Archive for the ‘Books/Readings’ Category

Celebrating the Work of Zora Neale Hurston [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Zora Neale Hurston fascinates us for many reasons, not the least of which is that she is claimed as part of LGBTQ history. As was common in that era, this basic identity was masked and hidden, and both scholars and journalists are hesitant to make the claim outright for lack of specific attribution. Nevertheless, one only needs to read her work, her hilarious portrait of men and unsparing depiction of the foibles of life as a minority to sense that this was no ordinary daughter of a Baptist minister, but an authentic and rebellious voice that rarely held back. Still it seems the one inhibition she could not overcome was revealing her own basic identity. To me, it is and has always been there, between the lines, for those who know how to parse the truth from literary obfuscation. – Larry Murray

The UAlbany Performing Arts Center and the NYS Writers Institute are pleased to present Eyes on Zora: The Life and Legacy of Zora Neale Hurston, a series of events focusing on the life and work of one of the most important and celebrated figures to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance. Outspoken, spirited and gifted, Hurston (1891-1960) was an anthropologist but is more identified and well-known as a prolific writer, her books defining the black American experience. Famous for her vivacious and unapologetic personality, Hurston wrote works of fiction and folklore which drove forward both the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights movement.

Ushering in February’s Black History Month, public events take place beginning on Friday (January 29) in various locations both on and beyond the University at Albany campus. The schedule includes:

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


Holiday Gift Guide: “The Band Photographs, 1968-1969”

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

“The Band Photographs, 1968-1969”
By Elliott Landy
160 pages, 12″x12″

The hardcover book features more than 200 photographs by acclaimed photographer Elliott Landy documenting the Band during the time they made their first two albums, Music from Big Pink and The Band. More than half of the photographs, drawn from Landy’s archives, are previously unpublished.

The Signature Edition
$75 through December 12; $85 thereafter
Signed by Landy in gold-toned pigmented ink on the front sheet of the book. With a bonus, separate, three-page, two-sided fold-out sheet showing the thumbnails and captions for all the photos in the book.

The Deluxe Edition
$400 through December 12; $500 therafter
Limited edition of 325 copies packaged in a slipcase with an 8″x10″ Fine Art pigment print of “The Band with Hamlet, 1968,” printed and signed by Landy in his studio.

Ticket Stub Diary

Ray Wylie Hubbard: Singer, Songwriter… Author?

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
Ray Wylie Hubbard

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

When legendary Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard rambles into The Hangar in Troy on Saturday night (October 24), fans will notice something brand spankin’ new and different on his merch table – a book.

Yes, hot on the heels of his new album, The Ruffian’s Misfortune (which was praised by American Songwriter as “a lean, mean set that wraps up in just over a half hour but whose raw reverberations last long after”), the acclaimed singer-songwriter penned his memoir “A Life … Well, Lived,” which traces his remarkable journey from folk gypsy to outlaw country upstart to wizened architect of grit ’n’ groove.

“It just kind of fell into place,” Hubbard explains, noting that the whole book took him the better part of two years to complete, with good friend and music writer Thom Jurek earning a “with” credit on the cover for his invaluable input not just as editor but as a sounding board and cheerleader. “I wrote every word in it, and I don’t think he really changed anything at all,” Hubbard continues, “but I don’t think I would have finished it without his encouragement, which is why I wanted to give him more than just an ‘edited by’ credit.”


The Devil Wears Prada’s Mike Hranica Publishes Third Book

Friday, October 16th, 2015

When the Devil Wears Prada rolls into the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park on Sunday, you’ll find something new on their merch table. “Three Dots & the Guilt Machine,” the third book by TDWP’s vocalist-lyricist Mike Hranica, was published last week. The paperback first edition printing is limited to 1047 copies. Hranica describes the book as “a five-year compilation of poetry, prose and general nonsense… a collection of writing that rarely finishes its breath. A hundred fifty-something pages of what one might consider eclectic truth fiction.”

Arlo Guthrie Signs His New Book @ Berkshire Museum on Saturday

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Arlo Guthrie: Old Bill

Singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie will celebrate the publication of his new chidren’s book with a book-signing session at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield from 1:30-2:30pm on Saturday (August 29).

