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Maps and Directions




Spring 2014 Visiting Writers Series Events

Events are free and open to the public and located at Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on UAlbany’s Downtown Campus, unless otherwise noted.

Books are available in advance of events and at the events, from the following bookstores: 
The University Bookstore at the University at Albany and The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza

Carolyn Forche
Photo: Harry Mattison

Carolyn Forché, poet and human rights activist
January 30 (Thursday)
Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus
Reading — 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus

Carolyn Forché has made poetry of her experiences with political strife and violent conflict around the globe. Most recently, she is the co-editor with Duncan Wu of a new anthology, Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English, 1500 – 2001 (2014), featuring 300 poems “composed at an extreme of human endurance—while their authors awaited execution, endured imprisonment, fought on the battlefield, or labored on the brink of breakdown or death.” The book is a companion to Forché’s landmark 1993 anthology, Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness. Forché, winner of the 2013 Academy of American Poets Fellowship for “distinguished poetic achievement,” is also the author of the collections, The Country Between Us (1981), The Angel of History (1994), and Blue Hour (2003).

Wlater Mosley

Frankie Bailey
Photo: Jeff Foley Photography

Walter Mosley, novelist, and Frankie Y. Bailey, novelist and criminal justice scholar
February 4 (Tuesday)
Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus
Reading — 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus

Walter Mosley, bestselling author of more than 40 books, and “one of this nation’s finest writers” (Boston Globe), is America’s leading author of detective fiction in the tradition of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Mosley is best-known for a series of mystery novels set in Los Angeles featuring African American private investigator Easy Rawlins. Mosley’s twelfth Rawlins mystery, his first in six years, is Little Green (2013). Publishers Weekly called it “superb,” and Booklist said, “The return of Easy Rawlins is a major event for crime-fiction fans.” Among his other works are Devil in a Blue Dress (1990), Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned (1998), Cinnamon Kiss (2005), and The Long Fall (2009).

Frankie Y. Bailey, UAlbany Criminal Justice professor and novelist, is the author most recently of The Red Queen Dies (2013), the first novel in a “near-future” police procedural series set in Albany. Booklist said that the novel’s protagonist, detective Hannah McCabe, “shows she has what it takes to succeed at her work and to win readers.” Bailey’s earlier books include Wicked Albany: Lawlessness & Liquor in the Prohibition Era (with Alice Green, 2009); African American Mystery Writers (2008); and the Edgar-nominated Out of the Woodpile: Black Characters in Crime and Detective Fiction (1991). She is also the author of five books in the Silver Dagger mystery series, featuring crime historian Lizzie Stuart.

Black Boy
Photo: American
Place Theatre

American Place Theatre performance of Black Boy
February 12 (Wednesday)
Performance — 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus
Pre-performance discussion at 7 p.m.
Tickets: general public $15 in advance, $20 day of; students/seniors/UA faculty & staff $10 in advance, $15 day of
Box Office: (518) 442-3997; [email protected]

The “Literature to Life” program of American Place Theatre presents a verbatim one-man adaptation of the first half of Richard Wright’s classic autobiographical work, Black Boy. The performance, in which the actor plays more than a dozen characters, dramatizes Wright’s journey from childhood innocence to adulthood in the Jim Crow South, exploring issues that still resonate in today’s cultural dialogue.

Presented by the Performing Arts Center in conjunction with the Writers Institute; with support provided by the Diversity Transformation Fund, administered through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; and the Holiday Inn Express

James Redwood
Photo: Rose Redwood


James D. Redwood, short story writer
February 18 (Tuesday)
Reading — 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus

James D. Redwood,
Professor of Law at Albany Law School, is the author of a first collection of stories, Love Beneath the Napalm (2014), inaugural winner of the Notre Dame Review Book Prize. Based on Redwood’s experiences as an English teacher and social worker in 1970s Vietnam, the stories have been published previously in leading literary magazines, including the Virginia Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review, and TriQuarterly.

