BookBeat: Roger Noyes Moves from the Stage to the Page

May 12th, 2017, 1:30 pm by Greg

If you’re a Greater Nippertown music fan, chances are good that you’re familiar with guitarist Roger Noyes, who plays in such bands as the Arch Stanton Quartet and the Jazz Caravan.

Well, Noyes is also an author, and he’s celebrating the publication of his first book, “Clara D. Noyes, R.N.: Life of a Global Nursing Leader” (Northshire Press), a biography of an important nursing leader in the early twentieth century who helped prepare and enroll 20,000 American Red Cross nurses for service to sick and dying American soldiers during World War I. Clara D. Noyes was also the author’s great-great aunt.

The publication party, reading and book-signing will take place from 7-9pm on Saturday (May 13) at Restaurant Navona in Albany. The book is also now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets.


MASS MoCA Announces Summer Season of Concerts & More

April 19th, 2017, 9:00 am by Greg
Booker T. Jones

Memphis soul great Booker T. Jones heads to MASS MoCA

Photograph by Ed Conway

In North Adams, the already massive MASS MoCA is about to double its gallery space with the Sunday, May 28 grand opening of the 130,000 square foot Building 6, featuring major new exhibitions and installations by James Turrell, Laurie Anderson, Jenny Holzer, Robert Rauschenberg, Sol LeWitt and more.

And MASS MoCA is also expanding its performance offerings for the upcoming summer season. The museum has previously announced a number of high wattage performances – including outdoor concerts by the rock band Cake (Sunday, May 28) and My Morning Jacket (Saturday, August 12), as well as the return of the big multi-day music festivals Solid Sound (June 23-25) and FreshGrass (September 15-17), but now they’ve upped the ante with a summer-long schedule of concerts, films, theater, a dance party and lots more.

Tickets for the newly announced events are now on sale, and if you purchase tickets by Wednesday, May 3, the early-bird price includes a 25% discount.

Here’s the schedule of newly announced performance events for MASS MoCA’s 2017 summer season:

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Musician’s Haiku

April 17th, 2017, 4:17 pm by Greg

In honor of National Haiku Day and the launch of the annual Albany Word Festival, is pleased to publish the new poem by Ramblin Jug Stompers’ banjo player, Bowtie:

Tuning… in tune! No,
Tuning, tuning, tuning… nope
Just start anyway…

FEST: Albany Word Fest, A Week of Readings

April 12th, 2017, 10:00 am by Greg

April is National Poetry Month, which also means it’s time for the return of the Albany Word Fest. The 16th annual fest takes over Greater Nippertown from Monday-Saturday, April 17-22.

As usual there are a number of poetry events scheduled during the week. Of particular note is the return of the Readings Against the End of the World, which seems quite appropos right about now. The tireless Tom Nattell – who died in 2005 – organized and hosted the annual 24-hour open mic marathon at various locations around Albany from 1984-1993. Now seems like the right time to revive it. Feel free to sign up to read or just come to listen…

Here’s the complete 2017 Albany Word Fest schedule:

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Congrats to Paul Grondahl

February 3rd, 2017, 12:00 pm by Greg
Paul Grondahl

Paul Grondahl

Photograph by Ed Conway

Paul Grondahl, the author and award-winning writer-reporter-columnist at The Times Union since 1984, has been named the new director of the New York State Writers Institute.

Following a nation-wide search, the 57-year-old Grondahl, who earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma and his master’s degree at UAlbany, was selected to succeed Donald Faulkner, who retired last year.

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FREE: NYS Writers Institute Schedule for 2017

January 25th, 2017, 9:30 am by Greg

Film directors…

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:

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.”

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.

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BEST OF 2016: Washington Post’s 10 Best Graphic Novels

December 30th, 2016, 2:15 pm by Greg


Yes, it’s that time of year once again – best of the year list-time, that is. We’re gathering together Best of 2016 from media outlets, our own contributors and our readers, too.

Here’s The Washington Post’s round-up of the Best Graphic Novels of 2016, as compiled by Michael Cavna:

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Think Artistically, Read Locally: “SPAC50”

December 16th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Greg

Edited by Field Horne; designed by David Perry
Available at Northshire Bookstore; online at; and by calling SPAC at 518.584.9330

This year the Saratoga Performing Arts Center celebrated its 50th anniversary, and the SPAC folks are wrapping up the year-long celebration with the publication of a limited edition, 350-page commemorative coffee table book. Edited by Spa City historian Field Horne and designed by Saratoga Living’s creative director David Perry, the 12 x 12-inch book explores SPAC’s classical music, dance, pop & rock and educational offerings through 11 themed chapters, featuring more than 450 images and essays by Skidmore professors Denise Warner Limoli (associate professor of dance) and Tom Denny (professor emeritus of music history).

“MHR-80: Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region”
“New York’s Capital Region in 50 Objects”
“Encore: Proctors at 90”

The Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Albany PoetsBerkshire On StageHudson SoundsCapital District Habitat For Humanity