Come to the 1999 Associated Writing Programs Annual Conference!

April 14th-17th in Albany, New York

The city that loves writers; the city writers love!

Albany has been home to such writers as Henry James and Herman Melville, and, most recently, to William Kennedy, whose Albany novels have emphasized the importance of the sense of place in American literature. With many colleges and universities within the tri-state area, ranging from Skidmore, to Bard, to Bennington, to Simon's Rock, the city of Albany offers a thriving cultural and intellectual life. The 1999 AWP Conference--with co-sponsorship from The University at Albany, State University of New York, the New York State Writers Institute, Clarkson University, The Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University, and chaired by Judy Johnson (University at Albany)--will offer a lively and exciting forum in which to meet your favorite writers, exchange ideas and information with peers, and meet editors, grant-makers, and other literary professionals. This year's conference features over 60 panel discussions and readings, a forum on the teaching of writing, and a bookfair showcasing the best literary presses.

Keynote Speaker, Readings, & Presentations

Events Cosponsored by the New York State Writers Institute
Which are Free and Open to the Public

This year's keynote speaker is
Frank McCourt
the author of the 1997 Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes
on the New York Times Bestsellers list for over a year.

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12:30-2:00 p.m., Ballroom C

Introduction & Opening Remarks

Donald W. Faulkner, Associate Director, NYS Writers Institute

"Kennedy as Journalist"

Dr. Douglas Brinkley, Director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies, University of New Orleans.
One of America's foremost cultural historians looks at William Kennedy's journalistic career (1949-1975) as reflected in O Albany! and Riding the Yellow Trolley Car, and examines the issues and themes that stand behind his fiction writing.

2:30-4:00 p.m., Ballroom A

"Talking About William Kennedy"

  • Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes
  • Peter Quinn, author of Banished Children of Eve
  • Dennis Smith, author of A Song for Mary
    Three good literary friends reflect on William Kennedy's life and work, sing his praises, and tell tales on Kennedy and themselves.


    10:30-12:00 noon, Ballroom C

    "Edward & Katrina Daugherty: A Match Made in Albany, Not in Heaven"

    Dr. Vivian Valvano Lynch, St. Vincent's College of St. John's University, author of Portraits of Artists: Warriors in the Novels of William Kennedy (forthcoming in 1999)

    2:30-4:00 p.m., Ballroom C

    "Deepening Mystery: The Representation of Homelessness in Ironweed"

    Dr. Benedict F. Giamo, University of Notre Dame, author of The Homeless of Ironweed: Blossoms on the Crag (1997)


    10:30-12:00 noon, Ballroom C

    "The Use of Time in Kennedy's Albany Novels"

    Dr. Christian Michener, St Mary's University of Minnesota, author of From Then Into Now: William Kennedy's Albany Novels(1998).
    For Michener, that magic time is "fluid and reversible and offers--though it cannot promise--the opportunity for the redemption and forgiveness of its characters." The presentation will be followed with discussion by respondents and audience members.

    1:00-2:30 p.m., Ballroom C

    "The Cyclical Impulse of The Flaming Corsage"

    Dr. Michael Patrick Gillespie, Marquette University, author of Reading William Kennedy (forthcoming in 2000). Gillespie's work focuses on Kennedy's The Flaming Corsage, its role within The Albany Cycle, and Kennedy's explorations of genre within the larger frame of the problems of narrative. The presentation will be followed with discussion by respondents and audience members.

    3:00-4:30 p.m., Ballroom C

    "Courtesans, Stars, Wives, & Vixens: The Many Faces of Female Power in William Kennedy's Novels."

    Dr. Neila C. Seshachari, Weber State University, editor of Conversations with William Kennedy (1997).
    Seshachari explores teh unique power and individual voices of Kennedy's female characters, "their unspoken convictions, their actions that subvert accepted values, and the hidden meanings that emerge from their day-to-day living strategies." the presentations will be followed by a discussion with William Kennedy and a book signing until 5:00 p.m.

    8:00 p.m.,Ten Eyck Ballroom

    Reading and Tribute

    William Kennedy will read from his work followed by a special tribute to him offered by colleagues, friends, and special guests (which will include NY State Authors: James Salter, Peter Matthiessen, E. L. Doctorow and Grace Paley)
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    For additional information on authors listed above click on their name:
  • Russell Banks
  • Douglas Brinkley
  • Robert Creeley
  • Nicholas Delbanco
  • Donald W. Faulkner
  • William Kennedy
  • Frank McCourt
  • John Montague
  • Peter Quinn
  • Richard Selzer
  • Dennis Smith
  • Harry Staley
  • Chase Twichell

  • O'Kennedy, by Douglas Blackburn for the TU
    1999 Complete Conference Schedule
    Welcome Letter to Conferences Attendees
    Associated Writing Programs