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Literary Conversations Visiting Writers Series
Spring 2002 Schedule

Author's Theatre
Russell Baker
Chris Bohjalian
Peter Carey
Daryl Cumber Dance
Bill C. Davis
Paul Durcan
Lucy Grealy
Linda Gregg
David Grossman
Marie Howe
Kenneth T. Jackson
William Kennedy
Binnie Kirshenbaum
Stanley Kunitz
John Lahr
Robert Nichols
Grace Paley
Susan Rabiner
Harry Staley

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ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
January / February / March / April
Subject to change; please check back for updates.
William Kennedy

WILLIAM KENNEDY, Executive Director and Founder of the New York State Writers Institute, is the author of Roscoe (2002), his first novel since The Flaming Corsage in 1996. Set in 1945, the new novel presents a few months in the life of Roscoe Owen Conway, the powerful boss of Albany's Democratic political machine. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for the novel Ironweed (1983), Kennedy is best known for his "Albany Cycle" of novels which paint a detailed portrait of the city and its inhabitants over a broad span of history. Kennedy's other novels include The Ink Truck (1969), Legs (1975), Billy Phelan's Greatest Game (1978), Quinn's Book (1988), and Very Olds Bones (1992). Kennedy also adapted his novel for the film Ironweed (1987), and co-wrote the script of Francis Ford Coppola's The Cotton Club (1986). A former reporter for the Albany Times-Union, Kennedy is the author of O Albany! (1983), a nonfiction chronicle of New York's capital city.

January 24
(Thursday)

7:30 p.m. Reading
Palace Theatre
19 Clinton Ave

Bill C Davis

The University at Albany's Theatre Department will present a staged reading of BILL C. DAVIS's play All Hallowed. This work in progress explores the complex emotions and personal interactions of a family as they deal with a father's death and burial on Halloween. A discussion of the play with the playwright, director and actors will immediately follow the reading. Bill C. Davis is the author of numerous plays that have been produced in theatres in New York City and throughout the country including Mass Appeal, Dancing in the End Zone, Wrestlers, and Avow. His adaptation of Mass Appeal was made into a movie of the same name in 1984, starring Jack Lemmon.

Authors Theatre

January 31

(Thursday)
All Hallowed Reading

7:30 p.m.
Recital Hall, PAC

Linda Gregg

LINDA GREGG is the author of six books of poems, most recently the reissued volumes Too Bright to See and Alma (2002, 1981, 1985); Things and Flesh (1999), finalist, Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry; Chosen by the Lion (1994); The Sacraments of Desire (1991); Alma (1985); Eight Poems (1982); Too Bright to See (1981). Among her awards and prizes are The Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize (1999), National Endowment for the Arts (1993), Pushcart Prize (1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1991-92), Whiting Writer's Award (1985), Guggenheim Fellowship (1983). Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, the Paris Review, the Kenyon Review, and the Atlantic Monthly.

February 7
(Thursday)

4:00 p.m. Seminar
Assembly Hall

8:00 p.m. Reading
Recital Hall, PAC

Daryl Cumber Dance

DARYL CUMBER DANCE, known as the "Dean of Folkculture," is the editor of several celebrated ethnic-based anthologies. Her most recent collection, From My People: 400 Years of African American Folklore (2002), assembles everthing from tales and proverbs to folk songs, recipes, rumor, sermons, music and art. Dance's other collections include Honey, Hush! An Anthology of African American Women's Humor (1998), and New World Adams: Conversations with West Indian Writers (1992). The presentation will include a celebration of African American folklore with dramatic readings and music.

February 13
(Wednesday)

8:00 p.m. Reading
Page Hall

Lucy Grealy

LUCY GREALY burst onto the literary scene in 1994 with her strikingly candid memoir, Autobiography of a Face which grew out of an essay that first appeared in Harper's Magazine, and won a National Magazine Award in Essays and Criticism. The book is a harrowing account of her childhood struggles with deformity, alienation, and the pain of looking ugly after she lost nearly half her jaw to cancer at the age of nine. She is also the author of a book of poems, Everyday Alibis (1994), essays; As Seen on TV: Provocations (2000), and a novel. She has received many honors for her work, including the National Magazine Award, the Times Literary Supplement Poetry Prize, and the Whiting Writer's Award. She has read her work aloud on National Public Radio's program This American Life, and she has collaborated on work that was performed at Lincoln Center's Out of Doors programs.

February 19
(Tuesday)

4:00 p.m. Seminar
Assembly Hall

8:00 p.m. Reading
Recital Hall, PAC

Kenneth T Jackson

KENNETH T. JACKSON is the author of the classic history of American suburbia, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States (1985). A 1994 survey conducted by the Journal of Urban History ranked Crabgrass Frontier as the most influential book of the past 25 years in the urban studies field. Jackson is also the editor of the magisterial Encyclopedia of New York City (1995), which was named "Book of the Year" at the New York City Book Awards. The 1300-page book features more than four thousand entries on the city's neighborhoods, ethnic groups, educational institutions, historical events, and leading personalities. Jackson served as editor-in-chief of the indispensable reference work, The Dictionary of American Biography, and currently serves as editor-in-chief of the multi-volume Scribner's Encyclopedia of American Lives. In May 2001, he was elected president of the New York Historical Society.

