Archive for the ‘Books/Readings’ Category

FREE: NYS Writers Institute’s Visiting Writers Series Kicks Off on Thursday

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

The fall lineup for the NYS Writers Institute’s visiting writers series is out, and its chockfull of award winning novelists, poets, journalists, screenwriters, choreographers and more…

Admission is free for all events, except where noted.

Here’s the fall 2016 schedule:

September 15, 7:30pm: Joyce Carol Oates @ UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Main Theater, Albany. She’s written more that 160 books, and now the award-winning novelist, essayist, poet, playwright engages in a conversation about “The Creative Life.”



Michael Eck Does Raymond Carver

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
Michael Eck

Michael Eck

Photograph by Tom Lindsay

Singer-songwriter Michael Eck is taking his “maximum solo acoustic” approach to the minimalist fiction of Raymond Carver for a one-time-only performance at the Albany Public Library. He’ll be joined by author and Times Union writer Paul Grondahl for the performance of “Signals: Songs from Raymond Carver” at 7pm on Wednesday (August 24).

The tribute to Raymond Carver in song is the latest installment of the library’s Reading Music series, which features Local 518 musicians composing and performing music inspired by works of literature.


FREE: New York State Summer Writers Institute @ Skidmore College

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

The annual month-long New York State Summer Writers Institute returns to Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs for another jam-packed July full of free readings by some of today’s finest novelists, memoirists, poets, short story writers and more.

All of the readings are free and open to the public, and held at 8pm in Skidmore’s Davis Auditorium in Palamountain Hall.

Receptions will be held immediately following the readings in The Spa, in the basement of Skidmore’s Case Center.

Here’s the complete schedule of readings for the 2016 season:


Remembering Bob Dylan @ Caffe Lena

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Bob Dylan

If you’re a music fan in Greater Nippertown, you’re undoubtedly aware that Bob Dylan performed at Caffe Lena very early in his musical career when he was just another unknown folksinger scrappin’ for gigs. It’s the stuff of legend around here…

The venerable Saratoga Springs coffeehouse Caffe Lena is celebrating its 56th anniversary this weekend (with a big concert at Skidmore College on Saturday). And it just so happens that the Caffe’s most acclaimed alum is celebrating his 75th birthday just three days later (that would be Tuesday, May 24), so Caffe Lena is hosting a Dylan tribute concert tonight (Friday, May 20).

Sheer coincidence? Or was there something more to the brief intersection of Bob Dylan and Caffe Lena in January, 1962?

In Stephen Petrus and Ronald D. Cohen’s book “Folk City: New York and the American Folk Music Revival” – published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name that was presented at the Museum on the City of New York last year – Terri Thal, the wife and manager of Dave Van Ronk, recalls the adventure of booking Bob Dylan into Caffe Lena:


Poet Richard Blanco Discusses Cultural Identity at BCC [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
Richard Blanco, American poet

Richard Blanco, American poet

What might sound like a routine poetry reading and discussion promises to be much more as Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield hands the microphone to critically acclaimed poet and author Richard Blanco. Both the speaker and the topic have great relevance in this tormented election year: “Becoming an American: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey.”

Did you know that Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history? As such he is also the youngest, the first Latino, immigrant and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exiled parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. Yet its language is one we all speak.

Whether speaking as the Cuban Blanco or the American Richard; the homebody or the world traveler; the scared boy or the openly gay man; the engineer or the inaugural poet; Blanco’s writings possess a story-rich quality that easily illuminates the human spirit.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Spread the Word: The 2016 Albany Word Fest Kicks off on Sunday

Friday, April 15th, 2016


April is National Poetry Month, and in celebration Albany Poets is presenting the 2016 Albany Word Fest featuring the poetry and spoken word of upstate New York. This year’s week-long celebration will take place from Sunday (April 17) through Saturday, April 23.

“Every year we celebrate National Poetry Month right here in Albany, and each year we add more to the list of events. What started as a one-day outdoor open mic in 2001 has become a full week of poetry and spoken word. There is something for everyone,” said Thom Francis, president of Albany Poets. “Whether you would like to take in a featured performance from a touring national spoken word artist, celebrate the launch of the fourth edition of Up The River, attend a regional poetry slam, or be part of one of the largest annual open mics in the area, the Albany Word Fest is the place for you.”

Word Fest week will kick-off with the release of the fourth edition of Albany Poets’ literary journal, Up The River. The editors will debut their selections on Sunday (April 17) evening at McGeary’s Pub with a reading featuring by some of the published poets including Wayne Murphy, Stephen Minchin, Gary Murrow, Sandra Rouse, Howard Kogan, Tess Lecuyer, Alyssa D’Amico and Gary Barkman.

Kevin Peterson, Albany Poets board member and Up The River editor says, “Every year, we put on this week long series of events, and year after year, I’m blown away by the talent and creativity it draws out from our community and the literary community at large.”

Here’s the schedule of events around town for the 2016 Albany Word Fest:


BookBeat: “The Record Store of the Mind” @ Albany Public Library Tonight

Monday, April 4th, 2016


Josh Rosenthal is a Grammy-nominated record producer and founder of the highly influential Tompkins Square indie record label. He’s also making a stop at the Albany Public Library’s Main Branch at 7pm tonight (Monday, April 4) to discuss and read from his new book, “The Record Store of the Mind.”

The book is part music criticsm, part music history and part memoir, and it’s the memoir part that may be of greatest interest to Local 518 music fans. In the late ’80s, Rosenthal was a student at UAlbany (Class of ’89), where he became music director of WCDB-FM, the college radio station. His book makes references to such seminal Greater Nippertown music venues as QE2 and Valentine’s Music Hall, and one of the book’s most pivotal scenes revolves around Elvis Costello’s concert at Albany’s Palace Theatre in 1989.

No less an authority than Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter producer T Bone Burnett has hailed Rosenthal as “a record man’s record man. He is also a musician’s record man. He is in the line of Samuel Charters and Harry Smith. In this age where we have access to everything and know the value of nothing, musicians need people like Josh to hear them when no one else can.”

At tonight’s reading, Rosenthal will be accompanied by multi-talented musician (and fellow WCDB alum) Michael Eck. Admission to the reading/musical performance is free.

Rosenthal will also be reading at Rocket Number Nine record store in Kingston at 6pm on Tuesday (April 5) with Peter Walker providing musical accompaniment.

BookBeat: Local Author Day @ Barnes & Noble on Saturday

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Barnes & Noble at Colonie Center is celebrating Local Author Day on Saturday (April 2), and more than a dozen Greater Nippertown writers will be on hand to discuss and sign their books from 1-4pm. The writers cover a wide array of genres from novels to non-fiction, from mysteries to nature books, from children’s books local history.

Here’s a round-up of the authors who will be in attendance and their latest books:

W.B. Belcher: “Lay Down Your Weary Tune”

Vincent Zandri: “Orchard Grove”

Darryl McGrath: “Flight Paths: A Field Journal of Hope, Heartbreak, and Miracles with New York’s Bird People”

Peggy Frezon: “Faithfully Yours: The Amazing Bond Between Us and the Animals We Love”

Bob Cudmore: “Lost Mohawk Valley, New York”


Holly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Berkshire On StageLeave Regular Radio BehindHudson SoundsArtist Charles HaymesAlbany PoetsThe LindaAustralian Cattle Dog Rescue Association