ALBANY – An eclectic series of events will bring award-winning authors, poets, journalists, newsmakers, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist to the University at Albany from late August through December as the NYS Writers Institute announces its fall season schedule.
The NYS Writers Institute’s Fall 2022 season begins on Friday, Aug. 26, with a screening and Q&A of the documentary “A Tear in the Sky.” Starring William Shatner of “Star Trek” and celebrity physicist Michio Kaku, the film follows a team of military personnel and scientists — including two UAlbany physics professors, Kevin Knuth and Matthew Szydagis — as they attempt to re-capture, in real-time, evidence of UFOs and other space anomalies using state-of-the-art, military-grade equipment, and technology.
The season highlight will be the 5th Annual Albany Book Festival, 10:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at the UAlbany Campus Center, 1400 Washington Ave. The event will showcase more than 100 authors and poets, including Garry Trudeau, creator of “Doonesbury,” Susan Choi, award-winning author of Trust Exercise (2019), and Robert Pinsky, former U.S. Poet Laureate, and a tribute to gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
“Congratulations to the New York State Writers Institute on an amazing lineup for the Albany Book Festival and its entire fall schedule of events,” said University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez. “UAlbany is honored to be home to the Writers Institute—and proud to bring these amazing cultural opportunities to our campus and the broader community.”
The book festival will also feature panel discussions on Apocalyptic Fiction, Immigration, Parenting, New York History, and Food, online workshops, scores of local authors selling and signing their books, exhibits, children’s activities, and more. Visit www.albanybookfestival.com for more information.
“We established the Albany Book Festival as a way to underscore and to celebrate anew the capital city’s grand literary tradition. We created an annual fall community event that appeals to all ages of people who like to read books. It promotes literacy while bringing together a diverse group of extraordinary writers and large crowds of book lovers,” said Paul Grondahl, Director of the New York State Writers Institute.
“We are encouraged by how many communities have embraced this annual event, which has taken root and grows each year,” Grondahl said. “While hosting dozens of literary events this fall, we collaborate across the University at Albany and throughout the Capital Region with organizations committed to celebrating the written word in its myriad forms. Please join us for the book festival and our other fall programs, which remain free and open to all through the generous financial support of our sponsors.”
Special events of the season include Telling the Truth 2022, on Friday, Oct. 28, a one-day conference of conversations that will address attacks on truth, free speech, a free press, and the First Amendment, as well as propaganda, misinformation, hacks, deep fakes, conspiracy theories, and threats to our democracy.
National Book Award winner Andrea Barrett will join the Writers Institute for two events on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Kwame Alexander, a New York Times bestselling author of 35 books, will visit with Albany schoolchildren and the Writers Institute will distribute hundreds of copies of his new book The Door of No Return (September 2022) in advance of his evening event on Thursday, Oct. 6. In an event co-sponsored with The College of Saint Rose, Michelle Alexander, whose book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010), spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, is slated to visit Albany Tuesday, Oct. 11.
American Book Award-winning poet Carolyn Forché, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her new collection, In The Lateness of the World, will visit on Thursday, Nov. 17. Melissa Gilbert, who portrayed Laura Ingalls in the classic TV show, “Little House on the Prairie” will discuss her new book, Back to the Prairie: A Home Remade, A Life Rediscovered (2022) on Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Previously announced, WAMC’s Joe Donahue will host two Creative Life discussions during the fall: essayist Lucy Sante on Tuesday, Oct. 18, and illustrator, author, and designer Maira Kalman on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
All events take place on UAlbany’s uptown and downtown campuses and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
Visit www.nyswritersinstitute.org for more information.