Archive for the ‘Books/Readings’ Category

Congrats to Paul Grondahl

Friday, February 3rd, 2017
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.



FREE: NYS Writers Institute Schedule for 2017

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

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.


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

Friday, December 30th, 2016


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:


Think Artistically, Read Locally: “SPAC50”

Friday, December 16th, 2016

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”

Think Artistically, Read Locally: “MHR-80”

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

“MHR-80: Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region”
By Michael Oatman
Book launch event at the Hyde Collection at 5:30pm Friday (December 16); $25 admission includes one copy of the book; $15 without a copy of the book
Also available at the Hyde Collection

The Hyde Collection in Glens Fall unveils a commemorative-edition catalogue celebrating the 80th annual Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region exhibition, which is on view through the end of the year showcasing the work of 106 Greater Nippertown artists. The 186-page, full-color book features an ephemeral timeline, essays by Museum Director Erin Coe and MHR curator/juror Michael Oatman, and features each of the artists in the exhibition.

“New York’s Capital Region in 50 Objects”
“Encore: Proctors at 90”

BEST OF 2016: Chicago Tribunes’ Top Four Poetry Books of the Year

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016


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. (Sure, just email ’em to us…)

Here’s The Chicago Tribune’s list of the Four Top Poetry Books as compiled by Michael Robbins:


Think Artistically, Read Locally: “New York’s Capital Region in 50 Objects”

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016


Book launch event at the Albany Institute of History and Art at 3-5pm Friday (December 16). Admission is FREE.
Also available at the Albany Institute Museum Shop, the Book House, Market Block Books and Departure at the Albany International Airport

In conjunction with the popular 2015-2016 exhibition of the same name, the Albany Institute of History & Art has published a book focusing on some of Greater Nippertown’s most historical and unique artifacts from Albany Billiard Balls to Troy-Bilt Rototillers. It’s a 122-page, softcover book with two full pages of full-color illustrations and informational text dedicated to each of the 50 chosen objects – including Nipper, of course.

“Encore: Proctors at 90”

Think Artistically, Read Locally: “Encore: Proctors at 90”

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016


This week, we’re putting the spotlight on a series of new, locally produced arts books published just in time for the gift-giving season:

By Richard Lovrich and Michael Eck
Book launch events at Proctors’ GE Theatre at 7pm Wednesday (December 14); the Open Door Bookstore at 1pm Saturday (December 17); Universal Preservation Hall at 6pm Friday, February 10. Admission to all book events is FREE.
Also available at Proctors’ Gift Centre, the Open Door Bookstore, Northshire Bookstore, the Book House, Market Block Books; and online at

This month, Proctors marks its 90th anniversary, and in conjunction with the celebration, the Schenectady arts and entertainment complex has published a new, deluxe hardcover photo book, that examines Proctors’ history, but also focuses on Proctors today, and its role in the renewal of downtown Schenectady. The book features more than 100 photographs and is divided into 14 chapters penned by Proctors’ publicist Michael Eck. “This is our story,” says Proctors CEO Philip Morris. “This is a snapshot of who we are right now.”


Cartoonist John CaldwellJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysHolly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!The LindaArtist Charles HaymesAlbany PoetsBerkshire On StageHudson SoundsLeave Regular Radio BehindArtist GG Roberts