Archive for the ‘Books/Readings’ Category

Troy Music Hall Announces Eight New Concerts

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall has announced a big batch of eight new concerts for its 2017 season of shows.

Tickets for the new shows are currently available exclusively to members of the Hall and will go on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday (October 21).

Here’s the round-up of new concerts for the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall:



Congrats to Bob Dylan

Thursday, October 13th, 2016
Bob Dylan outside the Wellington Hotel, Albany, NY, 3am, 4/29/1980

Photograph by Martin Benjamin

Congratulations to Bob Dylan, the 2016 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

LIVE: “Signals: Songs of Raymond Carver” @ Albany Public Library, 8/24/16

Thursday, October 6th, 2016
Michael Eck and Paul Grondahl

Michael Eck and Paul Grondahl @ Albany Public Library’s Local History Room

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Ed Conway

Music meets books…
Songs meet stories…
Poems meet performance…

The Albany Public Library’s Reading Music series gives Greater Nippertown musicians the opportunity to dig in and create music inspired by works of literature.

Singer-songwriter Michael Eck has taken on that challenge before, teaming up with Matt Durfee two years ago to present songs based on John Steinbeck’s classic novel, “East of Eden.”

But with “Signals: Songs from Raymond Carver,” Eck took it one step further. Armed only with an ever-shifting array of guitars, Eck performed a dozen new songs – an entire album’s worth – expertly crafted from the short stories and poems of one of the greatest American writers of the ’80s.

Helping to illuminate Carver’s work and his place in American literature, journalist-author Paul Grondahl teamed up with Eck to offer insightful biographical background on Carver, as well as readings of some of his works, most notably the spare but creepy short story, “Neighbors.”


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.

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