Go to the NYS Writers Institutes Home Page
Literary Conversations Visiting Writers Series
Spring 2003 Schedule

Jon Beckwith
T.C. Boyle
Mark Dery
Jennifer Fleischner
Carol Gilligan
Gail Godwin
Harold Gould
Judith Johnson
Bobbie Ann Mason
Kate McCafferty
Colum McCann
Malachy McCourt
Les Murray
Marge Piercy
Richard Rodriguez
Sandra Seaton
Franz Wright
Adam Zagajewski
ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
January / February / March / April
Subject to change; please check back for updates.
Bobbie Ann Mason
BOBBIE ANN
MASON

Fiction writer Bobbie Ann Mason is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Her work depicts the people and landscape of rural Kentucky and the encroachment of modern life on traditional values. Written in precise, nuanced language, her books include the short story collections Zigzagging Down a Wild Trail (2001), which won the Southern Book Award, Midnight Magic (1998), and Shiloh and Other Stories (1982), which received the PEN/Hemingway Award, the novels Feather Crowns, which also wont the Southern Book Award, and In Country (1985), which was made into a film starring Emily Lloyd and Bruce Willis. She has also published a memoir, Clear Springs (1999), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent book is Elvis Presley (2003), a short biography that charts the musicians' intoxicating life.

JANUARY 22
(Wednesday)


8:00 pm Reading ONLY
Recital Hall, PAC

Sandra Seaton
SANDRA
SEATON

Sandra Seaton is a playwright whose recent work is a one-woman drama, Sally, about Sally Hemings. Previously she had written the libretto for From the Diary of Sally Hemings, which was set to the music of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom. The work explores the thoughts and feelings of Sally Hemings throughout her long relationship with Thomas Jefferson. It premiered at the Library of Congress in March 2001. Seaton's other plays include The Bridge Party, which won a Theodore Ward Prize for New African American Playwrights, and The Will, which dramatizes the life of an African American family in a small town in Tennessee during the Reconstruction. Seaton is Professor of English at Central Michigan University. She will provide commentary and answer questions following a staged reading of her new Hemings work.

Authors Theatre

FEBRUARY 4
(Tuesday)

4:15 Seminar
Assembly Hall, CC


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

Adam Zagajewski
ADAM
ZAGAJEWSKI

Franz Wright
FRANZ
WRIGHT

Adam Zagajewski is an internationally renowned poet and essayist. Born in Poland in 1945, he was one of the leading voices of the Polish New Wave movement of the late 1960s and an active dissident during the Solidarity movement. Though he writes in Polish, several of his books have been translated into English including the poetry volumes Without End: New and Selected Poems (2002), and Mysticism for Beginners (1997), the essay collections Two Cities (1995), and Solidarity, Solitude (1990), and his memoir Another Beauty (2000). He won a fellowship from the Berliner Kunstlerprogramm (1979), the Kurt Tucholsky Prize (Stockholm), a Prix de la Liberte (Paris), and a Guggenheim Fellowship for poetry (1992). He is currently co-editor of Zeszyty literackie (Literary Review), published in Paris. Zagajewski currently lives in France and the United States.
Franz Wright is the author of thirteen collections of poetry and translator of works by Rene Char, Erica Pedretti, and Rainer Maria Rilke. The son of poet James Wright, he was born in Vienna and grew up in the United States. Recognized as one of the leading poets of his generation, Wright's work has been praised for its use of humor to emphasize the often dark and bitter ironies that underlie human existence. His most recent collections include The Beforelife (2001), which received the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, III Lit: New and Selected Poems (1998), The Night World and the Word Night (1992) and Midnight Postscript (1991).

FEBRUARY 27
(Thursday)

4:15 p.m. Seminar
Assembly Hall, CC


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

T C Boyle
T. C.
BOYLE

T. Coraghessan Boyle is the best-selling author of nine novels and six short story collections. He has received critical acclaim for his wildly imaginative plots filled with quirky characters, elaborate descriptions, and cynical offbeat humor. His 1987 novel World's End won the PEN/Faulkner Award, and The Tortilla Curtain (1995) won the Prix Medicis Etranger for best novel published in France by a foreign writer. Boyle's most recent work includes the novels Drop City (2003), and A Friend of the Earth (2000), and the short story collections After the Plague (2001), and T. C. Boyle Stories (1998). He received a Ph.D. degree in 19th Century British Literature from the Univ of Iowa in 1977, his M.F.A. from the Univ of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1974, and his B.A. in English and History from SUNY Potsdam in 1968. He has been a member of the English Dept at the Univ of Southern California since 1978. Boyle will read from Drop City, which will be released the week of his appearance.