Old Bill, the famed moose who now resides at the Berkshire Museum, is the subject of Arlo Guthrie’s new children’s book. Illustrated by Kathy Garren, the book tells the tale of the moose that roamed through the Berkshire Hills and became a legend. Berkshire resident and notable moose-ologist Arlo Guthrie was asked to write an introduction for the 75th anniversary reprint of Walter Eaton’s essay, “Odyssey of Old Bill: The Famous Berkshire Moose.” He did so in the form of a poem, which now has been turned into the charming illustrated children’s book, “Old Bill: The Famous Berkshire Moose.”

Copies of the book will be available at the Museum Shop. The book-signing is included with regular museum admission.

UPCOMING: Arlo Guthrie is slated to bring his Alice’s Restaurant 50th Anniversary Tour to the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield at 7pm on Sunday, October 11. Tickets are $40, $60 & $75.

“Saratoga Stories: Magic & Loss”: From the Page to the Stage

Monday, August 17th, 2015

On Tuesday (August 18), Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs is hosting a very special, one-time-only evening of words and music in celebration of the publication of the book, “Saratoga Stories: Magic and Loss” by longtime Saratoga journalist (and occasional Nippertown contributor) Thomas Dimopoulos.

The collaborative event will feature songs and stories performed by an array of Spa City art scene luminaries including singer-songwriters Michael Jerling, Bob Warren and Jeff Brisbin; poet Paul Pines; longtime Caffe Lena photographer and soundman Joe Deuel; Pete Donnelly of the Figgs; ZBS Foundation co-founder Tom Lopez; multiple Grammy Award-winning record producer and sound engineer Joel Moss; Bob Carlton & Brian Akey of the rock band Dryer; and, of course, writer Thomas Dimopoulos.

Tickets for the Caffe Lena event are $10 in advance; $12 at the door.


The Story Behind a Billion Dollars in Missing Art… [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
13 works of art worth a billion dollars simply disappeared after they were stolen.

13 works of art worth a billion dollars simply disappeared after they were stolen.

“My father was an artist. Loved Rembrandt, loved Vermeer…So this case is important to me.” Former Boston Globe investigative reporter Stephen Kurkjian, with three Pulitzer Prizes under his belt, will give his audience the low down on “Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Robbed the Gardner Museum,” the subject of his new book. He will be at the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in Lenox for a Victorian Tea & Talk to tell the story and autograph copies of his book today (Tuesday, July 21) at 4pm.

His subject is the 1990 theft of 13 works of art worth a half billion dollars from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a crime he began to cover in 1997 after the FBI failed to solve the case. The works included “The Concert” (the only Vermeer on view in New England) and Rembrandt’s only seascape, “Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” as well as sketches by Degas, a Manet portrait and three other Rembrandts. None of these works have appeared since then.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

REVIEW: “Truro Light: A Journey from Ocean to Bay” by Joseph Schuyler [Get Visual]

Monday, July 20th, 2015
Joseph Schuyler: Harbor View, Evening

Joseph Schuyler: Harbor View, Evening

Review by David Brickman

The spirit of Joseph Schuyler, who died of cancer in January, shines brightly throughout the beautiful book Truro Light: A Journey from Ocean to Bay. Schuyler, a photographer based in Delmar, was able to plan the book (his first) but, sadly, did not live to see it published. It’s fitting that it tells the story of a journey, and that its subject is a place that held deep personal importance for Schuyler, the second-to-last town out on Cape Cod.

I knew Joe for a long time, so this will not be an objective review, but I can attest that some of my in-laws who live on the Cape, were enthralled by his poetic vision of an endlessly beautiful natural world. In a succinct, punchy introduction, Schuyler says “my goal is for you to be able to experience for yourself the sense of this remarkable place,” and he accomplishes that goal handily, but not without also imbuing our experience with the sense of how he sees and feels about his muse.

Schuyler’s vision as a photographer has always been eclectic – he was widely known for work in black and white that recorded decades of productions by Albany’s Capital Repertory Theatre, did catalog work, sold pictures to commercial stock agencies and regularly exhibited fine art prints – and that is also true in this book. We see landscapes, nature details, architecture and abstracts along the journey, and in a signature Schuyler touch, a lot of the pictures are taken in low light, rather than the blazing sun that draws so many to this ocean shore.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

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