Go to the NYS Writers Institutes Home Page
Literary Conversations Visiting Writers Series
Fall 2005 Schedule
Kaleem Aftab
Margaret Atwood
Arthur Bradford
Edward B. Burger
John Darnton
Russell Edson
John Hodgman
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Janet Guthrie
Judith Johnson
James Lasdun
Jill Lepore
Sydney Lea
Spike Lee
Jeff MacGregor
Robert Meeropol William Patrick
Jed Perl
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Bob Rafelson
Jonathan Rosen
Le Anne Schreiber
Jane Smiley
Dava Sobel
David Thomson
ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
(unless cosponsor charges a fee)
September / October / November / December
Subject to change; please check back for updates.

(Note: CC=Campus Center; HU=Humanities; LE=New Library; PAC=Performing Arts Ctr)
Jeff MacGregor
Jeff MacGregor
Janet Guthrie
Janet Guthrie
Le Anne Schreiber
Le Anne Schreiber
Sports Writers

Speed Reading: A Panel on Sportswriting and Motor Sports
with Jeff MacGregor, Janet Guthrie and Le Anne Schreiber

Jeff MacGregor, sports journalist, is a six-time nominee for the National Magazine Award. His first book is Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death! (2005), a smart, eye-opening, and often funny examination of the world of NASCAR racing. The book helps to explain why NASCAR, with over 75 million fans, is the fastest growing spectator sport in America. Accompanied by his wife, photographer Olya Evanitsky, MacGregor logged more than 47,000 miles in a small motor home during an eleven-month tour of NASCAR competitions. A special contributor to Sports Illustrated, MacGregor penned the introductory essay to the magazine's 2004 50th Anniversary issue, in which he defines organized sports as "the perfection of the unnecessary." His sports articles and humor pieces have appeared often in the New York Times, and his work has been anthologized in Best American Sports Writing. His fiction has appeared in Story and Esquire.
Janet Guthrie, pioneering female motorsports racer, is the author of the new memoir, Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle (2005). An aerospace engineer by training, Guthrie was the first woman to race at the Indianapolis 500, a top competitor who placed ninth in the 1978 Indy race, a veteran of more than thirty NASCAR races, and one of the leading female sports figures of the 1970s. The memoir, which features an introduction by Billie Jean King, is an exceptionally well-written, intelligent, and candid reflection on the author's life and career as a woman immersed in the complex, adrenaline-fueled, "macho" business of racing. Eminent sportswriter William Nack dubs the new book "a classic…. one of sports literature's all-time best books." A charter member of the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame and the Women's Sports Foundation, Guthrie appears frequently on network television as a commentator on women's sports issues.
Le Anne Schreiber, visiting writer in the UAlbany English Department, is the author of two memoirs, Midstream: The Story of a Mother's Death, and a Daughter's Renewal (1990), and Light Years (1996), both of which deal with the deaths of family members and the wildlands surrounding her home in a quiet community in upstate New York. As a journalist Schreiber covered the Montreal Olympics for Time magazine and served as editor-in-chief of womenSports magazine. She helped launch "Sports Monday," for The New York Times Sports Department, and later became head of the department, the first woman to hold that position. Schreiber also was deputy book review editor for four years at The New York Times Book Review.

September 13
(Tuesday)

4:15 pm Seminar
Assembly Hall CC

8:00 pm Reading
Recital Hall PAC
Jane Smiley
Jane Smiley
Fiction Writer

Jane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist renowned for the variety and originality of her work. Afflicted with writer's block after the events of 9/11, Smiley applied herself instead to reading. Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel (2005) is a reflection on the 100 novels that she put on her list. Smiley is the bestselling author of twelve works of fiction, including the novels, The Age of Grief (1987), The Greenlanders (1988, reissued in 2005), A Thousand Acres (1991), winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award, Moo (1995), Horse Heaven (2000), and Good Faith (2003). A Thousand Acres became a major motion picture in 1997, and The Age of Grief inspired the 2002 film, The Secret Lives of Dentists. Smiley is also a three-time winner of the O. Henry Award for short fiction. Her nonfiction books include Catskill Crafts: Artisans of the Catskill Mountains (1988), the Penguin Lives Series biography Charles Dickens (2002), and A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money & Luck (2004), an account of the author's lifelong fascination with horses. She is also editor of the new fiction anthology, Best New American Voices 2006 (2005).

