Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Photo of the Day: Nicole Krauss

In case you missed her wonderful events, you can see Nicole Krauss on the UAlbany website.

Among other things, she spoke about her preference to write from the perspectives of old men, asserting that she can more easily "be herself," and talk about the things that concern and frighten her, if she assumes a persona that does not resemble who she is (ie: a young woman or young mother).

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Chango's Beads in the Times Union

Writing in the TU, Paul Grondahl interviews William Kennedy about his inspirations for his new novel, Chango's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes. Featured subjects include Kennedy's admiration of Hemingway, his father's dementia and his three meetings with Fidel Castro.

Kennedy presents his new novel to the Albany community on Monday, October 3 at 8PM in Page Hall (if you get there at 7:30PM, you can also watch the new 30-minute WMHT documentary, William Kennedy's Prohibition Story, about Legs Diamond and the bootleggers of Albany).

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Friday, September 23, 2011

"a beautifully written book, full of arresting stories"

Here's the New York Times review of Eliza Griswold's bestselling work of international reportage, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam, which appeared August 19, 2010....

“The Tenth Parallel” is a beautifully written book, full of arresting stories woven around a provocative issue — whether fundamentalism leads to violence — which Griswold investigates through individual lives rather than caricatures or abstractions. In this tropical region where monsoons and jungles give way to desert, she looks at how history, resources, climate and demographic trends have combined with and shaped the struggle among religions. More.

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Griswold Profiles Leymah Gbowee

Globe-trotting journalist Eliza Griswold (who visits 9/27) contributes a profile of Liberian peace activist and women's advocate Leymah Gbowee to this week's issues of Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

Other recent Beast articles by Griswold include a profile of Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif, a discussion of Gaddafi's possible exit strategies, and a visit to a field hospital established by a female Somali doctor outside famine-stuck Mogadishu.

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"Libyan Proverbs"

The "Work in Progress" feature of the Farrar, Straus & Giroux website has some new poems by journalist-poet Eliza Griswold, who visits this coming Tuesday, September 27.

Here's an excerpt from her poem, "Libyan Proverbs":

...Learn to shave by shaving orphans.
He who is to be hanged can insult the Pasha.
In the house of a man who has been hanged
do not talk of rope. Much shouting and crowds
over a hedgehog’s slaughter. The funeral
is big but the corpse is a mouse.
I lick my grindstone and sleep in peace.

Griswold received the 2010 Rome Prize for poetry.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Novelist Nicole Krauss Visits Today

Read the Nicole Krauss interview in today’s Times Union, or listen to Tuesday’s interview with Joe Donahue on WAMC’s “The Roundtable.”

Better still, meet her in person today:

September 22 (Thursday)
Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center, free and open to the public
Reading — 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, free and open to the public

Nicole Krauss, prize-winning novelist, is the author most recently of Great House (2010), a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction. The novel is composed of interlinked tales about a massive writing desk and its various owners as they cope with tragedies and upheavals. The NPR reviewer called it “Masterful… a brilliantly orchestrated, mesmerizing whole that explores memory, solitude and an aching sense of loss and longing.” Krauss’s previous novels include the New York Times bestseller, The History of Love (2005), and Man Walks into a Room (2002), a finalist for the L. A. Times First Fiction Prize

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Friday, September 16, 2011

William Kennedy's Prohibition Story

A short documentary, William Kennedy's Prohibition Story, will premier 11:30 PM, October 2, and 7:30 PM, October 3, on local PBS affiliate WMHT in association with Prohibition, a new 3-part series by leading documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.

The Writers Institute will also offer a special screening of the film at 7:30 PM on Monday, October 3, in Page Hall on the UAlbany downtown campus, just prior to Kennedy's reading at 8:00 PM in same location. Kennedy will present Chango's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes (2011), his first novel in nearly a decade, as part of the Fall 2011 Visiting Writers Series.

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Rebecca Wolff's New Novel

New York State Writers Institute Writing Fellow Rebecca Wolff, author of acclaimed books of poetry, published her first novel, The Beginners (2011), this summer.

