Visiting Writers Series

Since its inception, the core of the Writers Institute's programming has been its Visiting Writers Series, public readings, lectures or seminars by internationally renowned writers in the fields of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, and journalism. Among the over 350 writers who have appeared for the Writers Institute have been Saul Bellow, Carl Bernstein, Gwendolyn Brooks, E. L. Doctorow, Nadine Gordimer, Seamus Heaney, Stanley Kunitz, Norman Mailer, John Montague, Toni Morrison, Gloria Steinem, William Styron and Richard Wilbur.

Framed around the Visiting Writers Series are a number of diverse programs and special events. Irish poet John Montague is in residence during spring semesters to present lectures, workshops, courses, and public readings statewide. During the fall semesters the Institute has sponsored residencies in varying lengths by writers of wide reputation and teaching experience who conduct community writing workshops and co-teach writing or literature courses through the University at Albany's English Department. Past writers-in-residence have included Antonine Maillet, Carolyn Forche, Jerome Rothenberg, Judith Malina, Angela Carter, and Douglas Glover.


April 17 (Wednesday) 8 p.m.
Sage Lecture Hall, Room 3303
RPI Campus
Troy, New York
ALICIA OSTRIKER, poet and feminist critic, has published six books of poetry and several volumes on the relationship between gender and literature. Her poetry volumes include The Mother/Child Papers (1980, 1986), and The Imaginary Lover (1986), which won the William Carlos Williams Prize from the Poetry Society of America. “The poetry of Alicia Ostriker consistently challenges limitation. . . . each volume tries to uncover anew what must be learned in order to gain wisdom, experience, and identity.” Amy Williams, Dictionary of Literary Biography
Sponsored in conjunction with RPI’s 55th Annual McKinney Writing Contest
For further information and directions call 276-6467

April 25 (Thursday) 8:00 p.m.
Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue
University at Albany, downtown campus
WILLIAM KENNEDY is the author of a well-known and highly praised series of novels set in Albany including Legs (1975), Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game (1978), Ironweed (1983), which won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award, Quinn’s Book (1988), and Very Old Bones (1992). He also has published two nonfiction books, O Albany! (1983) and Riding the Yellow Trolley Car (1993). His newest novel, The Flaming Corsage, from which he will be reading, will be released on April 30, 1996. "No one writing in America today has Kennedy’s rich and fertile gift of gab; his pure verbal energy; his love of people." Doris Grumbach

May 1 (Wednesday) 8:00 p.m.
Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
University at Albany, uptown campus
JANE COOPER, New York State Poet, is the author of four volumes of poetry, The Weather of Six Mornings (1969), which received the Lamont Award of the Academy of American Poets, Maps & Windows (1974), Scaffolding: Selected Poems (1984, 1993), and Green Notebook, Winter Road (1994). Winner of numerous awards and fellowships for her work, Cooper was recently named New York State Poet for 1995–1997. ". . . among the most responsible and inveterately rewarding poets of our moment." -- Richard Howard


In addition to their evening readings, the following visiting writers will hold informal seminars for students, writers, and the general public at 4:00 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) on the day of their reading in Humanities 290 on the University at Albany's uptown campus. This is a unique opportunity to meet the writers in a more intimate setting to discuss their work and writing in general.

William Kennedy


The Book Show, a weekly half-hour interview program, airs on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on WAMC-FM (90.3, Albany), WAMK-FM (90.9, Kingston), WCAN-FM (93.3, Canajoharie), and WANC-FM (103.9, Ticonderoga). Hosted by critically acclaimed Canadian novelist and short story writer, Douglas Glover, the show features conversations with some of the most celebrated names in literature. Call the Institute at 518-442-5620 for a schedule, or just tune in.

For any questions or comments, please contact us at:

New York State Writers Institute, HU 355
University at Albany, SUNY
Albany, NY 12222
or send email to:
Phone: (518) 442-5620 / Fax: (518) 442-5621

All Events Are Free and Open to the Public

Additional Appearances and Changes Will Be Announced