Nick Turse
Photo: Tam Turse

Nick Turse, investigative journalist and military historian
February 19 (Wednesday)
Reading and discussion — 4:15 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center

Nick Turse, award-winning journalist specializing in national security and military issues, is the managing editor of and Investigative Fund fellow at the Nation Institute. His newest book is the New York Times bestseller Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (2013), an account of U.S. war crimes against Vietnamese civilians based on previously classified documents. His investigations of U.S. war crimes have earned him a special Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction. His earlier books include The Changing Face of Empire (2012), The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan (2010), and The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives (2008).

Cosponsored by Women Against War, and UAlbany’s Journalism Program in conjunction with its 40th Anniversary

E.L. Doctorow
Photo: Gasper Tringale


E. L. Doctorow, fiction writer
February 27 (Thursday)
Reading — 8:00 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus

E. L. Doctorow, recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2013 Gold Medal, and the National Book Foundation’s 2013 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, is “a writer of dazzling gifts and boundless, imaginative energy…. our great chronicler of American mythology” (Joyce Carol Oates). His novels include World’s Fair (1985), winner of the National Book Award, and four other finalists for the same prize—The Book of Daniel (1971), Loon Lake (1980), Billy Bathgate (1989) and The March (2005). His 1975 novel Ragtime became a 1998 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, as well as a 1981 film. His newest novel is Andrew’s Brain (2014), one man’s reflections on his eventful life, loves, and tragedies, and a probing inquiry into the reliability of memory. (See Classic Film Series schedule February 7 listing for screening of RAGTIME)

Pierre Joris
Photo: Katia Feltrin

A Celebration of Poet and Translator Pierre Joris
March 5 (Wednesday)
Panel discussion on the works of Pierre Joris — 2:00 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library,
Uptown Campus 
Moderated by Donald Faulkner, with poets and scholars Robert Kelly, Peter Cockelbergh, Belle Gironda, and Don Byrd

Conversation with Pierre Joris — 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus
Moderated by Tomás Urayoán Noel

Reading by Pierre Joris — 8:00 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus

Pierre Joris, poet, translator, and scholar taught at UAlbany from 1992 to 2013. Joris’s work bridges North American, European, and North African literary traditions and cultures. He is the author of more than 25 books and chapbooks of poetry, including Breccia: Selected Poems 1972-1986 (1987), Poasis: Selected Poems 1986-1999 (2001), and Barzakh: Selected Poems 2000-2012 (forthcoming 2014). Other notable works include the essay collection A Nomad Poetics (2003) and three volumes of the avant-garde anthology series, Poems for the Millennium (1995,1998, co-edited with Jerome Rothenberg; 2012 co-edited with Habib Tangour). He is also one of the foremost translators of avant-garde poetry into both French and English, and winner of the 2005 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and the 2013 MLA Scaglione Prize for his translation of Paul Celan’s The Meridian: Final Version–Drafts–Materials.

Cosponsored by the Writers Institute and UAlbany’s English Department, with additional support from University Auxiliary Services, the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Fence, and Barzakh.

Christopher Durang
Photo: Susan



The 18th Annual Burian Lecture Funded by the Jarka and Grayce Burian Endowment
Christopher Durang, playwright
March 10 (Monday)
Seminar — 4:15 p.m, Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus
The Burian Lecture — 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus

Christopher Durang
writes plays that satirize American society and culture, exploring issues such as Catholicism and dysfunctional family life. He is the author of the comic Broadway hit, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, winner of the 2013 Tony Award, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Durang received the 2012 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a “master dramatist in mid-career.” He also received Obie Awards for playwriting for Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (1980), The Marriage of Bette and Boo (1985), and Betty’s Summer Vacation (1999). Durang’s 2005 play, Miss Witherspoon, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

Cosponsored by UAlbany’s Theatre Department

Dinaw Mengestu
Photo: Michael


Dinaw Mengestu, fiction writer and journalist
March 13 (Thursday)
Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus
Reading — 8:00 p.m., Campus Center Room 375, Uptown Campus

Dinaw Mengestu received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012, and was named one of the New Yorker magazine’s “20 Under 40” writers in 2010. Born in Ethiopia, and raised in Illinois, Mengestu is the author of the novels The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2007), which received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and How to Read the Air (2010). His newest novel is All Our Names (2014), about an African university student who attempts to escape his revolutionary past and invent a new identity for himself in America. Publishers Weekly named it a “Pick of the Week.”

