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NYSWI Announces Spring Lineup 

Bestselling author Diane Ackerman (© Liz Butler)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 20, 2017) – A pioneer of experimental fiction, a convicted murderer, an Iraq war interrogator and an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court are just a few of the headliners who will visit the New York State Writers Institute at UAlbany this spring.

The Visiting Writers Series will open on Tuesday, Jan. 31, with Robert Coover, a pioneer of experimental and electronic fiction, whose new novel, Huck Out West, continues the story of Mark Twain’s classic character Huckleberry Finn.

Douglas Brinkley

Douglas Brinkley (Photo by Danny Turner) 

Other highlights of the spring schedule include:

Shaka Senghor, who was incarcerated for 19 years for murder, presents the UAlbany Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration keynote lecture, Your Worst Deeds Do Not Define You, based on his inspirational memoir Writing My Wrongs (2016), on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

• Bestselling author, poet and naturalist Diane Ackerman, who last visited the Writers Institute in 1992, returns Tuesday, March 7, to discuss her novel The Zookeeper’s Wife (2007), which will be released as a film in late March. The Zookeeper’s Wife is the story of a Warsaw zookeeper’s family that saved 300 Jews during the Holocaust. It will be released as a film starring Jessica Chastain on March 31.

Dael Orlandersmith, award-winning playwright, will deliver the 21st Annual Burian Lecture on Monday, March 20. Orlandersmith is an actress, poet and playwright whose work explores racial tensions, family relationships and the Harlem neighborhood in which she grew up. The lecture is funded by the Jarka and Grayce Burian Endowment.

• Local writer Eugene Mirabelli, author of the novel Renato the Painter (2012) and the new sequel, Renato After Alba (2016), will appear Tuesday, March 28, with his former student Jo Page, Times Union columnist and Lutheran minister, and author of the new memoir Preaching in My Yes Dress: Confessions of a Reluctant Pastor (2016).

• On Tuesday, April 4, the UAlbany Speaker Series hosts a visit by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, author of the memoir My Beloved World (2012). Additional information on Sotomayor’s visit is available.

• On April 20, Army veteran Eric Fair will discuss his book Consequence (2016), a candid and chilling account of his experiences working in Iraq as an interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison.

• On Thursday, April 27, bestselling author and noted historian Douglas Brinkley highlights another area of U.S. history in his latest New York Times bestseller, Rightful Heritage (2016), in which he chronicles Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s legacy as a crusader for the conservation of America’s public lands.

The full spring schedule is available.

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