Monday, January 30, 2017

Howard Frank Mosher, In Memoriam

The New York State Writers Institute mourns the passing of novelist Howard Frank Mosher who delighted Albany audiences on November 1st, 2016. Mosher was widely celebrated as "the voice of Vermont." Born in the Catskills, he spent much of his childhood in Altamont, New York.

From yesterday's Vermont Public Radio obituary:  "Acclaimed Vermont author Howard Frank Mosher has died. Mosher, 74, succumbed to cancer Sunday morning at his home in Irasburg.

His stories celebrated the Northeast Kingdom as the last bastion of a people and a way of life that has all but disappeared from Vermont."  More.

Listen to Joe Donahue's Nov. 1st WAMC interview.

More about Mosher's visit to the Writers Institute.

From the Oct. 2016 Times Union profile of Mosher by Joe Stalvey and Jack Rightmyer:  "I was actually born in the Catskill Mountains, and I lived there till I was 11 or 12," he says, "and then we moved to Altamont, where I attended grade six through nine. Many of my stories also reach back to that time in my boyhood."He fondly recalls fishing in the Helderberg Mountains and going to the Altamont Fair every summer. "The description of the county fair in my newest book 'God's Kingdom' is how I remember the Altamont Fair," he says. "("God's Kingdom") is pretty autobiographical," Mosher says. "Jim is based on me, and like him, I always wanted to be a writer. Most of the characters are based on my friends and relatives, including my wife. The newspaper editor is based on my dad, who was a teacher and once the principal of Altamont High School. He was the principal the first two years of Guilderland High School." More.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

2/1 Shaka Senghor, author imprisoned 19 years for murder

2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Keynote Speaker
February 1 (Wednesday):  Shaka Senghor, author imprisoned 19 years for murder, and prison reform activist
Lecture: “Your Worst Deeds Do Not Define You” — 7:00 p.m., Campus Center Ballroom
Reception prior to the event, 5:30-6:45, Patroon Room, Campus Center, open to public

Shaka Senghor,
inspirational speaker and leading voice in criminal justice reform, is the author of the memoir Writing My Wrongs (2016), a New York Times bestseller that candidly recounts his life growing up in an abusive household in Detroit during the height of the 1980s crack epidemic, his 19-year incarceration for murder at the age of 19, and the tools he used to confront his past and construct his future. Filmmaker J. J. Abrams praised the book describing it as “A profound story of neglect, violence, discovery, redemption and inspiration….Prepare to have your preconceptions shattered.”


Note:  A free reception with a variety of food and beverage options will be offered in advance of UAlbany's MLK Jr. Celebration and Lecture.

Senghor’s talk is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Student Association and University Auxiliary Services in collaboration with the New York State Writers Institute


For more information about the event visit the following news release, or contact Media Relations at (518) 956-8150

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Robert Coover's Rollicking Tale, Scathing Satire 1/31

We kick off an exciting Spring 2017 season with major American author Robert Coover who will present Huck Out West. The book is a rollicking adventure tale, an homage to Twain, and-- at the same time-- a scathing satire of American racism, greed and brutality.
January 31 (Tuesday): Robert Coover, award-winning fiction writer
Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Reading — 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Robert Coover, pioneer of experimental and electronic fiction, is celebrated for work that reinvents and reimagines the art of storytelling. The New York Times has called him “a one-man Big Bang of exploding creative force.”. His new novel, Huck Out West (2017), picks up where Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn leaves off – on the eve of the Civil War. In a starred review Booklist described the book as “a near-masterpiece…a surprisingly tender, touching paean to the power of storytelling and the pains of growing up.”
Cosponsored by UAlbany’s English Department to inaugurate its new Creative Writing minor
Following Huck west as he rides shotgun with the Pony Express, mines for gold, and lives with the Lakota, the novel explores a formative period in American history, from the Civil War to the

centennial year of 1876. In the West, it’s a time of grand adventure, but also one of greed, religious insanity, mass slaughter, virulent hatreds, widespread poverty and ignorance, ruthless military and civilian leadership, and huge disparities of wealth.
For more information about the upcoming Spring Series, visit  or call 518 442 5620.

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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.
All events are free and open to the public!
For a complete schedule, see the Visiting Writers Series here:
For more information, contact the Writers Institute visit our website at

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