Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Announcing the Spring 2017 Series!

Here are a few highlights of a truly exciting season:

Robert Coover, beloved American fiction writer, with Huck Out West, a rollicking sequel to Huckleberry Finn.

Convicted murderer Shaka Senghor, with his memoir of redemption, Writing My Wrongs.

Jazz violinist and MacArthur Genius Regina Carter on stage with Joe Donahue.
Diane Ackerman, with the new film tie-in edition of Zookeeper’s Wife which will star Jessica Chastain.  
Preeminent Postmodernist painter David Salle with his book How to See, on stage with Joe Donahue.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor presenting her memoir, My Beloved World.
MacArthur Genius and filmmaker Stanley Nelson with his acclaimed new documentary, The Black Panthers.
Young Irish novelist Ruth Gilligan, the youngest author to reach #1 on Ireland’s Bestseller List, with a novel about Ireland’s Jews.
Iraq war interrogator and torturer Eric Fair with a memoir about his crisis of conscience.
Douglas Brinkley, CNN’s official Presidential Historian, with a new book on FDR’s crusade for public lands.
David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl, the basis of the Oscar-winning film.
AND MANY, MANY MORE!
All events are free and open to the public!
For a complete schedule, see the Visiting Writers Series here:  http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/programpages/vws.html
For more information, contact the Writers Institute visit our website at www.albany.edu/writers-inst.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Writers Institute Mourns the Passing of John Montague

The New York State Writers Institute mourns the passing of our beloved friend and colleague John Montague, major Irish poet of his generation and long-time faculty member of the Institute and the University at Albany.


The author of more than 30 books of poetry and a recipient of the Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur, France’s highest award, he died in Nice on December 10, 2016, following surgery.


Born in Brooklyn on February 28, 1929, and raised in County Tyrone, Montague served as Distinguished Writer-in-Residence for the New York State Writers Institute during each spring semester, teaching workshops in fiction and poetry and a class in the English Department, University at Albany. Governor Mario M. Cuomo presented Montague a citation in 1987 “for his outstanding literary achievements and his contributions to the people of New York.”


In 1998, he was named the very first Ireland Professor of Poetry, a new position created to honor the shared literary heritage of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, with joint appointments at Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast and University College Dublin.


Read this account of his funeral in the Irish Times:  http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/john-montague-remembered-at-funeral-as-poet-of-wonder-1.2906056

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Stephen Burt, Leading American Poetry Critic, to Offer Free Community Poetry Class


Stephen Burt, “one of the most influential poetry critics of his generation” and “heir to the intellectual mantle long held by giants like Harold Bloom and Helen Vendler” (The New York Times), will lead a discussion and reading of poems based on his new book, The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them (Sept 2016).
Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, and cosponsored by Friends of the New York State Library, the event is free and open to the public. No RSVP is necessary to attend.

For online access to the poems that will be discussed, please see links below.
Stephen Burt, poet, literary critic, and Harvard Professor
September 29 (Thursday)
Community Poetry Discussion and Reading-- 8PM, Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Empire State Plaza, Downtown Albany.


Poems to be discussed include the following:
"Oversized T-shirts" by Gabby Gabby: http://vol1.illuminatigirlgang.com/gabbygabby


John Ashbery served as State Poet of New York under the auspices of the Writers Institute (2001-3). Yusef Komunyakaa is our current State Poet (2016-18). Rae Armatrout visited us in 2005. Gabby Gabby is the newest poet among them—a Target employee born in 1992.

Stephen Burt will also present a reading of his own poetry earlier that same day:  4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library, University at Albany uptown campus.

For more information contact the New York State Writers Institute at 518 442 5620, writers@albany.edu, or visit our website at www.albany.edu/writers-inst.


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Joseph LeDoux: Neuroscientist and Expert on Fear and Anxiety, Tues. 9/27

Casey Schwartz reviews Joseph LeDoux's new book, Anxious, in New York magazine.

"If this is the age of anxiety, LeDoux is our Lewis and our Clark: It was LeDoux who laid down the first map of what is called the brain’s 'fear circuit,' the regions — centered on the amygdala and its adjacent structures — that together give rise to our ability to respond to threats and danger. But with his new book, he wants to redraw that map...."


LeDoux visits Albany next week. More about his visit:  http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/archives/ledoux_joseph16.html#.V-QMe01kDs0


More from Schwartz's review in New York:  http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/07/everybody-misunderstanding-fear-and-anxiety.html

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Joyce Carol Oates Visits Thursday!