FEBRUARY 28
(Friday)

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

Malachy McCourt
MALACHY
McCOURT

Malachy McCourt--actor, raconteur, bar owner, and brother of Frank McCourt--first became a published author at age 66 with his best-selling memoir, A Monk Swimming (1998). He has long been admired as a teller of tall tales, salty jokes, and personal anecdotes of growing up poor in Limerick, Ireland. McCourt is most recently the editor of Voices of Ireland (2002), a collection of classic short works by Ireland's best writers. He is also the author of Danny Boy: The Beloved Irish Ballad (2002), a history of the well-known song, Singing My Him Song (2002), the sequel to his first memoir, and Through Irish Eyes: A Visual Companion to Angela McCourt's Ireland. As an actor McCourt has appeared in the films The Devil's Own,Reversal of Fortune (1990), Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), and She's the One (1996). He currently plays Father Daniel Meehan on the HBO TV prison drama, Oz.

MARCH 11
(Tuesday)

8:00 p.m. Reading
Page Hall

Kate McCafferty
KATE
McCAFFERTY

Kate McCafferty is the author of the debut novel Testimony of an Irish Slave Girl (2002). It focuses on a neglected piece of history; the buying and selling in the 17th century of thousands of Irish men, women, and children as indentured servants to work on the plantations of the British colonies in the New World. The novel's narrator is a woman who was taken at the age of ten from the streets of Galway by slave merchants and shipped to Barbados. McCafferty has taught English in colleges all over the world and has published essays, poems, and short fiction in a number of publications. She lives in Ireland. Cosponsored by the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center.

MARCH 13
(Thursday)

4:15 p.m. Seminar
Assembly Hall


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

Colum McCann
COLUM
McCANN

Irish fiction writer and journalist, Colum McCann is the author of three critically acclaimed novels and two short story collections. His most recent work is the novel Dancer (Jan 2003), inspired by the epic life and times of Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev. McCann's other books include the novels This Side of Brightness (1998), and Songdogs (1995), and the story collections Everything in This Country Must (2000), and Fishing the Sloe-Black River (1993). He has received a Pushcart Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and the Grace Kelly Memorial Foundation Award. His work has also appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Month, and GQ.


MARCH 18

(Tuesday)

4:15 p.m. Seminar
Assembly Hall
Campus Center


8:00 p.m. Reading
Recital Hall, PAC
Les Murray
LES
MURRAY

Les Murray, Australian poet, has published over a dozen collections of poetry and essays and has received all of his country's major literary awards. Rooted in the landscape of his native Australia, Murray's poetry is noted for its wit, creative use of language, imagination, and gentle intensity. His most recent works published in the United States include Conscious and Verbal (2001), which was shaped by a life-threatening illness Murray suffered in 1996, Learning Human (2000), a collection of his work since 1965, Fredy Neptune (1999), a verse novel about an Australian seaman who travels the world, and Subhuman Redneck Poems (1997), which was awarded the T. S. Eliot Prize in the United Kingdom.

MARCH 26
(Wednesday)

4:15 pm Standish Rm
New Library

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

Gail Godwin GAIL
GODWIN

Gail Godwin, nominated three times for a National Book Award and recipient of the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, is the author of eleven acclaimed novels, two collections of stories, and a non-fiction book. Her work often depicts women who recognize that their roles are no longer limited by traditional values and who take responsibility for their own lives. Many of Godwin's books have been best-sellers including Evensong (1999), The Good Husband (1994), and A Mother and Two Daughters (1982). Her most recent book is the novel Evenings at Five, a bittersweet story of the death of a woman's husband after thirty years of marriage, will be released the week of her appearance.

APRIL 3
(Thursday)

4:15 Seminar
Recital Hall, PAC


8:00 p.m. Reading
Page Hall

Making Genes; Making Waves
JON BECKWITH

Jon Beckwith is the author of Making Genes, Making Waves: A Social Activist in Science (2002), a memoir that recounts his research in genetic studies and his commitment to social responsibility over the course of his career. As a scientist and a political activist, Beckwith provides a unique perspective into the major controversies in the field of genetics over the last 30 years. Beckwith is American Cancer Society research Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Cosponsored by the UAlbany's Science Library, HumaniTech Semester, and the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center.

APRIL 4
(Friday)

4:00 p.m. Reading
Standish Room
New Library

Richard Rodriguez
RICHARD
RODRIGUEZ

Richard Rodriguez, Mexican-American essayist and lecturer, writes about identity, race, language, immigration, and their effects on American culture. His most recent book is Brown: The Last Discovery of America (2002), an exploration of the impact of Hispanics on U.S. culture. He is also the author of two autobiographical works, Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father (1992) and Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982) in which he examines his own cultural alienation and search for identity while trying to "make it" in middle class America. Rodriguez is a regular contributor to Harper's and the Los Angeles Times Sunday "Opinion" section as well as appearing regularly on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, on PBS.