September 16
(Friday)

4:15 pm Reading
CC 375

Alice and Kafka are Dead
Alice & Kafka are Dead / Long Live the Rosenbergs

How do you solve a problem like Ethel Rosenberg? Or Alice in Wonderland? Both were sentenced to death--one in fiction, one in all-too-real life. Great trials and great literature collide in this co-production between Atlanta's 7 Stages and Belgrade's Dah Teatar which explores these and other stories of capital punishment. As today's headlines prove, a juicy trial makes for some of the best theatre there is. Following the performance, Robert Meeropol, the youngest son of the Rosenbergs, will address the audience and sign copies of his book, An Execution in the Family (2003). Sponsored by the PAC in association with the School of Criminal Justice and the Department of Theatre.

September 17
(Saturday)
8:00 pm Performance
Main Theatre PAC

$12/$10 seniors/
$8 students
Box Office 442-3997
Judith Johnson
Judith Johnson
Poet

Judith Johnson, poet, fiction writer, and performance artist, is the author of two short fiction and eight books of poetry, the most recent of which is Cities of Mathematics and Desire (2005). This new volume won the Poetry Society of America Di Castagnola Award for best poetry manuscript. Johnson's first poetry volume, Uranium Poems (1969), received the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. Her intermedia installation, "Friedrich Liebermann, American Artist," has been widely exhibited, and is now being developed as a CD-ROM novel. With Brenda S. Webster, she co-edited Hungry for Light: The Journal of Ethel Schwabacher (1993). Johnson has served as Pres of the Board of Associated Writing Progs and as Pres of the Poetry Society of America. Currently, she edits the feminist literary periodical, 13th Moon, and publishes The Little Magazine, an electronic journal. She is Assoc Dean of Undergrad Studies, Dir of Honors & Presidential Scholars Progs, and Prof of English & Women's Studies at UAlbany.

September 20
(Tuesday)

8:00 pm Reading
Assembly Hall CC

Jill Lepore
Jill Lepore
Historian/Nonfiction Writer

Jill Lepore, prize-winning historian, is the author of the new book New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery and Conspiracy in Eighteenth Century Manhattan (2005), an illuminating early history of "a city that slavery built," and the story of a rarely recounted plot by Black slaves to burn colonial New York City to the ground in 1741. Lepore is also the author of The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity (1999), an insightful account of a bloody and little-studied war that erupted in 1675 between the Wampanoag Indians and the English colonial settlers of what is now Massachusetts. The Name of War received the Bancroft Prize and Phi Beta Kappa's Ralph Waldo Emerson Award. A professor of history at Harvard University, Lepore is also the author of A is for American (2002), and editor of Encounters in the New World (1998). She is cofounder and coeditor of the Web magazine Common-place (www.common-place.org). Cosponsored by the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center

September 27
(Tuesday)

4:15 pm Seminar
Assembly Hall CC

8:00 pm Reading
Assembly Hall CC
Caryl Phillips
Caryl Phillips
Novelist

Caryl Phillips, prizewinning novelist and nonfiction writer, was born in St. Kitts, West Indies, and raised in England. His newest book is Dancing in the Dark (2005), a novel based on the true life story of pioneering Black American comedian Bert Williams (1874-1922), whom W. C. Fields called, "the funniest man I ever saw, and the saddest man I ever knew." Previous novels include A Distant Shore (2003), winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Literature, The Nature of Blood (1997), Crossing the River, a Booker Prize finalist, (1993), Cambridge (1991), Higher Ground (1989), A State of Independence (1986), and The Final Passage (1985), winner of the Malcolm X Prize. His nonfiction books include A New World Order (2002), The Atlantic Sound (2000), and The European Tribe (1987), winner of the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize. Phillips was named "Young Writer of the Year" by the London Sunday Times in 1992, and received the Lannan Literary Award in 1994.