WAMC's Joe Donahue will join her on stage in conversation. William Kennedy will introduce!


Joyce Carol Oates, fiction writer, essayist, poet, and playwright
September 15 (Thursday)
Conversation — 7:30 p.m., Main Theatre, Performing Arts Center


For more details:  http://readme.readmedia.com/Major-author-Joyce-Carol-Oates-and-legendary-dancer-Savion-Glover-open-new-arts-conversation-series-at-UAlbany/13976552/print

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The Creative Life!

The Writers Institute Fall 2016 schedule begins with an exciting new program collaboration "The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany." Created and produced by the Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany's Performing Arts Center, in collaboration with WAMC Public Radio, this new series features leading figures from a variety of artistic disciplines in conversation about their creative inspiration, their craft, and their careers. Joyce Carol Oates, prolific author of more than 160 books, will lead off the series on September 15 followed by Savion Glover, tap dancing legend and Tony award-winning choreographer on October 15.
For more information: http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/programpages/vws.html#joyce

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Writers Institute Announces Fall 2016 Season!


The New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany announces its Fall 2016 schedule of visiting writer appearances and film series screenings. Events take place on the UAlbany uptown and downtown campuses and are free and open to the public (unless otherwise noted).

Fall 2016 Visiting Writers Series:  http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/programpages/vws.html

Fall 2016 Classic Film Series:  http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/programpages/cfs.html

The Writers Institute Fall 2016 schedule begins with an exciting new program collaboration "The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany." Created and produced by the Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany's Performing Arts Center, in collaboration with WAMC Public Radio, this new series features leading figures from a variety of artistic disciplines in conversation about their creative inspirations, their crafts, and their careers. Joyce Carol Oates, prolific author of more than 160 books, will lead off the series on September 15 followed by Savion Glover, tap dancing legend and Tony award-winning choreographer on October 15.

A second series, "The New Americans: Recent Immigrant Experiences in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Film" examines the experiences of recent immigrant groups in the United States. Guests will include Imbolo Mbue, recipient of a million dollar advance, whose first novel Behold the Dreamers (2016) is a riveting story about a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York City just as the depression of the 2000s upends the economy; Anne Fadiman, author of the bestselling nonfiction book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (1997), which explores the clash between Western medicine and the holistic healing traditions of a Hmong refugee family from Laos; and director Mary Mazzio, whose documentary film UNDERWATER DREAMS follows a group of high school students, sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants, who enter a sophisticated underwater robotics competition.

In addition to Joyce Carol Oates and Imbolo Mbue, the fall series includes an exciting lineup of fiction writers: Garth Risk Hallberg, author of the sweeping debut novel City on Fire, a national bestseller and recipient of the largest advance for a first novel in U.S. publishing history; Charles Baxter, who continues to show his mastery of the short story form with his collection There's Something I Want You to Do; James Lasdun, whose new novel is the psychological thriller The Fall Guy; and Howard Frank Mosher, author of 10 acclaimed novels set in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.

The genre of poetry is represented by Stephen Burt, the most influential poetry critic of his generation, who shares the breadth of his knowledge of American poetry today in his new book The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them.

Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, the foremost expert on the biology of anxiety and fear, presents an accessible exploration of the nature of these emotions in his new book, Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety.

Our conflicted relationship with the natural world will be the topic of two events sponsored in conjunction with the UAlbany Art Museum's exhibition Future Perfect: Picturing the Anthropocene. Novelist Jennifer Haigh, whose new novel Heat and Light (2016) explores the allure of fracking for the residents of a ravaged coal town, and Jeff Goodell, author of the nonfiction book How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate will present a joint reading and discussion. As part of the Classic Film Series, screenwriter Kelly Masterson will offer film commentary following the screening of the cult film SNOWPIERCER, a science fiction thriller about the survivors of a failed climate-change experiment that inadvertently initiates an ice age.

Additional highlights of the Classic Film Series include screenings of ZOOT SUIT RIOTS, an episode in the PBS American Experience series with commentary by Joseph Tovares, the film's writer and director; a newly restored version of CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (1965), directed by and starring Orson Welles; the 1924 French silent film L'INHUMAINE (THE INHUMAN WOMAN), with live piano accompaniment by Mike Schiffer; SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE, based on Kurt Vonnegut's powerful anti-war novel; and a 30th Anniversary screening of IRONWEED, adapted for the screen by William Kennedy from his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

For additional information contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.

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