Archive for the ‘Books/Readings’ Category

BOOK: Marky Ramone’s “Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone”

Friday, February 27th, 2015
Marky Ramone

Marky Ramone at Skidmore College, 3/26/14

Review and photograph by Thomas Dimopoulos

“Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as A Ramone”
by Marky Ramone with Rich Herschlag
403 pages, $28.
(Touchstone/Simon & Schuster)

“For Christmas 1961, my parents bought me my first transistor radio… a whole new world opened up.”

During the past 45 years, beat-keeper Marky Ramone has had a seat in the downtown Manhattan birthing room of some of the world’s greatest rock and roll happenings. His newly published autobiography, “Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as A Ramone,” follows a linear path through the life of the Brooklyn-born drummer from his youngest years to the present day, and as the title suggests, pays considerable homage to his 15 years as a member of the Ramones.



Real Good for FREE: NYS Writers Institute’s Visiting Writers Series

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
Katha Pollitt, Peter Carey and Tina Packer

Katha Pollitt, Peter Carey and Tina Packer

The the winter/spring 2015 Visiting Writers Series sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute kicks off on Thursday (January 29) with a reading by The Nation columnist Katha Pollitt.

All of the events are FREE except for the American Place Theatre production of “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.”

Books are available in advance of events and at the events, from the following bookstores:
the University Bookstore at UAlbany and the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.

Here’s the upcoming schedule of Visiting Writers Series events:

Thursday (January 29)
Seminar: 4:15pm @ UAlbany Campus Center Room 375
Reading: 8pm @ UAlbany Campus Center Room 375
The essayist, critic and poet is an influential voice of American feminism and long-time columnist for The Nation, as well as the author of a much-talked-about new book, “Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights.” Pollitt received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Book Awards in 2010, and is a two-time winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary. Her books of poetry include “The Mind-Body Problem” (2010) and “Antarctic Traveller” (1983), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Tuesday, February 3
Seminar: 4:15pm @ UAlbany Campus Center Room 375
Reading: 8pm @ UAlbany Lecture Center 20
The Australian novelist is one of only three writers to have received the Man Booker Prize twice – for “Oscar and Lucinda” (1988) and “True History of the Kelly Gang” (2000). His new novel is “Amnesia,” a cyber-terrorism political thriller set in a counter-historical Australia that has endured American interference in its governmental affairs.

Friday, February 6
Film screening and discussion with director Jason Osder: 7pm @ UAlbany’s Page Hall
The award-winning documentary examines the history of the escalating conflict between the City of Philadelphia and the Black Liberation organization, MOVE, in the mid-1980s.
Osder teaches documentary filmmaking at the George Washington University and is also the co-author of the filmmaking guide, “Final Cut Pro Workflows: The Independent Studio Handbook.”


Books: A Novel, Photographs and Poetry [Get Visual]

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Sputnik Summer

By David Brickman

Though it isn’t a picture book, Paul Castellani’s Sputnik Summer features a great photo by Adirondack photographer Carl Heilman II on the cover, and its author and his wife, Donna, are great modern art enthusiasts who attend a lot of openings, so it caught my attention.

Castellani is a professor by trade, but his academic roots stay pretty well hidden in this coming-of-age novel that takes place in the late ’50s in a fading Adirondack resort town where a somewhat typical 17-year-old boy tries to come to terms with the limits of his hick town, the crummy summer resort his abusive dad runs, his own college ambitions, and the need to get laid.

The story is punctuated by news bits and advertising slogans taken straight from the publications of the day, which provides a sort of parallel narrative that suggests political and social commentary without offering it directly. Castellani is an excellent storyteller, and he keeps you interested in the twists and turns of this intelligent but inexperienced young man’s rather fateful last summer at home. Put simply: I enjoyed the book and so, probably, will you or the person you decide to give it to.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

The Literary Legends of the Local 518 to Be Honored on Saturday

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

The Albany Public Library Foundation has announced the recipients of the inaugural Literary Legends honors, paying tribute to outstanding local writers — Amy Biancolli, Paul Grondahl and William Kennedy.

The three authors will be honored at an awards ceremony fundraiser at the Pine Hills Branch of the Albany Public Library from 7-9:30pm on Saturday (November 15).

The event will feature food catered by Café Capriccio, New World Bistro, Taste and Saati’s, as well as wine, beer and soda, a silent auction and, of course, the awards presentation to the honorees.