September 28
(Wednesday)

4:00 pm Seminar
Assembly Hall CC

8:00 pm Reading
Recital Hall PAC
Bob Rafelson
Bob Rafelson
Filmmaker/Screenwriter

Bob Rafelson maverick filmmaker and screenwriter, is best-known for his critically-acclaimed collaborations with actor Jack Nicholson, including Five Easy Pieces (1970), one of the most influential films of its era. Five Easy Pieces received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay. Other collaborations with Nicholson include The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), and Blood and Wine (1996). The pair also co-scripted (and Rafelson directed) Head (1968), the feature debut of the ersatz pop group, the Monkees. As a producer, Rafelson co-founded the independent production company BBS, responsible for many of his own films as well as such epoch-making hits as Easy Rider (1969), The Last Picture Show (1971), and the Oscar-winning Vietnam War documentary, Hearts and Minds (1974). Other notable films directed by Rafelson include the African adventure tale, Mountains of the Moon (1990); and the hard-boiled crime movie, No Good Deed (2002), based on a story by Dashiell Hammett.

October 6 (Th)
Five Easy Pieces
October 7 (Fri)
4:15 pm Seminar
Standish Room LE
Mountains of the Moon
7:00 pm Film/Talk
Page Hall
Spike Lee
Spike Lee
Filmmaker

Kaleem Aftab
Kaleem Aftab
Author

Spike Lee , film director, producer and screenwriter, is renowned for a body of work that foregrounds African American experience, challenges racial stereotypes, and addresses controversial subjects. His life story and the story behind his films are chronicled by Kaleem Aftab in the new book Spike Lee: That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It (2005). Lee is credited with opening up the American film industry--to an unprecedented degree--to the contributions of Black talent. Produced on a shoestring budget, Lee's 1986 comedy feature, She's Gotta Have It, went on to earn nearly $9 million at the box office, and received the Prix de Jeunesse Award at Cannes. Lee established himself as a major American filmmaker with Do the Right Thing (1989), a portrait of life in a Brooklyn neighborhood during a single hot summer's day. Other films include Inside Man (due 2006), She Hate Me (2004), 25th Hour (2002), Bamboozled (2000), Summer of Sam (1999), He Got Game (1998), Clockers (1995), Malcolm X (1992), Jungle Fever (1991), Mo' Better Blues (1990), and School Daze (1988). Lee wrote or cowrote most of the scripts for his films, and received a "Best Screenplay" Oscar nomination for Do the Right Thing.
Kaleem Aftab directs the TV and film production house lafamiglia and writes for The Independent, BBC Collective, and V magazine.

September 29 (Th)
Do the Right Thing
September 30 (Fri)
He Got Game

October 11 (Tuesday)
4:15 pm Seminar
Ballroom CC
8:00 pm Discussion
Page Hall
Edward B. Burger
Edward Burger
Math Prof/Author

Edward B. Burger is Chair and Professor of Mathematics at Williams College. He has authored numerous research articles, four books, and five CD-ROM virtual videotexts. His books include Exploring the Number Jungle (2000) and Making Transcendence Transparent (2004). His most recent book, which he co-authored with Michael Starbird, is Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz: Making Light of Weighty Ideas (2005). The book tackles complex mathematical ideas such as coincidences, chaos, infinity, and the fourth dimension and makes them comprehensible and even fun for both math-o-philes and math-o-phobes. Burger's work has been recognized by the Mathematical Association of America on several occasions. He serves as Associate Editor of the American Mathematical Monthly. Cosponsored by the Science Library

October 18
(Tuesday)

4:00 pm Reading
Standish Room, LE

David Thomson
David Thomson
Film Critic/Author

A Celebration of Marlon Brando and American Film
David Thomson, British-born film critic, is author of highly-praised biographies of Hollywood personalities and histories of the American film world. He is currently touring as the editor of Fan-Tan (2005), a never-before-published novel co-authored by deceased screen legend Marlon Brando and filmmaker Donald Cammell. Set in China and the South Seas during the 1920s, Fan-Tan follows the adventures of Anatole "Annie" Doultry, a modern-day pirate. David Thomson is perhaps best-known among film enthusiasts for his witty, opinionated, philosophical, and delightfully original reference work, A Biographical Dictionary of Film. First published in 1975, the work has since undergone three major revisions (the fourth edition appeared as the New Biographical Dictionary of Film in (2002). Thomson's other books include The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood (2004), In Nevada: The Land, the People, God, and Chance (1999), Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles (1996), Showman: The Life of David O. Selznick (1992), and Warren Beatty and Desert Eyes: A Life and a Story (1987).

