NYS Writers Institute visiting writers fall 2016

nys writers institute 2016 fall book covers

The fall lineup for the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series is out. And, as usual, it includes notable, award-winning writers and events.

Here's the full lineup, compressed and expanded...

Events are free unless otherwise noted. All blurbage via the NYS Writers Institute.

See also the classic film series slate for the fall.

Compressed schedule

September 15: Joyce Carol Oates, fiction writer, essayist, poet, and playwright (The Creative Life)

September 27: Joseph LeDoux, neuroscientist and author

September 29: Stephen Burt, poet and literary critic

October 6: Imbolo Mbue, novelist, and Susan Golomb, literary agent

October 14: Screening of Who Killed Vincent Chin? - Christine Choy

October 15: Savion Glover, tap dancer, choreographer, and actor (The Creative Life)

October 15: Roscoe: An American Grand Opera - Albany Symphony Orchestra

October 21: Screening of Snowpiercer - with screenwriter Kelly Masterson

October 28: Anne Fadiman, journalist, and nonfiction author

November 1: Howard Frank Mosher, novelist

November 10: Jeff Goodell, journalist and nonfiction writer, and Jennifer Haigh, fiction writer

November 15: Charles Baxter and James Lasdun, fiction writers

November 29: Garth Risk Hallberg, novelist

Expanded schedule

September 15: Joyce Carol Oates, fiction writer, essayist, poet, and playwright (The Creative Life)
Conversation -- 7:30 p.m., Main Theatre, Performing Arts Center
Joyce Carol Oates, prolific author of more than 160 books, is a perennial favorite to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She is the author of 44 novels, including them (1969), winner of the National Book Award, Black Water (1992), Foxfire (1993), We Were the Mulvaneys (1996), and Blonde (2000). Her recent works include the novel The Man Without a Shadow (2016), the memoir The Lost Landscape: A Writer's Coming of Age (2015), and the essay collection Soul at the White Heat: Inspiration, Obsession, and the Writing Life (2016). Oates received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2010.

September 27: Joseph LeDoux, neuroscientist and author
Seminar -- 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
Reading -- 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Joseph LeDoux is a world-renowned expert on the neurobiology of anxiety and fear. Director of the Emotional Brain Institute at NYU, he has helped to redefine the current understanding of those psychological states and their associated disorders. His new book is Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety (2015), an accessible, elegantly written guide to the history and science of his field. Calling LeDoux "the William James of our era...," Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel said, "This marvelous book is science at its best."

September 29: Stephen Burt, poet and literary critic
Seminar -- 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
Reading -- 8:00 p.m., Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, Albany
Stephen Burt is "one of the most influential poetry critics of his generation" (The New York Times Magazine). His books of criticism include Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry (2009), a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them (2016), "a guide to the diverse magnificences of American poetry today." His poetry collections include Popular Music (1999), Parallel Play (2006), and Belmont (2013), named a "Best Book of 2013" by Publishers Weekly and NPR.

October 6: Imbolo Mbue, novelist, and Susan Golomb, literary agent (The New Americans)
Seminar -- 4:15 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center
Reading -- 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Imbolo Mbue, Cameroonian-American, is the author of the highly anticipated first novel Behold the Dreamers (2016), a riveting story about a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession of the 2000s upends the economy. In advance praise, bestselling author Jacqueline Woodson called it, "startlingly beautiful, thoughtful, and both timely and timeless."

Susan Golomb, Mbue's literary agent, is known for discovering and representing some of the most successful literary authors working today, including Jonathan Franzen and William T. Vollman, among many others. She describes Mbue's debut novel as having "some of the most delightful and refreshing characters seen in recent fiction."

October 14: Screening of Who Killed Vincent Chin? - with director Christine Choy
7:30 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus
A Chinese automotive engineer is mistaken as Japanese and murdered by two autoworkers who blame him for the competition from the Japanese auto industry. The film, which was nominated for a Best Feature Documentary Oscar, recounts the repercussions for the families and the failures of the American justice system.

Christine Choy is a director and producer whose films include A SHOT HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD (1998), which won best documentary at the Bangkok International Film Festival, and RODNEY KING: KOREATOWN REACTS (2016).

October 15: Savion Glover, tap dancer, choreographer, and actor (The Creative Life)
Conversation -- 1:00 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus
Savion Glover is a Tony award-winning choreographer and "the greatest tap dancer to ever lace up a pair of tap shoes" (Gregory Hines). At the age of 10 he starred in the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid. He both starred in and choreographed the musical Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk, for which he received a Tony Award for choreography. Glover has made numerous appearances on Sesame Street and also performed the live captured dancing moves for "Mumble," the penguin in the Disney film HAPPY FEET.

October 15: Roscoe: An American Grand Opera - Albany Symphony Orchestra
Albany Symphony performance -- 7:30 p.m., Palace Theatre, 19 Clinton Avenue, Albany
The Albany Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Alan Miller, will present Roscoe, a new American opera based on William Kennedy's acclaimed novel. Roscoe Conway, after years as the motor of Albany's political machine, longs to retire. But just when he thinks he is out, events pull him back in. Composed by Evan Mack, with libretto by Joshua McGuire, the performance will feature opera superstar soprano Deborah Voigt as "Veronica." For tickets contact the Albany Symphony Box Office at 518-694-3300.

