New York State Writers Institute Announces 2014 Readings

The New York State Writers Institute announced its schedule of visiting readers for the spring 2014, highlighted by novelists E.L. Doctorow and Walter Mosley, short story writer Lydia Davis and playwright Christopher Durang. In addition, the Institute will host a special day-long celebration of the work of poet, translator, and former UAlbany professor Pierre Joris.

“The Spring 2014 Visiting Writers Series features old friends and new faces, always a good mix for literary events,” said Institute director Donald Faulkner.

All events are open to the public and free of charge except for the American Place Theatre’s one-man production of “Black Boy.”

Here’s the complete list of schedules readings, seminars and lectures for the spring semester:

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CAROLYN FORCHE, poet and human rights activist
Thursday, January 30
Seminar – 4:15pm, UAlbany Science Library’s Standish Room, Albany
Reading – 8pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall, Albany
Most recently, Forche is the co-editor of a new anthology, “Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English, 1500-2001″ (2014), featuring 300 poems “composed at an extreme of human endurance.” Forché received the 2013 Academy of American Poets Fellowship for “distinguished poetic achievement.”

WALTER MOSLEY, novelist
FRANKIE Y. BAILEY, mystery writer and criminal justice scholar
Tuesday, February 4
Seminar – 4:15pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall, Albany
Reading – 8pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall, Albany
The bestselling author of more than 40 books, and “one of this nation’s finest writers” (Boston Globe), Mosley 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 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.

“BLACK BOY”
Wednesday, February 12
Pre-performance discussion – 7pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall, Albany
Performance – 7:30pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall, Albany
Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door; students & seniors $10 in advance, $15 at the door
The American Place Theatre presents a verbatim one-man adaptation of the first half of Richard Wright’s classic autobiographical work, “Black Boy,” dramatizing Wright’s journey from childhood innocence to adulthood in the Jim Crow South.

JAMES D. REDWOOD, short story writer
Tuesday, February 18
Reading – 4:15pm, UAlbany Science Library’s Standish Room, Albany
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.

NICK TURSE, investigative journalist and military historian
Wednesday, February 19
Reading & discussion – 4:15pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall, Albany
Nick Turse, award-winning journalist specializing in national security and military issues, is the author of “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.

E.L. DOCTOROW, fiction writer
Thursday, February 27
Reading – 8pm, UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
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, Doctorow 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. 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.

A CELEBRATION OF POET & TRANSLATOR PIERRE JORIS
Wednesday, March 5
Panel discussion – 2pm, UAlbany Science Library’s Standish Room, Albany
Moderated by Donald Faulkner, with poets and scholars Robert Kelly, Peter Cockelbergh, Belle Gironda and Don Byrd
Conversation with Pierre Joris – 4:15pm, UAlbany Science Library’s Standish Room, Albany
Moderated by Tomás Urayoán Noel
Reading by Pierre Joris – 8pm, UAlbany Science Library’s Science Library
Pierre Joris, poet, translator and scholar taught at UAlbany from 1992 to 2013. His 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.

CHRISTOPHER DURANG, playwright
Monday, March 10
Seminar – 4:15pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall, Albany
The Burian Lecture – 8pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall, Albany
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.”

DINAW MENGESTU, fiction writer and journalist
Thursday, March 13
Seminar – 4:15pm, UAlbany Science Library’s Standish Room, Albany
Reading – 8pm, UAlbany Campus Center’s 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.

WALTER KIRN, journalist, fiction and nonfiction writer
Tuesday, March 25
Seminar – 4:15pm, UAlbany Campus Center’s Assembly Hall, Albany
Reading – 8pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall, Albany
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, and his books include the memoir, “My Mother’s Bible” (2013) and the novels, “Up in the Air” (2001) and “Thumbsucker” (1999) which were made into major films.

JULIA GLASS, novelist
Thursday, April 3
Seminar – 4:15pm, UAlbany Campus Center’s Room 375, Albany
Reading – 8pm, New York State Museum’s Huxley Theatre, 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.

FRANCESCA MARCIANO, novelist, short story writer and screenwriter
Friday, April 11
Reading – 4:15pm, UAlbany University Hall’s Room 110, Albany
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).

LYDIA DAVIS, short story author and translator
Wednesday, April 16
Reading – 8pm, RPI’s Biotech Auditorium, 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).

AKHIL SHARMA, Indian-American fiction writer
Tuesday, April 22
Seminar – 4:15pm, UAlbany Campus Center’s Assembly Hall, Albany
Reading – 8pm, UAlbany Campus Center’s Assembly Hall, Albany
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.

ROBERT H. PATTON, novelist and historian
Tuesday, April 29
Seminar – 4:15pm, UAlbany Science Library’s Standish Room, Albany
Reading – 8pm, UAlbany Campus Center’s Assembly Hall, Albany
Robert H. Patton, novelist, historian, and grandson of legendary World War II General George S. Patton, 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 the Washington Post named one of the best books of the year.

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