The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – April 11, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is April 11th, the 101st day of the year 2024, with 265 days remaining.

“Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.”

Jane Yolen

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1983, Harold Washington was elected as the first African-American mayor of Chicago. While not a literary event, his election was a landmark moment in American history and has been explored in numerous biographies and works of nonfiction that examine racial and political dynamics in U.S. cities.

Notable Birthdays:

  • Ethel Kennedy (born April 11, 1928), an American human rights advocate, celebrates her birthday today. As the wife of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and a member of the Kennedy family, Ethel has been a prominent figure in American public life and the subject of various biographical studies that chronicle the Kennedy family’s extensive impact on American politics and culture.

Today’s Readings:

From a biography of Harold Washington, reflecting on his impact: “His leadership style and the symbolic weight of his achievements brought new hope to a city deeply entrenched in racial divisions.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On April 11, 1928, the first installment of D.H. Lawrence’s controversial novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover was published in Italy. It wasn’t published openly in the United Kingdom until 1960, after a landmark obscenity trial that tested the limits of literary expression and censorship laws.


Today, let’s ponder the intersection of literature and societal change. How do biographies and historical accounts help us understand the complexities of our leaders and their times? How do controversial works challenge societal norms and push the boundaries of what is acceptable?

Poem of the Day:

“Hope” by Emily Dickinson:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

Advice for Writers:

Consider how your writing can capture the essence of influential figures and pivotal moments in history. Use your narrative to delve into the complexities of character and context that define their legacies.

Have a reflective and insightful day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your explorations through the written word enlighten and inspire.

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