Friday, September 25, 2015

Her All-Time Favorite Short Stories-- Ann Beattie

Ann Beattie, who visits this coming Tuesday, shares some of her all-time favorite short stories in a New York Times "By the Book" interview:

Among them: “Twilight of the Superheroes” and “Your Duck Is My Duck,” by Deborah Eisenberg; “Way Down Deep in the Jungle,” by Thom Jones; “Oxygen,” by Ron Carlson; “Nettles” and “The Albanian Virgin,” by Alice Munro; “The Fat Girl,” by Andre Dubus; “We Didn’t,” by Stuart Dybek; “Tits-Up in a Ditch,” by Annie Proulx; “Bruns,” by Norman Rush; “Escapes,” by Joy Williams; “Yours,” by Mary Robison; “The Dog of the Marriage,” by Amy Hempel; “The Fireman’s Wife,” by Richard Bausch; “The Womanizer,” by Richard Ford; “Helping,” by Robert Stone; “No Place for You, My Love,” by Eudora Welty; “Are These Actual Miles,” by Raymond Carver; “People Like That Are The Only People Here,” by Lorrie Moore; “Last Night,” by James Salter; “Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story,” by Russell Banks; “Hunters in the Snow,” by Tobias Wolff; Rebecca Lee’s collection, “Bobcat.”

More in the New York Times:

More about Ann Beattie's 2 events with Peg Boyers this Tuesday, 9/29:

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David Denby's Superlative Review of Detropia in the New Yorker

David Denby reviews Detropia, which will be screened on Friday, 9/25, followed by commentary
and Q&A with director Rachel Grady.

"Detropia, a lyrical film about the destruction of a great American city, is the most moving documentary I’ve seen in years. The city is Detroit, and the film, made by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (who is a native), is both an ardent love letter to past vitality and a grateful salute to those who remain in place—the survivors, utterly without illusions, who refuse to leave. “Detropia” has its share of forlorn images: office buildings with empty eye sockets for windows; idle, rotting factories, with fantastic networks of chutes, pipes, and stacks; a lone lit tavern on a dark block. Yet the filmmakers are so attuned to color and to shape that I was amazed by the handsomeness of what I was seeing. I’m not being perverse: this is a beautiful film."

More in The New Yorker:

More about the event:

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Detroit's Spectacular Decline on Film, Director Q&A

Film director Rachel Grady to speak following screening of her award-winning film DETROPIA, September 25, 2015

Documentary about Detroit was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance

ALBANY, NY (09/10/2015)(readMedia)-- Rachel Grady, codirector of the award-winning film, DETROPIA (2012), a visually-stunning exploration of the disintegration of the city of Detroit that David Denby of the New Yorker called, "the most moving documentary I've seen in years," will speak following a screening of the film on Friday, September 25, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. [note early start time] in Page Hall on the University at Albany downtown campus, 135 Western Avenue, Albany. Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute in conjunction with UAlbany's School of Criminal Justice's Crime, Justice, and Social Structure Film Series.


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What is it like to collaborate with Stephen King?

Bestselling horror novelist Peter Straub will interact with audiences via Skype this coming Thursday, September 20th.

Straub will share the stage (on a large screen) with two of his friends at the literary magazine  Conjunctions -- editor and murder mystery author Bradford Morrow, and MacArthur Fellowship-winning poet Ann Lauterbach (who will appear live).

Elizabeth Floyd Mair of the Times Union profiled Straub this past Sunday:

Q: You have written two novels with Stephen King. How does that work? How do you actually write them together? Write alternating chapters? And how does it compare to writing novels on your own?

A: If you must have a collaborator in writing fiction, Stephen King is pretty much your ideal partner. I recommend him, like, highly. The dude is fast, strong, smart and, you know, sort of powerful and sort of humane at the same time, which cannot be said of many. And besides that, he's really funny. Flat-out funny, also grossout funny, a lot of the time.

More in the Times Union:

More about the upcoming event:

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Poetry Prize Named for UAlbany Professor Len Slade

In the Times Union:  Leonard A. Slade Jr., a professor of Africana Studies at the University at Albany, has been honored with a national poetry prize named for him.

The Southern Conference on African American Studies has named its annual poetry prize the Leonard A. Slade Jr. Poetry Prize. It recognizes his literary contributions to The Griot, a journal published by the Houston-based organization since 1979.

The prize will be awarded to the person whom judges decide has published the best poem or poems in the journal that year.

"I'm very humbled," said Slade, who has contributed poetry to The Griot for more than 25 years. He came to UAlbany in 1988 after 22 years on the faculty of Kentucky State University.

More in Paul Grondahl's interview in the Times Union:

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Debra Pane, Author and Teacher, Discusses School-to-Prison Pipeline

Debra Mayes Pane will deliver the keynote address of the UAlbany "Continuing Critical Conversations through Transformative Teaching and Learning" Speakers Series at 2PM on Friday, Sept. 18th in the Standish Room of the Science Library on the University at Albany uptown campus.

The event is free and open to the public (space permitting).

Pane is the author of Transforming the School to Prison Pipeline:  Lessons from the Classroom (2013, with Tonette S. Rocco). She is also founder and director of E-SToPP-- Eradicating the School-to-Prison Pipeline Foundation.

Sponsored by a University at Albany collaborative of faculty and staff from the School of Education, Departments of Africana Studies, Anthropology, Economics, Educational & Counseling Psychology, Educational Theory and Practice,  Music and Theater, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Health, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, The Justice and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century Project (School of Criminal Justice), The Office of Sustainability, The University Libraries, The Institute for Teaching, Learning & Academic Leadership, The Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, UAS, UUP Albany, and The Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information, contact Deborah LaFond,

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Dr. Robert Putnam, Author of Bowling Alone, at UAlbany Tomorrow

The UAlbany School of Public Health in Rensselaer will host bestselling author Dr. Robert Putnam tomorrow. The event is free and open to the public.

MEET THE AUTHOR:  Harvard University’s Dr. Robert Putnam, the author of Our Kids:  The American Dream in Crisis, will speak at the School of Public Health on Wednesday evening, September 16th, at 5:00 p.m. in the main auditorium.  Dr. Putnam will sign copies of his books (including his equally well-known Bowling Alone) following his talk.  This event is part of the School of Public Health’s “All School Read” program which began last spring when students chose Our Kids to read over the summer and explore the issues when they returned to classes this fall.  Join us for a lively conversation about the growing inequality of opportunity in the U.S.  Light refreshments will be served.  Haven’t read the book?  You are welcome to come and join the discussion of the timely public health issues raised by Dr. Putnam.  Copies of the book will be available for purchase at a 20% discount from The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.  Members of book groups and all interested individuals are welcome to attend.  Directions to the School of Public Health are here:

For more information contact the School of Public Health:  University At Albany Foundation, 1 University Pl, Rensselaer, NY 12144

(518) 402-0283

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