From a starred review in Publisher's Weekly:

"Dread and desire hang deliciously over every page of Wolff's gothic tale of an adolescent New England girl's unlikely education.... a novel as creepy as it is marvelous."

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Charmaine Cadeau to publish

Former New York State Writers Institute graduate assistant Charmaine Cadeau will publish a poetry manuscript, produced as a hybrid creative/critical dissertation for her Ph.D. at the UAlbany English Department, with esteemed Canadian publishing house, Brick Books.


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Tomas Noel, UAlbany "Feature Faculty" 2011

The UAlbany College of Arts and Sciences has put up a new "Featured Faculty" webpage about Tomas Urayoan Noel, UAlbany English Department faculty member, who read from his work on March 30, 2011 as part of the New York State Writers Institute Visiting Writers Series.

Professor Noel was awarded a 2011 Ford Foundation fellowship last spring to complete a book on Nuyorican poetry from the 1960s to the present.

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Hudson Valley Writers Guild Events

The Hudson Valley Writers Guild will host a free conference for writers on electronic publishing on Sunday, October 2, 1:30 at the East Greenbush Public Library.

They will also host their annual Community of Writers public reading at the Albany Public Library on Saturday, October 15, 2-4:30 at the Albany Public Library.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

NYSWI Fall Schedule of Events

Dear Readers, Writers, Teachers, Students and All Members of the General Public,

The New York State Writers Institute invites you, your friends and students, to attend our Fall 2011 Visiting Writers Series and Classic Film Series. This semester’s program features writers from a wide variety of genres, including fiction, nonfiction, journalism, poetry, science writing, art criticism, travel writing, humor, biography, history, horror, drama and film. All events are FREE and open to the public, with only two exceptions (cosponsor charges admission).

We will be presenting five Pulitzer Prize winners including journalist Isabel Wilkerson reading from her magisterial history of the African American “Great Migration”; poet Philip Schultz, reading from a memoir about his own dyslexia; journalist Tony Horwitz, reading from his new book on abolitionist John Brown’s pre-Civil War raid on Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia; two-time Pulitzer winner Robert Caro, biographer of Robert Moses and LBJ, receiving an award from the NYS Archives Partnership Trust; and our own William Kennedy, reading from Chango’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes (2011) his first new novel in nearly a decade.

Other highlights include Sylvia Nasar, author of the international bestseller A Beautiful Mind, reading from her new history of the invention of modern economics; New Yorker humorist and travel writer Ian Frazier speaking about his adventures in Siberia; journalist Eliza Griswold telling of her world tour of nations divided by Christianity and Islam; Nicole Krauss, reading from her New York Times bestselling novel, Great House; essayist Wayne Koestenbaum, meditating on personal humiliation; Colson Whitehead reading from Zone One, his new zombie horror novel set in Manhattan; Ken Johnson, speaking about the impact of 1960s drug culture on the art world; science writer Dava Sobel, presenting her new biography of the astronomer Copernicus; satirist of suburbia Tom Perrotta, reading from his new novel about survivors of “the Rapture,” the New Testament Apocalypse; and historian Willard Sterne Randall presenting Ethan Allen: His Life and Times, the first biography of Vermont’s guerrlla fighter in more than half a century.

We are also proud to cosponsor celebrations of major Caribbean poet Aime Cesaire (1913-2008) and leading Spanish novelist and former UAlbany professor Gonzalo Torrente Ballester (1910-1999), as well as a dramatization of Piri Thomas’s classic Afro-Latino memoir, Down These Mean Streets, and a screening of the award-winning documentary, Raising Renee, with Oscar-nominated filmmakers Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan.

Our Film Series will feature a small selection of all-time classics, including Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, Wallace Worsley’s silent Hunchback of Notre Dame, Luis Bunuel’s Belle de Jour, Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge, and Federico Fellini’s 8 ½.

We look forward to your participation!

The Writers Institute Staff

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