March 4
( Monday)


7:30 p.m. Reading
NYS Museum Theatre

Susan Rabiner

SUSAN RABINER, literary agent, began her career at Random House and later worked as an editor at Oxford University Press, Pantheon Books, and St. Martin's Press, and editorial director at Basic Books. She founded her own firm with her husband, Alfred Fortunato, a freelance editor and writer for more than twenty-five years. Together they co-authored the forthcoming book Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction--and Get it Published (2002). Her authors include such best-selling serious nonfiction authors as Iris Chang (The Rape of Nanking), Lawrence Krauss (The Physics of Star Trek), George Chauncey (Gay New York), John Allen Paulos (A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper), Daniel Schacter (The Seven Sins of Memory), and Herbert Bix (Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction).

March 6
(Wednesday)


8:00 p.m. Discussion
Recital Hall, PAC

David Grossman

DAVID GROSSMAN is one of Israel's most important contemporary writers whose works include novels, nonfiction, children's books, and a play. He has been widely heralded in international circles as a leading expert on the tensions governing the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many of his works feature compassionate, humanizing depictions of both sides that bring to light the complexity of the deep-rooted hatred that fuels their ongoing struggle. He has written five novels, including Be My Knife (2002), The Zigzag Kid (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999) , The Book of Intimate Grammar (1994), See Under: Love (1986), and The Smile of the Lamb (1983), and the nonfiction works Sleeping on a Wire: Conversations with Palestinians in Israel (1992), and The Yellow Wind about his three month stay on the West Bank in 1987 and was one of the most controversial and popular books in his country's history. His many awards include The Prime Minister's Prize for Hebrew Literature, the Israeli Publisher's Association Prize for best novel, the Vallombrosa Prize and the Nelly Sachs Prize.

March 12
(Tuesday)

4:00 p.m. Seminar
Assembly Hall

8:00 p.m. Reading
Recital Hall

Paul Durcan

PAUL DURCAN is one of Ireland's most celebrated poets, recognized for a lyrical, freewheeling style that rejoices in the pleasures of daily life and fiercely addresses his country's political concerns. Over the past thirty years he has written seventeen books of poetry, most recently the widely praised Cries of an Irish Caveman (2001, Harvill Press), Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil (1999), and A Snail in My Prime: New and Selected Poems (1993). He has won numerous awards, including the Irish American Cultural Institute Poetry Award, the Poetry Book Society choice, and the Whitbread Poetry Prize.

March 14
(Thursday)

4:00 p.m. Seminar
HU 354

8:00 p.m. Reading
Recital Hall, PAC


Stanley Kunitz
Marie Howe

STANLEY KUNITZ & MARIE HOWE
STANLEY KUNITZ became the tenth Poet Laureate of the United States in the year 2000, at the age of 95, making this his second term as US Poet Laureate. In a career spanning over 60 years he has published twelve highly regarded books of poems, most recently The Collected Poems (2000), Passing Through: Later Poems, New and Selected (1995), Next-to-Last Things: New Poems and Essays (1985), and the Wellfleet Whale and Companions Poems (1983). He has been honored with poetry's highest awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry, and National Medal of Arts, the National Book Award and the Frost Medal. He was awarded the Walt Whitman Citation of Merit and designated the State Poet of New York, 1987-1989.
MARIE HOWE's first book of poems, The Good Thief (1988), was a winner of the 1987 open competition of the National Poetry Series, selected by Margaret Atwood. Her second effort, What the Living Do: Poems (1997), has been widely praised for its wrenching exploration of redemption and grief. She is also the co-editor of a collection of essays, In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic (1994). She has received a Guggenheim and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Agni, Harvard Review, and New England Review, among others. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

March 20
(Wednesday)

4:00 p.m. Seminar
Recital Hall, PAC

8:00 p.m. Reading
Page Hall

Binnie Kirschenbaum

BINNIE KIRSHENBAUM, fiction writer, is the author of six books, including the recently released Hester Among the Ruins (2002), Pure Poetry (2000), and History of a Personal Note (1995). Her narratives often portray women exploring their freedom across troubled erotic terrain. Kirshenbaum teaches at Columbia University. She has received the Goodman Writing Award, the Critic's Choice Award, and was named by Granta as a Best Young American Novelist.

April 4
(Thursday)

4:00 p.m. Seminar
HU 354

8:00 p.m. Reading
Recital Hall, PAC

Peter Carey

PETER CAREY, author of eight novels and four volumes of short stories, is Australia's most critically acclaimed fiction writer. Outrageous plots, quirky characters, and surreal events collide in his work in innovative, page-turning fashion against a myriad of sharply detailed, historically rich backdrops. Carey has received numerous awards for his work including Britians highest literary award, the Booker Prize (twice), the National Book Council Award (twice), the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award (three times), the Commonwealth Writers Prize (twice), and many others. His works include his latest novel True History of the Kelly Gang (2000), which earned the author his unprecedented second Booker Prize, Jack Maggs (1998), an imaginative reworking of Great Expectations, The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith (1994), and Oscar and Lucinda (1988). Bliss (1981), Carey's first novel, is the story of an advertising executive who sees his life and the world around him differently after a near-fatal heart attack and was made into a motion picture in 1985, with a screenplay by Carey.

