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UAlbany's NYS Writers Institute Celebrates 25th Anniversary
Governor Mario Cuomo signs into law the University at Albany's New York State Writers Institute on August 6, 1984 as State Senator Tarky Lombardi, NYSWI Executive Director William Kennedy and Assemblyman William Passannante look on.
ALBANY, N.Y. (September 1, 2009) -- The New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany announces its Fall 2009 schedule of visiting writers and classic films as a celebration of its 25th anniversary. On August 6, 1984, Governor Mario Cuomo signed into law the legislation creating the New York State Writers Institute, giving the Institute a mandate to provide “a milieu for established and aspiring writers to work together . . . to increase the artistic imagination.” Since then the Institute has sponsored author visits, film screenings, symposia, staged readings, and writing workshops. Over 1,000 writers — in all genres, and winners of every major literary award in the United States and abroad — have shared their work with both student and community audiences, making Albany a literary crossroads.
"For 25 years, the New York State Writers Institute has served as a beacon for writers across the globe, drawing them to Albany. It has been a tremendous resource for UAlbany, the larger community, the state and the world of literature. In all it does, the Writers Institute truly furthers UAlbany's mission to bring 'the world within reach,'"said University at Albany President George M. Philip.
"When we began the Institute the idea always was to have a continuing dialogue with the best writers in the world. And that's exactly what we have been doing for the past 25 years," said award-winning author William Kennedy, founder and executive director of the Writers Institute. Kennedy initially started the Institute with funds from a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, which he received in 1983.
Garrison Keillor at the University at Albany's New York State Writers Institute. (Photo Mark Schmidt)
The Writers Institute's fall schedule features a number of notable events including appearances by Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman; Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award-winning performer Rita Moreno; 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner in nonfiction Douglas Blackmon; best-selling fiction writers Lorrie Moore and Richard Russo; a tribute to Nelson Algren by two of his protégés, Russell Banks and Don DeLillo; and a special 25th anniversary celebration with former Governor Mario Cuomo and award-winning biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin.
"In the many years of planning, organizing, and captaining the Visiting Writers Series, I can't think of a season more challenging to pull together, or more satisfying to present to our audiences," said Writers Institute Director Donald Faulkner about the 25th anniversary schedule.
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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 58 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.