Monday, January 10, 2011

Spring 2011 Visiting Writers Series

The New York State Writers Institute is pleased to announce its new Spring 2011 series which will feature an exciting roster of leading authors in a wide variety of genres and fields. The list includes three winners of the Pulitzer Prize, including New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd, one of America's most influential political and social commentators; presidential biographer Edmund Morris, author of an acclaimed trilogy on the life of Teddy Roosevelt, and the official biographer of Ronald Reagan; and playwright and filmmaker John Patrick Shanley, who received an Oscar for the film Moonstruck (1987), and a Tony for the play "Doubt" (2004).

Three events addressing scientific subjects are also particularly noteworthy, including visits with V. S. Ramachandran, bestselling author and one of the world's leading neuroscientists, speaking about his new book The Tell-Tale Brain (2011); science writer James Gleick, author of the major bestseller about chaos theory, Chaos (1987), and of a new book, The Information (2011), a history of the Information Age; and Seth Mnookin, leading American journalist and author of The Panic Virus (2011), a new book on vaccines and the autism controversy.

Poets will include Rosanna Warren, daughter of Robert Penn Warren and winner of the Poetry Award of Merit of the National Academy of Arts and Letters; and young African American poet Douglas Kearney, 2008 National Poetry Series Winner, reading together with UAlbany professor and authority on Nuyorican poetics, Tomas Urayoan Noel.

The semester will showcase the accomplishments of four exceptional young fiction writers, including Julie Orringer, author of the New York Times Notable Book and surprise bestseller The Invisible Bridge (2010); Karen Russell, one of the National Book Foundation's "5 under 35," and author of a new book set in the Everglades, Swamplandia! (2011); Russian-American satirical novelist Gary Shteyngart whose new novel, Super Sad True Love Story, was named one of the top 10 books of 2010 by Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times; and Susan Choi, Pulitzer Prize finalist for American Woman (2004), about the Patty Hearst kidnapping.

Distinguished guests occupying one-of-a-kind categories will include major science fiction and fantasy author John Crowley, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the World Fantasy Convention in 2006; Ben Katchor, MacArthur "Genius Award" winning cartoonist and author of The Jew of New York (2000); Elijah Anderson, major American sociologist and key figure in the field of urban ethnography, with a book, The Cosmopolitan Canopy (2011), that advances a new theory about race relations in American cities; and Ed Sanders, poet, journalist, musician and transitional figure between the Beat and Hippie generations, presenting his new memoir, Fug You (2011).

We are also pleased to cosponsor (with the Performing Arts Center) a one-person theatrical adaptation of Junot Diaz's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Link to schedule here.

1/31 V. S. Ramachandran
2/1 Douglas Kearney and Tomas Urayoan Noel
2/10 Julie Orringer and Karen Russell
2/17 Gary Shteyngart
3/3 James Gleick
3/10 Maureen Dowd
3/15 Edmund Morris
3/22 Seth Mnookin
3/24 Performance of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
3/29 John Crowley
4/6 John Patrick Shanley
4/10 Ben Katchor
4/12 Rosanna Warren
4/14 Susan Choi
4/26 Elijah Anderson
5/5 Ed Sanders