writer, Jesuit priest, and military chaplain whose Pia Desideria, a religious emblem book published in Antwerp, was the most popular religious emblem book of the seventeenth century; it went through 42 Latin editions and was widely translated up to the 18th century. (An emblem book is a collection of emblems with accompanying explanatory text, typically morals or poems.)
1738 – John Wolcot, English writer, poet, satirist, and physician who wrote under the pseudonym Peter Pindar.
1752 – Johann Anton Leisewitz, German lawyer and dramatic poet who was a central figure of the Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) era, an artistic movement characterized by expressions of turbulent emotion; he is best known for his play Julius of Tarent, which inspired playwright Friedrich Schiller.
1819 – Dadoba Pandurang, Indian social reformer, writer, grammarian, and linguist from Bombay who wrote extensively on religion and social reform as an opponent of rituals and caste, while supporting widow-remarriage and education for women; he was born with the surname Tarkhadkar, but he never used it in later life.
1832- Jessie White Mario, English and Italian writer, biographer, journalist, nurse, and philanthropist who was a nurse to General Giuseppe Garibaldi’s soldiers in four wars and was sometimes referred to as “Hurricane Jessie” in the Italian press; she researched living conditions in subterranean Naples and working conditions in Sicily’s sulphur mines and wrote copiously (in English and Italian) as both a journalist and a biographer. Her most famous biography was about Garibaldi.
1844 – Sarah Newcomb Merrick, Canadian and U.S. writer, educator, inventor, businesswoman, and physician.
1845 – Georgina Castle Smith (née Georgina Meyrick, pseudonym Brenda), popular and prolific English writer of children’s books, notable for her books that highlighted the needs of homeless children and encouraged people to donate clothing and food to them.
1851 – Sarah Elizabeth Pratt Grinnell, U.S. author, photographer, writer, editor, naturalist, and social activist.
1857 – Luigi Illica, Italian writer, poet, playwright, journalist, and librettist who wrote lyrics for some of the best known opera composers of his day, including Giacomo Puccini; he was always photographed with his head slightly turned, because he lost his right ear in a duel over a woman.
1860 – J.M. Barrie, Scottish novelist, playwright, and biographer who is best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan.
1861 – Anna Pappritz, German novelist, short-story writer, nonfiction author, pamphleteer, and activist for women’s rights and the abolition of prostitution.
1871 – Volodymyr Hnatiuk, Ukrainian writer, literary scholar, translator, editor, and journalist who was one of the most influential and notable Ukrainian ethnographers; he focused primarily on western Ukraine, gathering information about folk songs, legends, customs, and dialects.
1872 – Teffi (pseudonym of Nadezhda Alexandrovna Lokhvitskaya), Russian writer, poet, playwright, translator, satirist, memoirist.
1878 – Anna Myrberg, Swedish author, poet, and lyricist; much of her work appeared under the pseudonym Svarta Masken (The Black Mask).
1891 – Rudolf Pečjak, Slovene writer, poet, editor, playwright, songwriter, children’s writer, education writer, fairytale collector, lecturer, and teacher.
1895 – Lucian Blaga, Romanian philosopher, poet, and playwright.
1897 – Rudolph Fisher, U.S. African-American novelist, short-story writer, and physician who wrote the first U.S. detective novel with a Black protagonist, The Conjure-Man Dies: A Mystery Tale of Dark Harlem.
1897 – Abraham Nahum Stencl, Polish poet and editor who wrote, in Yiddish, in a pioneering modernist and expressionist style.
1898 – León Pacheco Solano, award-winning Costa Rican writer and journalist who belonged to the Generación de los 40 literary movement.
1901 – Lempi Ikävalko, Finnish writer, poet, journalist, actress, and performance artist.
1905- Lilí Álvarez, Italian and Spanish author, journalist, equestrian, alpine skier, skier, racing automobile driver, tennis player, sports journalist, figure skater, and feminist; she was best known as a tennis player, and even competed on Spain’s Olympic team.
1906 – Eleanor Estes, Newbery Medal-winning and three-time Newbery Honor-winning U.S. children’s author and librarian.
1908 – A.N. Krishna Rao (full name Arakalagudu Narasingarao Krishna Rao, but popularly known as Anakru), Indian author who was one of the best-known writers in the Kannada language; he was popularly known as Kadambari Sarvabhouma or “King of Novels.”