April 5 (Friday)
Oscar and Lucinda

April 9 (Tuesday)
4:00 p.m. Seminar
Recital Hall, PAC

8:00 p.m. Reading
Recital Hall, PAC

Chris Bohjalian

CHRIS BOHJALIAN is an award-winning author of six novels, including The Law of Similars, and the # 1 New York Times bestselling story of a fictional midwife on trial for manslaughter, Midwives. The novel was made into a movie starring Sissy Spacek and is currently airing on Lifetime. It was also a selection for the Oprah Winfrey Book Club. Other works include Water Witches and Past the Bleachers, which became a Hallmark Hall of Fame film. In addition to his fiction, he is a contributor to numerous publications, including Reader's Digest, Boston Sunday Globe Magazine, and a columnist for Gannet's Burlington Free Press since 1992.

April 11
(Thursday)


8:00 p.m. Reading
Main Theatre, PAC

John Lahr

JOHN LAHR, regarded by most as the stage's reigning scholar, has been the senior theatre writer and in-depth profiler for The New Yorker magazine since 1992. His work has been roundly applauded for its exhaustively researched, revealing portraits of its subjects and its always witty, graceful prose. Lahr is also the author or editor of over twenty books of essays, biographies, play anthologies, stage adaptations, screenplays, and novels, among them the acclaimed biographies of his famous father, Bert Lahr, in Notes on a Cowardly Lion (1969), and Frank Sinatra in Sinatra: The Artist and the Man (1998). His most recent book of essays is Show and Tell: New Yorker Profiles (2000). Lahr has won numerous awards, including the Roger Machell Prize for theatre writing, the American Film Institute Award, the Yale Writing Prize, and the George Jean Nathan Award for drama criticism.

April 16
(Tuesday)

4:00 p.m. Seminar
HU 354

8:00 p.m. Reading
Recital Hall, PAC

Russell Baker

RUSSELL BAKER, humorist, essayist, journalist, and biographer, has been writing the nationally syndicated "Observer" column for the New York Times since 1962. Noted for his astute political commentary and sharp cerebral wit, Baker is the author or editor of seventeen books, including The Good Times (1989) and Growing Up (1982), the essay collections There's a Country in My Cellar (1990), So This is Depravity (1980) and Poor Russell's Almanac (1972), and the anthologies Russell Baker's Book of American Humor (1993) and The Norton Book of Light Verse (1986). Baker has twice won the Pulitzer Prize--the first time in 1979 for distinguished commentary and then again in 1983 for biography with Growing Up. He has also been the host of the PBS television series, "Masterpiece Theatre," since 1993.

April 25
(Thursday)

4:00 pm Seminar
Recital Hall, PAC
8:00 p.m. Reading
Page Hall

 Robert Nichols and Grace Paley

GRACE PALEY & ROBERT NICHOLS
GRACE PALEY is the author of the highly acclaimed collections of short fiction--The Little Disturbances of Man (1959), Enormous Changes at the Last Minute (1974), and Later the Same Day (1985)--as well as three collections of poetry, including Leaning Forward, also published in 1985. Ms. Paley has taught at Columbia and Syracuse Universities, and currently teaches at both City College of New York, where she is writer-in-residence, and Sarah Lawrence College, where she has taught creative writing and literature for 18 years. She received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1961, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1966, and an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1970. She is a member of the Executive Board of P.E.N.
ROBERT NICHOLS is a poet, fiction writer, essayist, and editor. His 1991 volume of short fiction, In the Air, earned high praise for its Kafka-like blend of the political and the absurd in New York City. His other works include Summer Words (2000), a collection of poetry and essays, and the utopian novel, Daily Lives in Nghsi-Atai, published in four volumes (1977-1979), Nichols is also the editor of the Anthology of War Poetry, 1914-1918.

April 30
(Tuesday)


8:00 p.m. Reading
3303 Sage Building
RPI, Troy

Harry Staley

Poet and Professor Emeritus HARRY STALEY taught English at UAlbany from 1956 until his retirement in 1993 and currently teaches in the Theatre Department. After retirement, Prof. Staley published The Lives of a Shell-Shocked Chaplain (1995), a narrative in poetry which follows the life of Charles J. McCaffery from his birth in 1920 to his death in a nursing home in 1987. His new book, All One Breath, comes out in April 2002. He has published his poems in Groundswell, The Snail's Pace Review, Psycho-poetry (Hull University, England) Kalamazoo Review, The Little Magazine, and other journals. His early poems appeared in The Pennsylvania Literary Review, The Arizona Quarterly, and Voices.

May 1
(Wednesday)

4:00 p.m.
Reading & Signing
Assembly Hall, CC


DCSIMG