NYS Writers Institute visiting writers spring 2014

visiting writers 2014 spring book covers

The spring 2014 lineup for the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series is out. And, as usual, it's full of notable, award-winning writers and names you'll recognize.

A handful that caught our eye on first pass this time around: Walter Mosley, E.L. Doctorow, Christopher Durang, Walter Kirn, Julia Glass, and Lydia Davis.

Here's the full lineup...

All blurbage via the NYS Writers Institute. The series also includes a production of Black Boy by American Place Theatre on February 12 at UAlbany.

Also: The institute's spring 2014 classic film series

January 30: Carolyn Forché, poet and human rights activist
Seminar - 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
Reading - 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Carolyn Forché has written poetry about her firsthand experiences of political strife and violent conflict around the globe. Most recently, she is the co-editor with Duncan Wu of a new anthology, Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English, 1500 - 2001 (2014), featuring 300 poems "composed at an extreme of human endurance." The book is a companion to Forché's landmark 1993 anthology, Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness. Forché received the 2013 Academy of American Poets Fellowship for "distinguished poetic achievement."

February 4: Walter Mosley, novelist, and Frankie Y. Bailey, mystery writer and criminal justice scholar
Seminar - 4:15 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Reading - 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center

Walter Mosley, bestselling author of more than 40 books, and "one of this nation's finest writers" (Boston Globe), is America's leading author of detective fiction in the tradition of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Mosley is best-known for a series of mystery novels set in Los Angeles featuring African American private investigator Easy Rawlins. Mosley's twelfth Rawlins mystery, his first in six years, is Little Green (2013).

Frankie Y. Bailey, UAlbany Criminal Justice professor and novelist, is the author most recently of The Red Queen Dies (2013), the first novel in a "near-future" police procedural series set in Albany. She is also the author of five books in the Silver Dagger mystery series, featuring crime historian Lizzie Stuart.

February 18: James D. Redwood, short story writer
Reading - 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
James D. Redwood, Professor of Law at Albany Law School, is the author of a first collection of stories, Love Beneath the Napalm (2014), inaugural winner of the Notre Dame Review Book Prize. The stories are based on Redwood's experiences as an English teacher and social worker in 1970s Vietnam.

February 19: Nick Turse, investigative journalist and military historian
Reading and discussion - 4:15 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Nick Turse, award-winning journalist specializing in national security and military issues, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (2013), an account of U.S. war crimes against Vietnamese civilians based on previously classified documents. His investigations of U.S. war crimes have earned him the Ridenhour Prize.

February 27: E. L. Doctorow, fiction writer
Reading - 8:00 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus
E. L. Doctorow, recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2013 Gold Medal, and the National Book Foundation's 2013 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, is "a writer of dazzling gifts and boundless, imaginative energy.... our great chronicler of American mythology" (Joyce Carol Oates). His novels include World's Fair (1985), winner of the National Book Award, and four other finalists for the same prize--The Book of Daniel (1971), Loon Lake (1980), Billy Bathgate (1989) and The March (2005). His newest novel is Andrew's Brain (2014), one man's reflections on his eventful life, loves, and tragedies, and a probing inquiry into the reliability of memory.

March 5: A Celebration of Poet and Translator Pierre Joris
Panel discussion on the works of Pierre Joris - 2:00 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
Moderated by Donald Faulkner, with poets and scholars Robert Kelly, Peter Cockelbergh, Belle Gironda, and Don Byrd
Conversation with Pierre Joris - 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
Moderated by Tomás Urayoán Noel
Reading by Pierre Joris - 8:00 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
Pierre Joris, poet, translator, and scholar taught at UAlbany from 1992 to 2013. Joris's work bridges North American, European, and North African literary traditions and cultures. He is the author of more than 25 books and chapbooks of poetry, including Breccia: Selected Poems 1972-1986 (1987), Poasis: Selected Poems 1986-1999 (2001), and Barzakh: Selected Poems 2000-2012 (forthcoming 2014). Other notable works include three volumes of the avant-garde anthology series, Poems for the Millennium. He received the 2005 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.

