From classic films to a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, from a British television personality to a Supreme Court Justice, from a National Book Award winning novelist to a MacArthur Foundation Grant winning jazz violinist, the New York State Writers Institute’s schedule of free events has been announced for the winter and sporing seasons, and there are plenty of golden opportunities to hear greats of the literary world and beyond.
Most events take place on the University of Albany campus, and admission is free for all of them.
Here’s the full schedule:
TUESDAY, JANUARY 31
Robert Coover, award-winning fiction writer
Seminar: 4:15pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall
Reading: 8pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall
Robert Coover, pioneer of experimental and electronic fiction, is celebrated for work that reinvents and reimagines the art of storytelling. The New York Times has called him “a one-man Big Bang of exploding creative force.” He is the author of more than 25 books, including the novels “The Origin of the Brunists” (1966), which received the William Faulkner Award for best first novel; “The Public Burning” (1977), nominated for a National Book Award; and the story collection “A Night at the Movies” (1987), winner of the Rea Award. His new novel, “Huck Out West” (2017), picks up where Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” leaves off – on the eve of the Civil War. In a starred review Booklist described the book as “a near-masterpiece…a surprisingly tender, touching paean to the power of storytelling and the pains of growing up.”
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1
Shaka Senghor, author and prison reform activist
Lecture: 7pm, “Your Worst Deeds Do Not Define You,” UAlbany Campus Center Ballroom
Reception: 5:30-6:45pm, UAlbany Campus Center’s Patroon Room
Shaka Senghor is the author of the memoir “Writing My Wrongs” (2016), a New York Times bestseller that candidly recounts his life growing up in an abusive household in Detroit during the height of the 1980s crack epidemic, his 19-year incarceration for murder at the age of 19, and the tools he used to confront his past and construct his future. Filmmaker J.J. Abrams praised the book describing it as “a profound story of neglect, violence, discovery, redemption and inspiration….Prepare to have your preconceptions shattered.” Senghor is a leading voice in criminal justice reform.