October 18: American Shakespeare Center performance of Romeo and Juliet
Performance -- 7:30 p.m., Main Theatre, Performing Arts Center
With ravishing language Shakespeare celebrated love's triumphs and its trivialities in perhaps his most popular tragedy. The play explores the volatility of youth as well as the wisdom and restraint that often escape young and old alike. Presented in classic Shakespearean style, American Shakespeare Center's production features dance and thumb-biting swordplay as well as sonnets, bawdy wit, and soul-searching speeches.

Advance tickets: $15 general public/$10 students, seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff. Day of Show Tickets: $20 general public/$15 students, seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff. For tickets e-mail: tickets@albany.edu or call the PAC Box Office at: (518) 442-3997

October 21: Screening of Snowpiercer - with screenwriter Kelly Masterson
7:00 p.m. [Note early start time], Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus
Based on the French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige, SNOWPIERCER is widely hailed as a classic of the new climate fiction genre ("cli-fi"). Survivors of a future Ice Age live out their lives on a train as it travels in a continuous loop around the globe. USA Today called it, "a rare hybrid that perfectly blends the dazzle of a futuristic action thriller with the intellectual substance of an art film." Nominated for 94 film awards, it received a total of 19.

Kelly Masterson, screenwriter of SNOWPIERCER, also wrote the screenplays for BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD (2007, see October 7 listing), GOOD PEOPLE (2014), starring James Franco, and KILLING KENNEDY (2013), starring Rob Lowe.

October 28: Anne Fadiman, journalist, and nonfiction author (The New Americans)
Interview/Discussion -- 7:30 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus
Anne Fadiman is the author of the bestselling nonfiction book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (1997). Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the book explores the clash between Western medicine and the holistic healing traditions of a Hmong refugee family from Laos over the care of their epileptic child. The Washington Post Book World called it, "Superb, informal cultural anthropology--eye-opening, readable, utterly engaging." Elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2015, Fadiman has won National Magazine Awards for reporting and essays.

November 1: Howard Frank Mosher, novelist
Seminar -- 4:15 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center
Reading -- 8:00 p.m., Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, Albany
Howard Frank Mosher is the author of ten acclaimed novels set in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. The novel A Stranger in the Kingdom (1989) won the New England Book Award and was made into a movie as were his books Disappearances (1977), and Where the Rivers Flow North (1978). His most recent novel is God's Kingdom (2015), of which Stephen King said "This is American fiction at its very best, a rip-roaring story full of hilarity and heartbreak...honest and emotionally resonant. Don't miss it."

November 10: Jeff Goodell, journalist and nonfiction writer, and Jennifer Haigh, fiction writer
Reading/Discussion -- 7:00 p.m., Art Museum, Fine Arts Building
Jeff Goodell is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine. He is the author of Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future (2006), a look at the economic, environmental, and social issues surrounding the coal industry. His new book is How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate (paperback, 2016). In a starred review Booklist called it, "...a lively and invaluable introduction of the simultaneously alarming and promising field of geoengineering."

Jennifer Haigh is the author of four critically acclaimed novels: Mrs. Kimble (2003), which received the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for distinguished first book of fiction; Baker Towers (2005), The Condition (2008), and Faith (2011). In her new novel Heat and Light (2016), Haigh explores the allure of fracking for the residents of a ravaged coal town. The Washington Post called it "the best fracking novel ever.... a tour-de-force of multiple point-of-view narration."

November 15: Charles Baxter and James Lasdun, fiction writers
Seminar -- 4:15 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Reading -- 8:00 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center
Charles Baxter is widely celebrated as a master of the short story form, for which he has won numerous awards. His newest collection, There's Something I Want You to Do (2015), was a finalist for the 2016 Story Prize. Fiction writer Julie Orringer said, "To read these stories--hilarious, tragic, surprising, and indelibly human--is to receive revelation at the hands of a master." Baxter's bestselling novel The Feast of Love (2000) was a finalist for the National Book Award.

James Lasdun is a fiction and nonfiction writer, poet, and screenwriter. His works include Bluestone: New and Selected Poems (2015); the story collection It's Beginning to Hurt, listed by The Atlantic Monthly as one of its top five books of 2009; and the novel The Horned Man (2002), a New York Times Notable Book. His most recent book is the psychological thriller The Fall Guy (Oct 2016). In advance praise novelist Joseph O'Neill said "What a sinister and searching novel this is--and what a delight. James Lasdun is one of our great writers."

November 29: Garth Risk Hallberg, novelist
Seminar -- 4:15 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center
Reading -- 8:00 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus
Garth Risk Hallberg is the author of the national bestseller City on Fire (2015), his sweeping debut novel about New York City in the 1970s where the lives of the wealthy, punks, artists, cops, and runaway teens collide. The novel was named a "Best Book of the Year" by the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, and The Atlantic. In her New York Times review Michiko Kakutani praised the book as "A novel of head-snapping ambition and heart stopping power--a novel that attests to its young author's boundless and unflagging talents."

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