October 20
(Thursday)
4:15 pm Seminar
HU 354
8:00 pm Reading
Recital Hall PAC

October 21
(Friday)
On the Waterfront
7:00 pm Film/Talk
Page Hall
John Hodgman
John Hodgman
Nonfiction Writer
Arthur Bradford
Arthur Bradford
Filmmaker

Two McSweeney's Writers
John Hodgman's first book is The Areas of My Expertise (2005), a comical compendium inspired by Poor Richard's Almanac and The Book of Lists, but different from those books in that it contains exclusively false information. Hodgman writes a regular column for McSweeney's (an independent publishing house founded by Dave Eggers), "Ask a Former Professional Literary Agent," and was recently named editor of a humor section of the New York Times Magazine. He is a frequent contributor to NPR's "This American Life," and has published fiction and commentary in such publications as The Paris Review, One Story, and GQ. With the aim of reviving "the corpse of the literary reading," Hodgman founded and hosts the successful, offbeat, literary reading series, the Little Gray Book Lectures, based in Brooklyn, NY.
Arthur Bradford is the author of Dogwalker (2001), a humorous and tender collection of stories on society's misfits, eccentrics, and disenfranchised. David Sedaris has referred to Bradford as "The most outlandish and energetic writer I can think of." Bradford's fiction has also appeared in McSweeney's, Esquire and the O. Henry Awards Anthology. He directed the feature-length documentary, HOW'S YOUR NEWS, which features a team of five news reporters with mental and physical disabilities who drive across America interviewing the people they meet along the way. The film was shown on HBO/Cinemax in 2002.

October 25
(Tuesday)

4:15 pm Seminar
Assembly Hall CC

8:00 pm Reading
Recital Hall PAC

Jonathan Coulton, Little Gray Book Lecture Series
w/musical accompaniment by
Jonathan Coulton
James Lasdun
James Lasdun
Writer-in-Residence

Fiction Writer/Poet Screenwriter

James Lasdun's first short story collection, The Silver Age (1985), published in the U.S. as Delirium Eclipse and Other Stories, earned the Dylan Thomas Award and his first novel, The Horned Man (2002), appeared to critical raves on both sides of the Atlantic. As a poet, Lasdun received the Eric Gregory Award of the United Kingdom's Society of Authors for his first collection, A Jump Start (1988). His collection Landscape with Chainsaw (2001), was short-listed for the T. S. Eliot Prize. As a screenwriter, Lasdun received the Screenwriting Award at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival for the film, Sunday, which he co-wrote with director Jonathan Nassiter. His short story "The Slege" also provided the basis for Besieged (1998), directed by Bernard Bertolucci. Lasdun's newest book is Seven Lies (2005), a political thriller about a former East German who, by a series of blackly comic and dangerous maneuvers, invents a perfect life for himself in the U.S.; inevitably, that life begins to unravel. He has taught poetry and fiction writing at Princeton University, New York University, and Columbia University, and is a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in poetry. This event is cosponsored by UAlbany's Campus Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

October 28
(Friday)

4:15 pm Reading/Signing
New Library 320


Jonathan Rosen
Jonathan Rosen
Novelist/Memorist/
Editor/Journalist

Jonathan Rosen, novelist, memoirist, editor, and journalist, is the author of the new novel, Joy Comes in the Morning (2004), a playful, probing novel about Jewish faith and identity. The novel follows the growth of a romantic relationship between Deborah Green, a Reform rabbi, and Lev Friedman, a science writer and skeptic. Writing in the New York Times, reviewer Art Winslow said, "Not since E. L. Doctorow's City of God have we seen such a literary effort to plumb the nature of belief…." Other books by Rosen include the novel, Eve's Apple (1997), the story of a young woman's struggle with anorexia, and The Talmud and the Internet (2000), a family memoir as well as a meditation on Judaism, literature, and technology. Rosen is the former cultural editor of The Forward, and currently serves as series editor of the "Jewish Encounters Book Series," a collaboration between Schocken Books and Nextbook.org. Cosponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies

November 1
(Tuesday)