1910 – Carmela Carabelli (born Carmelina Negri; better known as Mamma Carmela), famous Italian mystic, author, and religious writer.
1916 – William Pène du Bois, U.S. children’s author and illustrator who was a Newbery winner and a two-time Caldecott runner-up.
1916 – Ishwar Petlikar, Indian Gujarati-language writer, novelist, essayist, columnist, journalist, editor, autobiographer, short-story writer, social reformer, and teacher.
1917 – Fay Kanin (née Mitchell), U.S. screenwriter, playwright, and producer who served as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
1920 – Richard Adams, bestselling English novelist, autobiographer, children’s writer, short-story writer, historian, civil servant, and animal rights activist whose best known books were about animals, including his most famous work, the award-winning novel Watership Down, which is credited with reinvigorating anthropomorphic fiction with naturalism.
1921 – Mona Van Duyn, U.S. poet and editor who was U.S. Poet Laureate and won both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize; one critic said of her work, “Using her characteristic half rhymes, sometimes in quatrains, sometimes in couplets, Van Duyn creates poems impressive for their intelligence and their determined attempts to find reason in an unreasonable world.”
1926 – John Middleton Murry Jr., English novelist who wrote under the pen names Colin Murry and Richard Cowper.
1927 – Ludmila Vaňková, Czech author of science fiction and historic fiction.
1928 – Didi Menosi, Israeli writer, journalist, poet, lyricist, dramatist, columnist, songwriter, and satirist.
1935 – Roger Hargreaves, English children’s book author and illustrator.
1935 – Ivan Lessa (full name Ivan Pinheiro Themudo Lessa), Brazilian journalist, writer, author, translator, and short-story writer.
1935 – Halina Poświatowska, (born Helena Myga), Polish poet and writer who was one of the most important figures in modern/contemporary Polish literature; she is famous for her lyrical poetry and for her intellectual, yet passionate poetry on themes of death; love; existence; famous historical personages, especially women.
1938 – Hwang Tong-gyu, Korean poet, academic, and critic who was known for stripping images to their bare, essential core and employing a terse and unalloyed prose style.
1938 – Charles Simic, Pulitzer Prize-winning Serbian-U.S. poet.
1939 – Rogelio Mangahas, award-winning Filipino poet, writer, editor, novelist, essayist, and artist who helped spearhead the second successful Modernist movement in Filipino poetry.
1944 – Lars Norén, Swedish playwright, novelist, and poet; his plays are realistic and often revolve around family relationships, among either those who are impoverished and disadvantaged, or those who live in material comfort but emotional insecurity.
1944 – Paulina Vinderman, award-winning Argentine writer, poet, literary reviewer, and translator.
1945 – Gamal El-Ghitani, Egyptian writer, editor, translator, journalist, and novelist; he was best known for his historical and political novels and his cultural and political commentaries.
1950 – Jorie Graham, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. poet whom the Poetry Foundation has called “one of the most celebrated poets of the American post-war generation.”
1950 – Jesús Abraham “Tato” Laviera, Puerto Rican-born poet and playwright.
1951 – Christopher Dewdney, award-winning Canadian poet and essayist whose work reflects his interest in natural history.
1951- Joy Harjo, U.S. screenwriter, writer, teacher, poet, musician, and children’s writer who is an important figure in the second wave of the literary Native American Renaissance of the late 20th century; she was also the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate.
1952 – Arturo Fontaine Talavera, Chilean novelist, poet, philosopher and essayist whose work is considered representative of the Chilean “New Narrative.”
1958 – Nada El-Hage, Lebanese poet, writer, translator, editor, and journalist.
1965 – Zhenis Kakenuly Nurlybayev, Kazakh author, editor, painter, art critic, caricaturist, and graphic artist.
1969 – Larisa Vitaliivna Matveyeva, Ukrainian poet, novelist, playwright, and translator.
1971 – Hiroki Azuma, award-winning Japanese novelist, essayist, philosopher, and cultural critic who writes in a Postmodernist style.
1975 – Tony Adam Mochama, award-winning Kenyan poet, short-story writer, author, young-adult novelist, and journalist.
1992 – Maya Christinah Xichavo Wegerif (known professionally as Sho Madjozi), South African poet, songwriter, singer, rapper, singer, and actress who incorporates the Tsonga culture in her work.