APRIL 8
(Tuesday)

4:15 p.m. Seminar
Assembly Hall, CC


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

Mark Dery
MARK DERY

Mark Dery is a critic of popular culture and cyberculture. He has written extensively on new media, fringe thought, the Internet, as well as the complexities of the computer age and its social and economic impact on society. His books include the Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink (1999), Escape Velocity; Cyberculture at the End of the Century (1996), and Culture Jamming: Hacking, Slashing, and Sniping in the Empire of Signs (1993). He teaches in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at New York University.

APRIL 10
(Thursday)

7:00 p.m. Talk
Recital Hall, PAC


JUDITH
JOHNSON

Poet, fiction writer, and performance artist, Judith Johnson is the author of two books of short fiction and eight books of poetry, the most recent of which is The Ice Lizard (1992). She will present a multimedia staged reading of her prize-winning performance poem on chaos theory, the "butterfly effect," and love. Using masks, music, and movement, university faculty and students will play the roles of King Kong, Fay Wray, Appolinaire, Akmataova, Gerard de Nerval and his pet lobster, and the other unlikely characters in this dramatic work. She has published widely in such periodicals as The New Yorker, The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times Op-Ed Page. She is Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Honors Program, and Professor of English and Women's Studies at UAlbany. This event is cosponsored by the Humanitech Semester and the English Department Jawbone Reading Series.


APRIL 11
(Friday)

"Cities of Mathematics and Desire"

6:00 p.m.
Staged Reading
Recital Hall, PAC

Marge Piercy
MARGE
PIERCY

Marge Piercy is a poet and novelist whose award-winning work over five decades has resonated with political issues. Highly respected as a contemporary feminist writer, she has published 15 volumes of poetry, 15 novels, a memoir, and a nonfiction book on the craft of fiction. Her writing stems from a political commitment that began in the 1960s in the Vietnam anti-war movement. Her early novels, such as Small Changes (1973), have been used as historical documents in women's studies courses. Often her protagonists, like Connie in Woman on the Edge of Time (1976), are women trying to establish some control over worlds that are increasingly restrictive. Her novels include He, She, and It (1991), Storm Tide (1998), which she wrote with her husband Ira Wood, Three Women (1999), and the memoir Sleeping with Cats (2001).

APRIL 22
(Tuesday)

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

Phone: 518-276-8095
Jennifer Fleischner
JENNIFER
FLEISCHNER

Jennifer Fleischner, formerly Associate Prof of English at UAlbany (1986-1999), is the author of two nonfiction books, Mastering Slavery: Memory, Family and Identity in Women's Slave Narratives (1996) and Mrs. Lincoln & Mrs. Keckly (April 2003), the true story of the remarkable friendship between a First Lady and a former slave. She also has four history books for young readers: I Was Born a Slave; The Life of Harriet Jacobs (1997), The Dread Scott Case (1996), and The Inuit: People of the Arctic (1995). Fleischner was awarded a one-year Mellon Faculty Fellowship in Afro-American Studies at Harvard, where she researched and taught alongside such colleagues as Henry Louis Gates Jr. She is currently the Chair of the English Department at Adelphi University. Cosponsored by the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center.

APRIL 24
(Thursday)

4:15 p.m. Seminar, Assembly Hall, CC


8:00 p.m. Reading
Assembly Hall, CC

Carol Gilligan
CAROL
GILLIGAN

Carol Gilligan, psychologist, writer, and professor of gender studies, made ground-breaking contributions to the fields of psychology and feminist theory with the publication in 1982 of her book In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development. With various co writers and coeditors she has continued her research with the publication of Between Voice and Silence: Women and Girls, Race and Relationship (1995) and Making Connections: The Relational Worlds of Adolescent Girls at Emma Willard School (1991), among others. Gilligan will read from her most recent book The Birth of Pleasure (2003), which examines love and the forces that stand in the way of happiness. Cosponsored by the Robert C. Parker School and the UAlbany School of Education.

APRIL 30
(Wednesday)


4:15 p.m. Seminar
HU 354

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

Harold Gould
HAROLD GOULD

Harold Gould, the highly versatile actor who was born in Schenectady, NY, and graduated from the UAlbany, has played starring roles on stage and screen since the late 1950s. His movie credits include The Sting (1973), Woody Allen's Love and Death (1978), and Mel Brooks's Silent Movie (1976), and most recently The Love Bug (1997), Patch Adams (1998), and Master of Disguise (2002). He co-starred in the 1988 American Playhouse production of I Never Sang for My Father and has had regular appearances on such TV series as The Long Hot Summer, He and She, Rhoda, and Spencer. He has a Ph.D. in Theatre and has taught drama and theatre at Cornell. Gould will present the Seventh Annual Burian Lecture funded by the Jarka & Grayce Susan Burian Endowment. Cosponsored by the Dept of Theatre and UAlbany.

"My Life in the Theatre"

MAY 6
(Tuesday)

4:15 Seminar
Recital Hall, PAC


8:00 p.m.
Recital Hall, PAC

DCSIMG