NYS Writers Institute announces fall lineup

Clockwise, from top left, Gregory Maguire (photo courtesy Andy Newman), Michelle Alexander, Garry Trudeau (photo courtesy Maarten de Boer/Getty Images), and Kwame Alexander.

Clockwise, from top left, Gregory Maguire (photo courtesy Andy Newman), Michelle Alexander, Garry Trudeau (photo courtesy Maarten de Boer/Getty Images), and Kwame Alexander.

An eclectic mix of award-winning authors, poets, journalists and a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist will head to the University at Albany as part of the New York State Writers Institute’s fall season of events, which kicks off later this month.

Highlights will include visits from writers such as Michelle Alexander, Kwame Alexander, Carolyn Forché, Gregory Maguire and others. Another highlight is the 5th Annual Albany Book Festival, which will showcase more than 100 authors and poets, including Susan Choi, award-winning author of “Trust Exercise”; Robert Pinsky, a former U.S. Poet Laureate; and Garry Trudeau, creator of the comic strip “Doonesbury.”

“We established the Albany Book Festival as a way to underscore and to celebrate anew the capital city’s grand literary tradition,” said Paul Grondahl, director of the Writers Institute. “We created an annual fall community event that appeals to all ages of people who like to read books. It promotes literacy while bringing together a diverse group of extraordinary writers and large crowds of book lovers.”

The festival is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, and will also feature panel discussions, online workshops, local authors selling and signing their books, exhibits, children’s activities and more. For information, visit albanybookfestival.com.

The Institute’s fall season begins Aug. 26 with a screening of and Q&A session on the documentary “A Tear in the Sky.” Starring William Shatner of “Star Trek” and celebrity physicist Michio Kaku, the film follows a team of military personnel and scientists — including two UAlbany physics professors, Kevin Knuth and Matthew Szydagis — as they attempt to recapture, in real-time, evidence of UFOs and other space anomalies using state-of-the-art, military-grade equipment and technology. The event starts at 7 p.m. at Page Hall, 135 Western Ave.

Here’s a look at the rest of the NYS Writers Institute season:

Sept. 6

“African Americans and Asian Americans — Sharing Cultures” with novelist Asha Lemmie and rap artist Bohan Phoenix

Craft talk with Lemmie — 4:30 p.m., multi-purpose room, Campus Center West addition

Conversation with Lemmie and Phoenix about cultural admiration understanding, sharing and respect among Blacks and Asians — 7:30 p.m., recital hall, performing arts center

Sept. 17

Albany Book Festival — 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., UAlbany Campus Center

Sept. 20

Stories from Central New York with Andrea Barrett, author of the forthcoming book “Natural History” (Sept. 2022). It features six stories set in a small community in Central New York spanning the decades from the Civil War to the present day.

Craft talk — 4:30 p.m., multi-purpose room, Campus Center West addition

Reading/conversation — 7:30 p.m., multi-purpose room

Sept. 22
Living An Authentic Life with Zaina Arafat, LGBTQ Palestinian-American journalist and author of “You Exist Too Much”

Craft talk — 4:30 p.m., multi-purpose room, Campus Center West addition

Reading/conversation — 7:30 p.m., multi-purpose room

Sept. 29
Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, author of “A Woman of Endurance,” illuminates a little-discussed aspect of history: the Puerto Rican Atlantic Slave Trade.

Craft talk — 4:30 p.m., multi-purpose room

Reading/conversation — 7:30 p.m., multi-purpose room

Oct. 6
Kwame Alexander, author of children’s and young adult books such as “The Undefeated” and “The Crossover.”

Conversation/Q&A — 7 p.m., Page Hall

Oct. 11
Lighting the Fire of the Black Lives Matter Movement with Michelle Alexander, acclaimed author and civil rights attorney

Conversation — 7 p.m., The College of Saint Rose, Massry Center for the Arts, Picotte Recital Hall, 1002 Madison Ave., Albany. Registration required.

Oct. 14

The High Peaks Impact Awards and symposium featuring keynote address from George Serafeim (author of “Purpose and Profit: How Business Can Lift Up the World”)

Symposium and awards ceremony — 1-6 p.m, Massry Center for Business Building. Registration required. For information, visit albany.edu/business/esg-symposium.

Oct. 18

The Creative Life with Lucy Sante (formerly Luc Sante), essayist and cultural commentator

Conversation with WAMC’s Joe Donahue — 7 p.m., recital hall, performing arts center

Oct. 20

Gregory Maguire, author of “Wicked” and “The Brides of Maracoor”

Reading/conversation — 7:30 p.m., Page Hall

Oct. 25

Caleb Gayle, author of “We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power”

Craft talk — 4:30 p.m., multi-purpose room
Conversation — 7:30 p.m., Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, 222 Madison Ave., Albany

Oct. 27

A Celebration of Hmong Culture Through the Arts

Film Screening of “Being Hmong Means Being Free” — 4:30 p.m., recital hall, performing arts center

There will also be a display of Paj ntaub (Hmong story cloths or flower cloths) on view from Oct. 24-Nov. 4 in the Performing Arts Center Lobby.

Oct. 28

Telling the Truth symposium features panel discussions with Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times, and Nandini Jammi, activist and founder of the advertising watchdog agencies Check My Ads and Sleeping Giants.

Symposium — 5:30 p.m., Page Hall

Nov. 1

The Empire State Archives & History Award with Lonnie G. Bunch III

Ceremony/conversation with host Harold Holzer — 7 p.m., NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, 222 Madison Ave. There are in-person and live-streaming options. Registration required. Visit nysarchivestrust.org for ticket information.

Nov. 3

Stage adaptation of Kao Kalia Yang’s memoir “The Latehomecomer”

Performance — 7:30 p.m., UAlbany performing arts center

Advance tickets: $15 general public/$10 students, seniors and UAlbany faculty/staff

Day-of-show tickets: $20 general public/$15 students, seniors and UAlbany faculty/staff. For tickets, visit albany.edu/pac and look for Prime Performances.

Nov. 9

Feminism, Fame, Art, Commerce and Autonomy with author Elisa Albert, author of “Human Blues”
Reading/conversation — 7:30 p.m., multi-purpose room, Campus Center West addition

Nov. 16

The Creative Life with Maira Kalman, illustrator, author and designer

Conversation with WAMC’s Joe Donahue — 7 p.m., recital hall

Nov. 17

Carolyn Forché, major American poet

Craft talk — 4:30 p.m., multi-purpose room
Reading/conversation — 7:30 p.m., multi-purpose room

Nov. 30

Melissa Gilbert, author of “Back to the Prairie: A Home Remade, A Life Rediscovered”

Conversation with WAMC’s Joe Donahue — 7 p.m., Campus Center West auditorium

For additional information, visit nyswritersinstitute.org or contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620. Masks are strongly recommended indoors at the University at Albany.

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