8:00 pm Reading
Assembly Hall CC
Jed Perl
Jed Perl
Art Critic

Jed Perl influential art critic for the New Republic, is a thoughtful, precise, excitable, empathetic, often cranky, and highly readable commentator on the meaning of modern art and its function in society. Perl's newest book is New Art City (2005), an exploration of the New York City cultural milieu of the mid-20th century, and the remarkable range of artists and artistic movements it produced. Other books include Eyewitness: Reports from an Art World in Crisis (2000), Gallery Going: Four Seasons in the Art World (1991), and Paris Without End: On French Art Since World War I (1988). His commentary has also appeared in The New Criterion, Partisan Review, and The New York Times Book Review, and he has appeared on CNN, NPR and "The MacNeill/Lehrer Report." Cosponsored by the University Art Museum's "Art & Culture Talks" Program

November 2
(Wednesday)

8:00 pm Reading/Talk
Art Museum FA
Robert Pinsky
Robert Pinsky
Former U.S. Poet Laureate

Robert Pinsky, Poet Laureate of the United States for two consecutive terms (1997-2000), is the author most recently of the prose biography, The Life of David (2005), a reweaving of the biblical and rabbinic tales about King David into a single captivating narrative. Pinksy's poetry collections include Jersey Rain (2000), The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996 (1996), winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation (1994), winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and History of My Heart (1984), winner of the William Carlos Williams Prize. In 2004, Pinsky received the PEN/Voelcker Award for "an American poet at the height of his or her powers." Pinsky's accessible books of poetry criticism include Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry (2002), The Sounds of Poetry (1998), and Poetry and the World (1988), a National Book Critics' Circle Award finalist. As Poet Laureate, Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project, a successful organization that encourages Americans to share poetry with one another.

November 3
(Thursday)

4:15 pm Seminar
Recital Hall

8:00 pm Reading
Recital Hall PAC
Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
Novelist

Margaret Atwood, a towering figure of contemporary literature, is the author more than thirty books of fiction, short stories, poetry, and literary criticism. Atwood's newest novel is The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus, an imaginative retelling of Homer's epic from the perspective of Odysseus's wife. Atwood's novels include The Edible Woman (1969), Surfacing (1972), Lady Oracle (1976), Life Before Man (1970), Bodily Harm (1981), The Handmaid's Tale (1985), winner of the Commonwealth Literature Prize and the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction, Cat's Eye (1988), The Robber Bride (1993), Alias Grace (1996), The Blind Assassin (2000), winner of the Booker Prize, and Oryx and Crake (2003). The Handmaid's Tale became a major motion picture in 1990, starring Natasha Richardson and Robert Duvall. Other recent books include Eating Fire: Selected Poetry, 1965-1995 (1998), Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing (2002), and the children's book, Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes (2003). A Canadian citizen, Atwood has twice received her country's highest literary honor, the Governor General's Award. In 1986, Ms. Magazine named her, "Woman of the Year."

November 4 (Fri)
The Handmaid's Tale

November 9

(Wednesday)
4:15 pm Seminar
CC 375
8:00 pm Reading
Page Hall
William Patrick
William Patrick
Novelist/Poet
Non Fiction Writer

William Patrick's new creative non-fiction work, Saving Troy, chronicles the year he spent living and riding with the professional firefighters and paramedics of the Troy, NY Fire Department's 1st Platoon, accompanying them to emergency medical calls, rescues, and fires. Patrick's works have have included creative non-fiction,poetry, fiction, screenwriting, and drama. His other works include We Didn't Come Here for This (1999), a hybrid of creative non-fiction and poetry; These Upraised Hands (1995), narrative poems and dramatic monologues; and Roxa: Voices of the Culver Family (1990) won the 1990 Great lakes Colleges Assoc New Writers Award for best first work of fiction. This event is cosponsored by UAlbany's Campus Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

November 15
(Tuesday)

4:15 pm Reading/Signing
Humanities 290

Dava Sobel
Dava Sobel
Science Writer

Dava Sobel, bestselling science writer, is renowned for her ability to present arcane subjects in riveting and readable prose. Her latest book is The Planets (2005), a history of the individual members of our "solar family" as they have been explained by science, mythology, visual art, and popular culture throughout the ages. Her 1995 surprise bestseller, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, tells the tale of John Harrison, a self-educated 18th century English clockmaker and his quest to develop a reliable instrument for ocean navigation. Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love (1999), also a bestseller that received the Los Angeles Times Book Award, presents the correspondence and fascinating relationship between Renaissance astronomer Galileo and his illegitimate daughter, Virginia, a Franciscan nun. In 2001 she received both the National Science Board’s Public Service Award and the Bradford Washburn Award from the Museum of Science in Boston. Sobel is an award-winning former science reporter for the New York Times, and a contributor to numerous magazines including The New Yorker, Discover, and Audubon. Cosponsored by the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center