Walter Kirn
Photo: Beowulf


Walter Kirn, journalist, and fiction and nonfiction writer
March 25 (Tuesday)
Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center, Uptown Campus
Reading — 8:00 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus

Walter Kirn is the author of the new nonfiction book Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade (2014), about the author’s 10-year “friendship” with Clark Rockefeller, the serial con artist and murderer. Currently serving a life sentence, Rockefeller was convicted of a 1985 killing in 2009. Kirn is the National Correspondent for the New Republic, where he covers “politics and culture and their convergence.” His books include the memoirs, My Mother’s Bible (2013) and Lost in the Meritocracy (2009), and the novels, Up in the Air (2001), and Thumbsucker (1999) that were made into major films.
(See Classic Film Series schedule March 7 listing for screening of UP IN THE AIR)

Julia Glass
Photo: Dennis Cowley


Julia Glass, novelist
April 3 (Thursday)
Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Campus Center Room 375, Uptown Campus
Reading — 8:00 p.m., Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, Downtown Albany

Julia Glass published her first novel, Three Junes (2002), at the age of 46. The book earned extraordinary praise from reviewers and received the National Book Award for Fiction. Her new novel, And the Dark Sacred Night (2014), set in the Vermont woods and on Cape Cod, tells the story of a middle-aged man who seeks to discover the identity of the father he never knew. Other novels by Glass include The Whole World Over (2006), I See You Everywhere (2008), and The Widower’s Tale (2010).

Cosponsored by the Friends of the New York State Library

Stephen Kinzer Stephen Kinzer, bestselling nonfiction author
April 7 (Monday)

Discussion — 7:30 p.m., [Note early start time] Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus

Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent, formerly with the New York Times, and a bestselling author of books on American foreign policy in Central America, Rwanda, Turkey, and Iran. His newest book is The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (2013), which recounts how the two powerful men helped to shape America’s zealously anti-Communist foreign policy in the 1950s.

Cosponsored by the New York State Writers Institute; Women Against War; UAlbany’s History, Political Science, and Judaic Studies Departments, and Journalism Program; and UAlbany Peace Action

Eszter Szalczer New Event!
HOW IT REALLY HAPPENED, A Play by Eszter Szalczer

April 8 (Tuesday)

Dramatic Reading — 7:00 p.m., [Note early start time] Science Library Room 340, Uptown Campus

Whose story is the true story? How can one grasp control of the narratives of one’s own life? Working on her new book, writer Karin Smirnoff (1880-1973) struggles to come to terms with her past in an attempt to challenge the notorious stories of her overbearing father, the world-renowned author and dramatist August Strindberg.

Eszter Szalczer is a dramaturg, theatre historian, and scholar of modern drama. Her recent book August Strindberg (Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatists, 2010) focuses on the Swedish playwright as one of the most radical innovators of the modern stage. It was when working on her previous book, Writing Daughters: August Strindberg’s Other Voices (Norvik Press 2008) that Eszter became interested in exploring the creative processes of writing, the role of memory, the fine line between fiction and non-fiction, and how the same story could be told differently from several different perspectives.

Francesca Marciano

Francesca Marciano, novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter
April 11 (Friday)
Reading — 4:15 p.m., University Hall Room 110, Uptown Campus

Francesca Marciano is an acclaimed Italian novelist and short story writer who writes her fiction in English, and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter who writes her scripts in Italian. Her newest book is the story collection, The Other Language (2014), which Jhumpa Lahiri called “an astonishing collection…. a vision of geography as it grounds us, as it shatters us, as it transforms the soul.” Marciano’s novels include The End of Manners (2008), and Casa Rossa (2002). Her recent films as a co-screenwriter include A FIVE STAR LIFE (2013), Bernardo Bertolucci’s ME AND YOU (2012), and the Oscar-nominated DON’T TELL (2005).

