Garrison Keillor asks dreary poets to lighten up


If your poetry is a downer, it's best you don't ask Garrison Keillor to read it.

The author and longtime host of "A Prairie Home Companion" tells Minnesota Public Radio in a new interview that poets really need to reconsider writing about bleak subjects.

"Poets my age are now writing poems about the illness, the demise of their elderly parents," Keillor tells MPR. "It's such a dreary landscape. Give me a break."

Keillor says what distinguishes people are the different ways they make each other laugh. The things people enjoy and laughter highlights "what we love about the world," he says.

Loneliness and grief, on the other hand, "is pretty much the same as everybody else's," says Keillor, adding that "sorrow is generic."

Keillor was on MPR to discuss "O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound," his first book of poems.

In the book, Keillor reflects on daily life, love, politics and religion.

National Public Radio asked Keillor in September about why he finally decided to take on poetry.

"I love rhymes, I love to write a poem about New York and rhyme 'oysters' with 'The Cloisters,'" Keillor told NPR.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' defense fuels win over Pelicans

The Wolves' have bought in on the defensive end as part of a 2-0 start.

Minnesota Wild

Ryan Hartman's OT goal helps Wild stay undefeated

The Wild improved to 4-0 with a win over the Ducks.

Mar'Keise Irving / Gopher Football

Gophers pound Maryland to stay in Big Ten West race

Four different players scored a rushing touchdown in a 34-16 victory over Maryland.

Father Paul Kubista at St. Mary of Czestochowa

Controversy after Delano priest shares vaccine misinformation in church bulletin

Father Paul Kubista is pastor at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church.


Mel-O-Glaze, DreamHaven Books robbed at gunpoint minutes apart

The businesses were hit by three robbers just six minutes apart on Oct. 21.

Cambridge house explosion

Explosion destroys house in Cambridge, 5 injured

The explosion occurred early Saturday morning on the 33000 block of Hillary Circle.


Charges: Lyft driver sexually assaulted woman in her home

The defendant is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Pixabay - black bear

Black bear bites professional baseball player in western Wisconsin

The former MSU-Mankato star was bitten in his back.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.