Tickets are $75 & $125, and all proceeds will go directly to support the Albany Public Library’s programs and services.

NOTE: In conjunction with the New York State Writers Institute, Amy Biancolli will also offer a reading from her new memoir, “Figuring Shit Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival” at 7pm tonight (Tuesday, November 11) at UAlbany’s University Art Museum in Albany. Fiction writer Angela Pneuman will also read from her debut novel, “Lay It On My Heart.” Admission is free.

LIVE: Richard Russo @ the Gloversville Public Library, 10/23/14

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

The Richard Russo book display in Gloversville Library

Story and photographs by Stanley Johnson

In a recent Nippertown story by local performer Erin Harkes, she wrote about Richard Thompson and how he was one artist for whom she would hold open the date of his show so she could be sure to go.

I’m the same when it comes to certain writers, as in book authors. When I heard that Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Richard Russo was returning to Gloversville, I had to be there.

Russo, the author of about 10 books, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for “Empire Falls.” Several of his books, including “Mohawk,” “The Risk Pool” and “Nobody’s Fool” (which was made into a 1994 film starring Paul Newman), were fictional but accurate depictions of his youth in Gloversville, a small mill town on the northwestern fringe of Nippertown. (Okay, maybe it’s beyond the fringe.)


Real Good for FREE (Mostly): NYS Writers Institute’s Visiting Writers Series

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
(from left) Alison Lurie, Edith Grossman, Kirsten Gillibrand and John Lahr

(from left) Alison Lurie, Edith Grossman, Kirsten Gillibrand and John Lahr

The New York State Writers Institute has announced the fall schedule of its Visiting Writers Events, beginning with the current New York State Author Alison Lurie who will read at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall at 8pm on Thursday (September 18).

Events are free of charge, except where noted. Here’s the NYS Writers Institute’s schedule for fall of 2014:

Alison Lurie, New York State Author
Thursday (September 18)
Seminar — 4:15pm, UAlbany’s Campus Center Room 375
Reading — 8pm, UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall
Alison Lurie, novelist and current New York State Author (2012-2014), is widely regarded as the Jane Austen of contemporary American letters for her modern “comedies of manners,” including “Truth and Consequences” (2005) and the Pulitzer-winning “Foreign Affairs” (1984). Her new nonfiction book is “The Language of Houses” (2014), an exploration of the expressive power of everyday architecture. Author Edmund White said “[Lurie] has culled the best ideas from a vast literature and passed it all through the sieve of her brilliant mind.”


Complete Schedule of Bands for This Weekend’s Basilica SoundScape in Hudson

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Basilica Hudson in Hudson – the artist-owned venue run by creative directors Melissa Auf der Maur (formerly of Hole and Smashing Pumpkins) and filmmaker Tony Stone – is hosting its third annual Basilica SoundScape, a music-and-more festival at the waterfront arts and performance space located inside a reclaimed 19th-century factory. A stone’s throw from the Amtrak station in Hudson, the fest will once again present an eclectic line-up of musicians, authors, video artists and more.

On Friday, the fest features Michael Chapman, the seminal British guitarist who first appeared on the British folk circuit in 1967, legendary New York psychedelic band Endless Boogie, a performance from Gamelan Dharma Swara orchestra, Tim Hecker, Julia Holter and Richard Reed Parry (of Arcade Fire), who will perform material from his upcoming solo album, Music for Heart and Breath (Deutsche Grammophon). Video statements from artist and musician Torn Hawk (Luke Wyatt) will be shown throughout the evening in the north hall.


“Reading Music”: Where Books Meet Songs

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Matt Durfee

Matt Durfee (photo: Michael Hochanadel)

At 7pm tonight (Wednesday, August 27), the Albany Public Library is hosting its second “Reading Music” concert. It’s an evening of songs, readings and discussion based on John Steinbeck’s classic novel, “East of Eden.” The evening will feature nearly a dozen brand-spankin’ new original songs penned by Local 518 songsmiths Matt Durfee and Michael Eck. Admission is FREE.

Joining Durfee (vocals, guitar) and Eck (vocals, resonator guitar, resonator mandolin) will be August Sagehorn (bass), Tommy Krebs (drums), Roger Noyes (steel guitar), M.R. Poulopoulos (electric guitar) and Adam Prizio (readings).

You may recall the inaugural “Reading Music” performance back in April featured M.R. Poulopoulos and friends performing a number of original songs based on the novels of Albany’s own Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy, who was in attendance.

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