Film screening of MIELE [HONEY] and discussion with screenwriter Francesca Marciano — 7:00 p.m. [note early start time], Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus
Directed by Valeria Golino (Italy, 2013, 96 minutes, color, in Italian with English subtitles)
Starring Jasmine Trinca, Carlo Cecchi, Libero De Rienzo

An official selection at Cannes, HONEY is the story of Irene, an “assisted suicide activist” who performs illegal services to assist the terminally ill. She faces a painful dilemma when a healthy man requests her help in ending his life.

Lydia Davis
Photo: Theo Cote
Lydia Davis, short story author and translator
April 16 (Wednesday)
Reading and McKinney Writing Contest Award Ceremony — 8:00 p.m., Biotech Auditorium, Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Rensselaer (RPI), Troy

Lydia Davis, winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, will read from her newest story collection, Can’t and Won’t (2014). Masterpieces in miniature, the stories feature complaint letters, reflections on dreams, and small dilemmas. Davis has been called “one of the quiet giants of American fiction” (Los Angeles Times Book Review), and “one of the best writers in America” (Oprah’s O Magazine). Her previous collections include The Collected Stories (2009), Varieties of Disturbance (2007), Samuel Johnson is Indignant (2001), Almost No Memory (1997) and Break it Down (1986).

Sponsored in conjunction with RPI’s Vollmer W. Fries Lecture and the 73rd McKinney Writing Contest and Reading
For directions see:

Akhil Sharma
Photo: Bill Miller
Akhil Sharma, Indian-American fiction writer
April 22 (Tuesday)
Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center, Uptown Campus
Reading — 8:00 p.m.,
Assembly Hall, Campus Center, Uptown Campus

Akhil Sharma, “a supernova in the galaxy of young, talented Indian writers” (Publishers Weekly), received the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Whiting Writers’ Award for his first novel, An Obedient Father (2000). His much-anticipated second novel is Family Life (2014), the story of Indian-American immigrants who are forced to cope after one of the family’s two sons suffers a dreadful accident. Writing in advance praise, author David Sedaris called it, “Outstanding,” and said, “Every page is alive and surprising, proof of [Sharma’s] huge and unique talent.”

Jennifer Dundas

Jennifer Dundas, notable film and stage actress
April 25 (Friday)
Film commentary after filmscreening of SWEET DREAMS — 7:00 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Ave,.
UAlbany Downtown Campus

Jennifer Dundas, notable film and stage actress, and socially conscious ice cream entrepreneur, will offer commentary and answer questions following the screening of the documentary, SWEET DREAMS (2012), about a women’s drumming troupe that opens Rwanda’s first ice cream parlor in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide.
(See Classic Films Series)

Robert Patton
Robert H. Patton, novelist and historian
April 29 (Tuesday)
Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus
Reading — 8:00 p.m.,
Assembly Hall, Campus Center, Uptown Campus

Robert H. Patton, novelist, historian, and grandson of legendary World War II General George S. Patton (1885-1945), is the author most recently of Hell Before Breakfast (2014), a history of American war journalism between 1860 and 1910, from the Civil War and Spanish American War to conflicts in Europe and Asia. He is also the author of the bestselling memoir, The Pattons: A Personal History of an American Family (1994), which Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post named one of the best books of the year. Patton is also the author of the nonfiction work Patriot Pirates (2008), and two novels published in 1997, Up, Down & Sideways and Life Between Wars.

Cosponsored by UAlbany’s Journalism Program in celebration of its 40th Anniversary

Autin Bunn Austin Bunn, screenwriter and author
May 2 (Friday)
Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Room 340, Science Library, Uptown Campus

Austin Bunn co-wrote the screenplay of the hit film KILL YOUR DARLINGS (2013) with his college roommate John Krokidas, the film’s director. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, the film stars Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr and Daniel Radcliffe as poet Allen Ginsberg in a true story of murder and gay awakening set in New York City amid the nascent Beat poetry scene. Former author of the “Machine Age” technology column for the Village Voice, Bunn has published nonfiction and fiction in the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, and Wired. He also coauthored A Killer Life (2006), the autobiography of film producer Christine Vachon (Killer Films). He teaches filmmaking at Cornell University.

He will provide commentary on the film screening of KILL YOUR DARLINGS. (See Classic Films Series)

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