November 16
(Wednesday)

4:15 pm Seminar
Assembly Hall CC

8:15 pm Reading
Recital Hall PAC
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Historian

Doris Kearns Goodwin, major American political biographer, received the Pulitzer Prize for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt (1994), an intimate portrait of the presidential couple's successful partnership and loveless marriage. The book spent six months on the New York Times bestseller list. Goodwin's newest book, American Colossus: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (2005), emphasizes Lincoln's unique ability to empathize with--and win over--his political opponents. The book has been optioned by Steven Spielberg for a biographical film. Other bestsellers by Goodwin include the official presidential biography, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream (1976); The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga (1987, revised 2002), which was adapted as a 6 hour ABC miniseries in 1990; and Wait till Next Year: A Memoir (1997), an account of Goodwin's childhood friendship with her father, a friendship based partly on their shared love of baseball and the Brooklyn Dodgers; The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga (1987, revised 2002), which was adapted as a six-hour ABC miniseries in 1990; and the official presidential biography, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream (1976).

November 29
(Tuesday)

4:15 pm Seminar
Assembly Hall CC

8:00 pm Reading
Page Hall

John Darnton
John Darnton
Novelist/Journalist

John Darnton is a bestselling science fiction author, as well as a Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times foreign correspondent. His newest book is the mystery novel, The Darwin Conspiracy (2005), a reimagining of the voyage of The Beagle, and a clever solution to a major historical puzzle: why it was that Darwin hesitated to publish The Origin of Species for 22 years. Darnton's other books include Mind Catcher (2002), a medical thriller about artificial intelligence; The Experiment (1999), a sci-fi suspense tale about cloning; and Neanderthal (1996), about the rediscovery of a lost tribe of primitive humans. As a reporter stationed in Nigeria and Kenya, Darnton received a 1979 George Polk Award for his coverage of Africa. That same year, he became Bureau Chief in Warsaw, and won a Pulitzer Prize and a second George Polk Award for his coverage of the Solidarity Movement in 1982. He has also served the Times as Bureau Chief in Madrid and London, Deputy Foreign Editor, Metro Editor, News Editor, and Culture Editor.

December 1
(Thursday)

4:15 pm Seminar
Standish Room LE

8:00 pm Reading
Recital Hall PAC
Sydney Lea
Sydney Lea
Poet/Novelist
Russell Edson
Russell Edson
Poet

Sydney Lea is celebrated for plainspoken narrative poetry that presents the lives and voices of ordinary people. Ghost Pain, his newest collection, explores the hearts and private pain of rural New Englanders, and features the Pushcart Prize-winning poem, "Wonder: Red Beans and Ricely." Lea was a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Pursuit of a Wound (2000), a collection that seeks meaning, and even redemptive beauty, in various tragedies, including the deaths of friends and strangers. Lea's recent collections include To the Bone: New and Selected Poems (1996), a co-winner of the Poet's Prize, and Prayer for the Little City (1990). The founder and long-time editor of The New England Review, Lea is the past recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Fulbright Foundations. He is also the author of essays on morally responsible hunting and dog-training, some of which are collected in Hunting the Whole Way Home (1995).
Russell Edson is widely considered to be America's leading author of prose poetry, a form he has practiced for more than four decades. Praised for wit, wordplay, and wild originality, Edson's poems typically plunge ordinary individuals into bizarre situations. His newest collection, The Rooster's Wife (2005), features a variety of short, precise, absurd, and surreal poems about animals and humans: two old men perform autopsies on one another; a woman stirs a pot with the tail of a dog; men go fishing for mermaids to wed; a rat attempts to hide inside an old woman; and a man dresses in lingerie to amuse his cat. Edson's nineteen volumes of poetry include The Tormented Mirror (2001), The Tunnel: Selected Poems (1994), The Wounded Breakfast (1985), The Intuitive Journey and Other Works (1976), The Clam Theater (1973), and The Very Thing That Happens (1964).

December 6
(Tuesday)

4:15 pm Seminar
HU 354

8:00 pm Reading
Recital Hall PAC