Doris Kearns Goodwin

" It is for me such an honor to be with you here tonight to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Writers Institute. In many ways I feel as if I've grown up as a writer with this institute. . ." (5:06)


“For 25 years, the New York State Writers Institute has served as a beacon for writers across the globe, drawing them to Albany. It has been a tremendous resource for UAlbany, the larger community, the state and the world of literature. In all it does, the Writers Institute truly furthers UAlbany’s mission to bring ‘the world within reach,’”

— University at Albany President George M. Philip.




Celebrating 25 Years of Literature

“When we began the Institute the idea always was to have a continuing dialogue with the best writers in the world. And that’s exactly what we have been doing for the past 25 years,”

— award-winning author William Kennedy, founder and executive director of the Writers Institute. Kennedy initially started the Institute with funds from a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, which he received in 1983.

The New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany will be celebrating its 25th anniversary throughout the Fall 2009 semester. On August 6, 1984, Governor Mario Cuomo signed into law the legislation creating the New York State Writers Institute, giving the Institute a mandate to provide “a milieu for established and aspiring writers to work together  . . . to increase the artistic imagination.” Since then the Institute has sponsored author visits, film screenings, symposia, staged readings, and writing workshops. Over 1000 writers — in all genres, and winners of every major literary award in the United States and abroad — have shared their work with both student and community audiences, making Albany a literary crossroads.

Mario Cuomo
"They had been told that the streets were paved with gold and they came here and discovered the streets weren't paved at all and they were expected to do the paving, without getting paid in gold . . ."

The Writers Institute’s fall schedule features a number of notable events including appearances by:


“In the many years of planning, organizing, and captaining the Visiting Writers Series, I can’t think of a season more challenging to pull together, or more satisfying to present to our audiences,”

— Writers Institute Director Donald Faulkner about the 25th anniversary schedule.

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Science Library, SL 320, University at Albany, NY 12222 | Phone 518-442-5620, Fax 518-442-5621, email [email protected]