Real Good for FREE: New York State Summer Writers Institute @ Skidmore College

(from left) Russell Banks, Francine Prose and William Kennedy

(from left) Russell Banks, Francine Prose and William Kennedy

The 26th summer of the New York State Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs gets under way in July, featuring classes for students of fiction, non-fiction and poetry taught by a distinguished faculty of acclaimed writers.

The Summer Writers Institute also offers a rich schedule of free readings and discussions by participating and guest writers, many of whom have received critical acclaim and top awards over the course of their careers. This summer the authors will consider the upcoming presidential election with a special panel discussion, “Writers on the Presidential Election,” scheduled to conclude the institute on Friday, July 27.

The readings will take place at 8pm in Davis Auditorium of Palamountain Hall at Skidmore College. admission to all events is free. Here’s the line-up of events for the summer of 2012:

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MONDAY, JULY 2:
Non-Fiction and Fiction Reading with Phillip Lopate (author, “Waterfront”) and Elizabeth Benedict (novelist, “Almost”)

TUESDAY, JULY 3:
Poetry and Fiction Reading with Louise Gluck (Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for Poetry) and Caryl Phillips (novelist, “A Distant Shore,” “The Nature of Blood”)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4:
Fiction and Poetry Reading with Allan Gurganus (author, “White People”) and Campbell McGrath (poet, “American Noise”)

THURSDAY, JULY 5:
Fiction Reading with Paul Auster (author, “The Brooklyn Follies”) and Siri Hustvedt (novelist, “What I Loved”)

FRIDAY, JULY 6:
Fiction and Poetry Reading with Joanna Scott (author, “Arrogance”) and James Longenbach (author, “The Iron Key”)

MONDAY, JULY 9:
Poetry and Fiction Reading with Frank Bidart (poet, “Desire”) and Claire Messud (author, “The Emperor’s Children”)

TUESDAY, JULY 10:
Poetry and Fiction Reading with Jorie Graham (Pulitzer Prize; author, “Dream of the Unified Field”) and Victoria Redel (author, “The Border of Truth”)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 11:
Poetry and Fiction Reading with Rosanna Warren (author, “Ghost in a Red Hat”) and Margot Livesey (author, “Eva Moves the Furniture”)

THURSDAY, JULY 12:
Fiction and Poetry Reading with Russell Banks (novelist, “The Darling”) and Chase Twichell (poet, “Dog Language”)

FRIDAY, JULY 13:
Fiction Reading with Joyce Carol Oates (National Book Award, “them”; “We Were the Mulvaneys”)

MONDAY, JULY 16:
Poetry and Non-Fiction Reading with Mark Strand (Pulitzer Prize, Poetry) and Honor Moore (author, “Red Shoes,” “The Bishop’s Daughter”)

TUESDAY, JULY 17:
Poetry and Fiction Reading with Charles Simic (Former Poet-Laureate, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet) and Danzy Senna (author, “Caucasia”)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18:
Fiction Reading with William Kennedy (Pulitzer Prize, “Ironweed”; “Roscoe”)

THURSDAY, JULY 19:
Fiction and Poetry Reading with Ann Beattie (novelist, “Love Always”) and Peg Boyers (poet, “Honey with Tobacco,” “Hard Bread”)

FRIDAY, JULY 20:
Fiction and Poetry Reading with Amy Hempel (fictionist, “The Dog of the Marriage”) and Richard Howard (Pulitzer Prize, Poetry, “Talking Cures”)

MONDAY, JULY 23:
Non-Fiction and Fiction Reading with Darin Strauss (National Book Critics Circle Award, “Half a Life”) and Binnie Kirshenbaum (novelist, “The Scenic Route”)

TUESDAY, JULY 24:
Fiction and Poetry Reading with Jamaica Kincaid (author, “Mr. Potter”) and Henri Cole (poet, “Middle Earth”)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 25:
Fiction and Poetry Reading with Mary Gaitskill (author, “Veronica”) and Tom Healy (“What the Left Hand Knows”)

THURSDAY, JULY 26:
Fiction and Poetry Reading with Rick Moody (fictionist, “Demonology”) and Francine Prose (novelist, “A Changed Man”)

FRIDAY, JULY 27:
Panel Discussion: “Writers on the Presidential Election” with Katha Pollitt (columnist, The Nation), James Miller (“Democracy Is in the Streets”), Jennifer Delton (author, “Racial Integration & Corporate America”; columnist for Salmagundi), moderated by Robert Boyers (editor, Salmagundi)

ADDITIONAL REAL GOOD FOR FREE EVENTS:

Beacon Riverfest @ Riverfront Park, Beacon (Saturday, June 30)
Skidmore Jazz Institute Concert Series @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs (various days thru July 6)
Freedom Park Concert Series @ Freedom Park, Scotia (various days thru August 29)
Performing Arts at the Common @ Clifton Common Stage, Clifton Park (various days thru August 26)
Music in the Park @ Schodack Town Park, Schodack (Tuesdays thru July 10)
Concerts On the Lawn @ the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown (Tuesdays thru July 24)
Cook Park Concert Series @ Cook Park, Colonie (Tuesdays thru August 28)
Rockin’ On the River @ Green Island Bridge parking lot, Troy (Wednesdays thru August 29)
Music in the Park @ the North End Firehouse, Rensselaer (Wednesdays thru August 29)
Jazz On Jay @ Jay Street, Schenectady (Thursdays thru August 30)
Alive at Five @ Riverfront Park, Albany (Thursdays thru August 9)
Music in the Garden @ Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, Clifton Park (July 6 & August 3)
Backlot Music Festival @ Waterford Public Library, Waterford (Thursdays thru July 26)
Guilderland Performing Arts Center @ Tawasentha Park, Guilderland (Thursdays thru August 23)
Concerts in the Park @ Wiswall Park, Ballston Spa (Thursdays thru August 30)
Music in the Park @ Dutchman’s Landing, Catskill (Thursdays thru August 30)
Fridays at the Lake @ Shepard Park, Lake George (Fridays thru September 7)
Music at Sunset @ Greenport Town Park, Hudson (Fridays thru August 31)
Upbeat On the Roof @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs (Fridays thru August 31)
Garage Bands in the Garage @ Albany Public Library, Albany (select Fridays thru September 21)
The Summer Sounds of Salem @ the Train Depot Green, Salem, (Saturdays thru September 1)
Fabulous Fourth Celebration @ Empire State Plaza, Albany, Wednesday, July 4
GE’s Kids Day @ Empire State Plaza, Albany, Sunday, July 8
McDonald’s African American Family Day @ Empire State Plaza, Albany, Saturday, August 4
Empire State Plaza Food Festival @ Empire State Plaza, Albany, Wednesday, August 15
Local Legends Live @ Empire State Plaza, Albany, Saturday, September 8
Hannaford Hispanic Heritage Celebration @ Empire State Plaza, Albany, Saturday, September 22
Powers Park Concert Series @ Powers Park, Troy (Saturdays in July and August)

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