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:

Fall 2016 Classic Film Series:

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