Wednesday, April 22, 2015

UAlbany launched Pulitzer drama winner Stephen Adly Guirgis


Paul Grondahl interviews Stephen Adly Guirgis in the Times Union:

Guirgis, 50, and his unlikely career trajectory could be viewed as a kind of patron saint for late bloomers, slackers and second chances.

"I wasn't a great student, but it took me more than six years because I kept changing my major," Guirgis said Tuesday by phone from his apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. "In my last two years, I became a theater major and things really started to click. At the time, Albany was known as a business school and we were kind of like a weird group, but we were always doing something, creating shows, and we stuck together."

More in the Times Union:  http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-local/article/UAlbany-launched-Pulitzer-drama-winner-Stephen-6215221.php

More about Guirgis's 2010 visit to the Writers Institute: http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/archives/guirgis_stephen10.html

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

UAlbany Grad Stephen Guirgis Wins Pulitzer

Stephen Adly Guirgis, who graduated from the University at Albany in 1990 with a major in Theatre, is the 2015 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for his new play "Between Riverside and Crazy."

The Pulitzer jury called the work, "a nuanced, beautifully written play about a retired police officer faced with eviction that uses dark comedy to confront questions of life and death."

Guirgis visited the New York State Writers Institute on April 12, 2010.

More about his visit here:
http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/archives/guirgis_stephen10.html

An interview with Guirgis posted on the Institute's YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFR2iMDmcFE

Guirgis studied theatre with NYS Writers Institute Fellow and UAlbany Professor W. Langdon Brown and with the late Jarka Burian of the Theatre Department who-- together with his wife Grayce Burian-- established and endowed the Institute's annual Burian Lecture on the art of the theatre.

More on the Burian Lecture here:  http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/archives/burian_lectures.html

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Joan Murray in the Times Union

Poet Joan Murray discusses her friendship with poet Alicia Ostriker in the Times Union. The two poets will visit together on Thursday, April 23rd:

"I've known Alicia since we were both young poets in the second wave feminist movement in the '70s. We were attracted to each other's work, because we were both young moms writing about motherhood and war. We've kept up a literary friendship since then, staying in touch and seeing each other now and then. Alicia is fun, but she's also famous and brilliant in a down-to-earth way."

"While our poems are different, we're both dramatic, and we can riff like the old masters when we want to. We both deal with serious social and political issues. We also write about God, though we're not believers. (Alicia has a whole book talking with him.) And we're both risk-takers: I have that book in the voice of the Niagara woman, and Alicia's new book is in the voices of an old woman, a tulip and a dog."

More in the Times Union interview with Elizabeth Floyd Mair:  http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-features/article/Writing-from-experiences-6204800.php

More about the upcoming visit:  http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/archives/ostriker_murray15.html

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mary Norris, Queen of Proofreaders, in the New York Times

Mary Norris, who visits us on Thursday, April 9, is reviewed in the New York Times:  

Ms. Norris looks not only for errors that have slipped through the many layers of security, but also for subtle dissonances in sense and style — words that are slightly off, imprecise or muddy phrases, anachronistic colloquialisms, technically correct commas that might make a sentence sound better if omitted, or vice versa.
 
“It’s like those mechanics that only work on cars that go 200 miles an hour,” said David Remnick, The New Yorker’s editor. “They can see every little precise thing that can go wrong that might get you killed.”

More:  http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/04/01/books/mary-norris-muses-on-a-lifetime-of-literary-vigilance-in-between-you-me.html?referrer&_r=0

More about her upcoming visit:  http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/archives/norris_mary15.html

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Writer Richard Russo on Public Funding for Education

“I’m a product of public education, government-backed student loans, and publicly funded institutions like the Gloversville Free Library. If you’ve lost faith in them, you’ve lost faith in basic democratic principles.”

--Richard Russo, Gloversville novelist, quoted in the New York Times in an article by Steven Greenhouse about a campaign to renovate the Gloversville Library, March 24, 2105

More about Richard Russo:  http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/archives/moore_russo09.html

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The Paris Review: James Lasdun, Lydia Davis

Two NYS Writers Institute Writing Fellows are featured prominently in the Spring 2015 issue of The Paris Review.

James Lasdun has a 70-page novella, Feathered Glory:
http://www.theparisreview.org/fiction/6362/feathered-glory-james-lasdun

Lydia Davis is interviewed:
http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/6366/art-of-fiction-no-227-lydia-davis

Other featured authors who have appeared as part of the Institute's Visiting Writers Series include Major Jackson, Charles Simic and Stephen Dunn.

And, incidentally, the Capital Region's own Bernie Conners, former publisher of The Paris Review, has a new memoir, Cruising with Kate: A Parvenu in Xanadu (2015). Read Paul Grondahl's interview in the Times Union:  http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-local/article/Paul-Grondahl-Bernard-Conners-memoir-recalls-a-6156657.php

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Alice McDermott: Giving Voice to the Unheard

Elizabeth Floyd Mair of the Times Union interviews Alice McDermott who will appear at RPI to discuss her new book Someone on April 15, cosponsored by the NYS Writers Institute's Visiting Writers Series, and who will be the first author featured in the new Times Union Book Club.

Q: How much revision and crafting of the sentences goes into your writing?

A: A great deal. For me, story arises out of the sentences: rhythm, word choice, detail. I don't begin with story and then try to find the words — I begin with words and try to find the story. Strange, right?

More in the Times Union:  http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-features/article/Giving-voice-to-those-who-went-unheard-6145666.php

More about the Times Union Book Club:  http://www.eventbrite.com/e/timesunionplus-book-club-registration-16145732320?aff=TimesUnionNewspaper

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