The Creative Life: A Conversation with Debbie Millman & Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman

Prime Performance - Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 7pm

The award winning designer and acclaimed author are interviewed as a couple on stage by WAMC's Joe Donahue discussing their creative inspirations, individual crafts and careers. A question and answer session with the audience will follow.


Artist's web site (Millman) Artist's web site (Gay)


Past Creative Life guests & archive of conversations

Presented in partnership with the University Art MuseumNYS Writers Institute and WAMC Northeast Public Radio.  Funding support provided by University at Albany Foundation , Alumni Association and University Auxiliary Services.

Designer Debbie Millman and author Roxane Gay will visit the University at Albany for a conversation with WAMC’s Joe Donahue as part of The Creative Life: A Conversation Series. The event, free and open to the public, will be held at 7pm on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s Uptown Campus at 1400 Washington Avenue. Both guests will participate in a book signing in the theatre lounge after the event.

 A UAlbany alum, Debbie Millman is also an author, educator, curator and host of the podcast Design Matters, one of the world’s first and longest running podcasts. She has written six books and has two books of illustrated essays.  Her latest publication is Why Design Matters, soon to be released by HarperCollins, showcases dozens of her most exciting interviews.  Millman’s illustrated works have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Print Magazine, Design Observer and Fast Company.  Millman’s artwork is included in the Boston Biennale, Chicago Design Museum, Anderson University, School of Visual Arts, Long Island University, The Wolfsonion Museum, and the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art.

Roxane Gay is one of the great public intellectuals in America today. Her books include the modern-day classics, Bad Feminist: Essays (2014), which Time magazine called, “a manual on how to be human,” and Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (2017), a “work of staggering honesty” (New Republic) that explores her relationship with food, weight, and body image. Gay’s forthcoming book is How to Be Heard (2022), practical advice for anyone who wants to use their voice to have an impact on the world. A contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times, she is also the author of The World of Wakanda (2017) for Marvel Comics, and publishes a newsletter, The Audacity.

“Debbie Millman is one of the finest interviewers working today,” writes Gay. “She is, indeed, my wife, so you would expect me to believe in her unparalleled interviewing ability, but it also happens to be the truth. Over the past sixteen years, the Design Matters project has expanded as her skill has sharpened. She has created a gloriously interesting and ongoing conversation about what it means to live well, overcome trauma, face rejection, learn to love and be loved, and thrive both personally and professionally.”

The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the University Art Museum, New York State Writers Institute and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in conjunction with WAMC Northeast Public Radio. Sponsored by The University at Albany Foundation, the series features live onstage interviews conducted by WAMC’s "Roundtable" host Joe Donahue with artists of national and international prominence in conversation about their creative inspiration, their craft, their careers and the demands of sustaining an artistic practice over time. A question and answer period closes each program. 

Previous guests of the series include food writer Ruth Reichl, fiction writer Joyce Carol Oates, tap dancer Savion Glover, violin virtuoso Regina Carter, painter David Salle, Young Adult author Lois Lowry, choreographer Garth Fagan, Broadway star Patti LuPone, Andy Warhol film star Bibbe Hansen, sculptor Jean Shin, author/essayist Esmeralda Santiago, New Yorker journalist Susan Orlean, comedian/actor Paul Reiser, high-wire artist Philippe Petit, rapper Rakim, and novelist Jhumpa Lahiri.  

Additional guests for the 21-22 season will be announced for the spring.