Friday, September 5, 2014

Visiting Writers: Kirsten Gillibrand! William Gibson! Richard Norton Smith!

New York State Writers Institute Fall 2014 Visiting Writers Events Schedule

We are pleased to announce an exciting schedule of visiting writer appearances for Fall 2014.​

All events are free and open to the public, and hosted at UAlbany, unless otherwise noted.

For more details, times and locations, please visit our website at

Sept. 18:  Pulitzer-winning novelist and reigning NYS Author (2012-14) Alison Lurie talks about her new nonfiction book, The Language of Houses (2014), about the expressive power of everyday architecture, including homes, restaurants, schools, hospitals, prisons and more.

Sept. 23:  Edith Grossman, one of the most celebrated translators in any language, known for her bestselling translations of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Don Quixote, presents her new collection of the works of Sister Juana, the embattled 17th century nun and “Mother of Mexican Literature.”

Sept. 27:  US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand presents her new book on women’s empowerment, Off the Sidelines (2014). Admission charged (except students with valid ID). Contact The Book House for tickets, which include book purchase: 489-4761.

Oct. 1:  John Lahr, Senior Drama Critic for the New Yorker (1992-2012), Tony Award winning playwright, and son of Wizard of Oz “Cowardly Lion” Bert Lahr, presents his acclaimed new biography of troubled playwright Tennessee Williams.

Oct. 9:  Pulitzer-winning journalist David Finkel, author of the bestseller The Good Soldiers (2009), about being embedded with US troops in Iraq, presents his sequel to that book, Thank You For Your Service (2013), about those same soldiers adjusting to post-war life at home.

Oct. 15:  American Shakespeare Center’s Much Ado About Nothing. Admission charged. Contact the PAC box office for tickets:  (518) 442-3997

Oct. 16:  Two first-time novelists and rising stars of Black historical fiction, Tiphanie Yanique (Land of Love and Drowning) and Jacinda Townsend (Saint Monkey) will share the stage.

Oct. 21:  Major American poets in conversation— Edward Hirsch, MacArthur Fellow, President of the Guggenheim Foundation, and author of the surprise bestseller How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry, presenting his magisterial reference volume, A Poet’s Glossary (2014); Kimiko Hahn, American Book Award winner, presenting her new volume Brain Fever (2014); and Marie Howe, the reigning New York State Poet (2012-14).

Oct. 24, Nov. 1, 6 & 13:  Events connected with the life and work of Lemon Andersen, Tony award winning member of the Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam, child of heroin addicts, and three-time felon, who found purpose and redemption in the art of poetry. We screen Lemon: The Movie on Oct. 24 and Nov. 1st. Lemon visits UAlbany on Nov. 6th. And a dramatization of Lemon’s life story is presented on Nov. 13th.

Oct. 28:  Actress and playwright Najla Said, daughter of Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said, presents her memoir, Looking for Palestine:  Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family (2013).

Nov. 7:  Major American composer of film music David Shire, winner of 2 Grammy Awards for Saturday Night Fever, and the Oscar for Norma Rae, discusses his score for Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, following a 40th Anniversary screening of that film.

Nov. 9:  William Gibson, one of the most influential living writers of science fiction, author of Neuromancer (1984), which helped define the pop culture of the Computer Age, will present his new far-future novel, The Periperhal (2014), about cybersecurity, drone warfare, video gaming and lots of other things, at RPI’s EMPAC Concert Hall.

Nov. 11: Two young novelists share the stage—Angela Pneuman, former UAlbany grad student and an exciting new voice in Southern American literature, presenting her first novel, Lay It on My Heart, and Julie Orringer, author of the bestselling Holocaust novel, The Invisible Bridge.

Nov. 18: Neuroscience writer and developmental psychologist Susan Pinker, author of the international bestseller, The Sexual Paradox,  presents her new book, The Village Effect: How Face to Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier and Smarter (2014).

Nov. 20:  Eminent historian of the American presidency and frequent PBS NewsHour commentator Richard Norton Smith presents his definitive biography of Nelson Rockefeller, On His Own Terms (2014).

Dec. 2:  Joseph O’Neill, author of the bestselling novel Netherland, presents his new 2014 novel The Dog (long-listed for the Man Booker Prize).

Dec. 5:  Author Betty Medsger and filmmaker Johanna Hamilton present their award-winning 2014 documentary 1971: The Film, based on Medsger’s book, The Burglary (2014), about eight ordinary citizens who broke into FBI offices and revealed the existence of COINTELPRO, an illegal program of spying on law-abiding Americans (the burglars’ identities have been kept secret until now). Medsger also broke the original story in the Washington Post in 1971.

For additional details on our visiting writers and a listing of Classic Film Series events, please visit our website at