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James Lasdun, photo by Nina SubinJames Lasdun
Writing Fellow

Previous Visit:
October 8, 2005

Rebecca Wolff. photo by Nina SubinRebecca Wolff
Writing Fellow

CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF LITERATURE

WRITING FELLOWS OF THE NEW YORK STATE WRITERS INSTITUTE, JAMES LASDUN AND REBECCA WOLFF

NYS Writers Institute, October 29, 2009
8:00 p.m. Reading | Campus Center 375, Uptown Campus

4:15 p.m. Seminar | Campus Center 375, Uptown Campus

CALENDAR LISTING
Writing Fellows of the New York State Writers Institute, short story writer, novelist, essayist and screenwriter James Lasdun and poet Rebecca Wolff, will read from their recent work on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. in Campus Center 375 on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day, at 4:15 p.m., the authors will offer an informal seminar in the same location. The events are free and open to the public, and sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute.

   

PROFILE
Two Writing Fellows of the New York State Writers Institute, James Lasdun and Rebecca Wolff, both received starred reviews in “Publishers Weekly” for books published in 2009.

James Lasdun, novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and winner of the first United Kingdom National Short Story Prize (2006), is the author of the new story collection, “It’s Beginning to Hurt” (2009). In a starred review, “Publishers Weekly” said, “This accomplished poet, novelist, and story writer’s collection packs a devastating punch. Lasdun peels back the facades of middle-aged, middle-class types through their run-ins with cancer, infidelity and loss that lead them to deal with unexpectedly large and often ugly recognitions…. Jewels of resignation and transformative personal disaster, these stories are written so simply and cleanly that the formidable craft looks effortless.”

Born and raised in England, Lasdun is the recipient of many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry, and first prize in the 1999 London “Times Literary Supplement Poetry Competition.” His novels include “Seven Lies” (2005), which was long-listed for the Booker Prize, and “The Horned Man” (2002), which was a “New York Times” Notable Book and an “Economist” Best Book of the Year. His story collections include “The Siege and Other Stories” (1999), of which the title story provided the basis of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1998 film, “Besieged,” and “The Silver Age” (1985), a story collection that earned the Dylan Thomas Award.

Rebecca Wolff, National Poetry Series winner, and founding editor and publisher of FENCE magazine and FENCE Books, is the author of “The King” (2009), a new collection of poetry that probes the complex, sometimes conflicting emotions attending pregnancy and motherhood. In a starred review, “Publishers Weekly” said, “In her third book, Wolff keeps company with Sylvia Plath, Sharon Olds and Beth Ann Fennelly, challenging the idea that motherhood is a glossy miracle that makes the mother special…. the speaker can be breathtakingly brave in her confessions….”

With Catherine Wagner, Wolff also edited the 2007 poetry anthology, “Not for Mothers Only: Contemporary Poems on Child-Getting and Child-Rearing.” The collection features poems by Adrienne Rich, Carolyn Forché, and Sharon Olds, among others. The “Washington Post” reviewer said, “lovely language abounds in these pages and provocative phrases….”

Wolff’s previous collections include the National Poetry Series selection, “Manderley” (2001), and “Figment” (2004), winner of the 2002 Barnard Women Poet’s Prize. Writing of “Manderley,” U. S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky said, “Intelligent, purposeful as well as comic, wonderfully attentive to sound, Wolff uses her gift for gorgeous, poetic gab to conjure presences from the boundaries of language. This is a distinguished and distinctive first book.”

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.