October 21

Ursula Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin (born October 21, 1929) U.S. novelist, poet, essayist – Lavinia (2008)

Visit the Ursula K. Le Guin website

A review of Le Guin's novel Always Coming Home here

A review of one of Le Guin's last books, Lavinia, here

Read about Ursula Le Guin's 1987 'Gentlemen, I just don't belong here' letter:

"I cannot imagine myself blurbing a book...which not only contains no writing by women, but the tone of which is so self-contentedly, exclusively male"

LeGuin letter

Le Guin discusses the inspiration for her scifi novels

Salomé Ureña de Henríquez

Salomé Ureña de Henríquez (born October 21, 1850) Dominican poet

Read more about Salome Urena de Henriquez here and here

A la Patria

Desgarra, Patria mía, el manto que vilmente,
sobre tus hombros puso la bárbara cueldad;
levanta ya del polvo la ensangrentada frente,
y entona el himno santo de unión y libertad.

Levántate a ceñirte la púrpura de gloria
¡oh tú, la predilecta del mundo de Colón!
Tu rango soberano dispútale a la historia,
demándale a la fama tu lauro y tu blasón.

Y pídele a tus hijos, llamados a unión santa,
te labren de virtudes grandioso pedestal,
do afirmes para siempre la poderosa planta,
mostrando a las naciones tu título inmortal.

Y deja, Patria amada, que en el sonoro viento
se mezclen a los tuyos mis himnos de placer;
permite que celebre tu dicha y tu contento,
cual lamenté contigo tu acerbo padecer.
Tear off, my country, that vile cloak
of barbaric cruelty placed upon your shoulders;
rise up from the dust of the bloody battlefront,
and sing the blessed hymn of unity and freedom.

Rise and clothe yourself in glorious purple
You, preferred in the world of Columbus!
Your sovereign reign disputes history;
demand your laurel and your shield of fame.

And beg your children, called up to the union of saints
to carve for you a grand pedestal of virtues,
affirming for all time a powerful platform
showing all nations your immortal title.

And leave, beloved country, mixed in the sound of the wind
my hymns of joy for all of you;
celebrating your bliss and contentment,
while I lamented with you your bitter suffering

Read the entire poem

Watch a short biography of Salome Urena Henriquez

Simon Gray

Simon Gray (born October 21, 1936) U.K. playwright – The Late Middle Classes (1999)

Read more about Simon Gray here

Watch "Remembering Simon Gray"