March 10: The 18th Annual Burian Lecture presented by Christopher Durang, playwright
Seminar - 4:15 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
The Burian Lecture - 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Christopher Durang is the author of the comic Broadway hit, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, winner of the 2013 Tony Award, New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Winner of three Obie Awards for playwriting, Durang was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his 2005 play, Miss Witherspoon.

March 13: Dinaw Mengestu, fiction writer and journalist
Seminar - 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
Reading - 8:00 p.m., Campus Center Room 375
Dinaw Mengestu received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012, and was named one of the New Yorker magazine's "20 under 40" writers in 2010. Born in Ethiopia, and raised in Illinois, Mengestu is the author of the novels The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2007), which received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His newest novel is All Our Names (2014), about an African university student who attempts to escape his revolutionary past and invent a new identity for himself in America.

March 25: Walter Kirn, journalist, and fiction and nonfiction writer
Seminar - 4:15 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center
Reading - 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Walter Kirn is the author of the new nonfiction book Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade (2014), about the author's 10-year "friendship" with Clark Rockefeller, the serial con artist and murderer, who is currently serving a life sentence. Kirn is the National Correspondent for the New Republic, where he covers "politics and culture and their convergence." His books include the memoir, My Mother's Bible (2013) and the novels, Up in the Air (2001), and Thumbsucker (1999) that were made into major films. (see Classic Film Series March 7 listing for screening of UP IN THE AIR)

April 3: Julia Glass, novelist
Seminar - 4:15 p.m., Campus Center Room 375
Reading - 8:00 p.m., Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, Downtown Albany
Julia Glass published her first novel, Three Junes (2002), at the age of 46. The book earned extraordinary praise from reviewers and received the National Book Award for Fiction. Her new novel, And the Dark Sacred Night (2014), set in the Vermont woods and on Cape Cod, tells the story of a middle-aged man who seeks to discover the identity of the father he never knew.

April 11: Francesca Marciano, novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter
Reading - 4:15 p.m., University Hall Room 110
Francesca Marciano is an acclaimed Italian novelist and short story writer who writes her fiction in English, and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter who writes her scripts in Italian. Her newest book is the story collection, The Other Language (2014), which Jhumpa Lahiri called "an astonishing collection.... a vision of geography as it grounds us, as it shatters us, as it transforms the soul." Her novels include The End of Manners (2008), and Casa Rossa (2002). (see Classic Film Series April 11 listing for the screening of MIELE [HONEY], written by Francesca Marciano)

April 16: Lydia Davis, short story author and translator
Reading and McKinney Writing Contest Award Ceremony - 8:00 p.m., Biotech Auditorium, Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Building, Rensselaer (RPI), Troy
Lydia Davis, winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, will read from her newest story collection, Can't and Won't (2014). Masterpieces in miniature, the stories feature complaint letters, reflections on dreams, and small dilemmas. Davis has been called "one of the quiet giants of American fiction" (Los Angeles Times Book Review), and "one of the best writers in America" (Oprah's O Magazine). Her previous collections include The Collected Stories (2009), Varieties of Disturbance (2007), and Samuel Johnson is Indignant (2001).

April 22: Akhil Sharma, Indian-American fiction writer
Seminar - 4:15 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center
Reading - 8:00 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center
Akhil Sharma, "a supernova in the galaxy of young, talented Indian writers" (Publishers Weekly), received the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Whiting Writers' Award for his first novel, An Obedient Father (2000). His much-anticipated second novel is Family Life (2014), the story of Indian-American immigrants who are forced to cope after one of the family's two sons suffers a dreadful accident.

April 29: Robert H. Patton, novelist and historian
Seminar - 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
Reading - 8:00 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center
Robert H. Patton, novelist, historian, and grandson of legendary World War II General George S. Patton (1885-1945), is the author most recently of Hell Before Breakfast (2014), a history of American war journalism between 1860 and 1910, from the Civil War and Spanish American War to conflicts in Europe and Asia. He is also the author of the bestselling memoir, The Pattons: A Personal History of an American Family (1994), which Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post named one of the best books of the year.

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