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The World's "Best Bad Poet"
| || ||On this day in 1902 William McGonagall, poet and tragedian of Dundee, died. McGonagall was a middle-aged weaver when he heard his muse; today he is a cult figure, his many collections of poetry translated into over a dozen languages and selling well to those wishing to investigate a reputation for "the worst poetry ever written, in any language, at any time."|
Dos Passos and U.S.A.
| || ||On this day in 1970 John Dos Passos died at the age of seventy-four. He is now one of the more forgotten Lost Generation writers, but the U.S.A. trilogy (The 42nd Parallel, 1919, The Big Money, published 1930-36) was important reading in the forties and fifties, both for its angry indictment of the "prosperity myth" and its "stream-of-society" style.|