Real Good for Free: The New York State Summer Writers Institute

Francine Prose (photo by Emma Dodge Hanson)
Francine Prose (photo by Emma Dodge Hanson)
The New York State Summer Writers Institute got underway earlier this week at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs when former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky shared the stage with jazz bassist Todd Coolman and saxman Pat LaBarbera from Skidmore’s Summer Jazz Institute. (Stay tuned for an upcoming review of that one.)

All readings are scheduled to begin at 8pm in Davis Auditorium of Palamountain Hall, except where noted. Admission to all events is free. Here’s the rest of the line-up for the Writers Institute events:

Wednesday, June 30: Fiction and poetry reading with Joseph O’Neill (“Netherland,” 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction) and Frank Bidart (“Desire”)

Thursday, July 1: Poetry and fiction reading by Charles Simic (former U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize) and Lydia Davis (“The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis”)

Friday, July 2: Poetry and fiction reading by Carolyn Forché (Lamont Poetry Prize winner, “The Angel of History”) and Elizabeth Benedict (“Almost”)

Monday, July 5: Fiction reading by Francine Prose (“A Changed Man”) and Victoria Redel (“The Border of Truth”)

Tuesday, July 6: Fiction and poetry reading by Allan Gurganus (“White People”) and Franz Wright (Pulitzer Prize-winning poet)

Wednesday, July 7: Fiction and poetry reading by William Kennedy (Pulitzer Prize winner, MacArthur Fellow, “Ironweed,” “Roscoe”) and April Bernard (“Romanticism”)

Thursday, July 8: Fiction and poetry reading by Caryl Phillips (“A Distant Shore,” “The Nature of Blood”) and Campbell McGrath (“American Noise”)

Friday, July 9: Non-fiction and fiction reading by Phillip Lopate (“Waterfront”) and Claire Messud (“The Emperor’s Children”)

Monday, July 12: Poetry and fiction reading by Richard Howard (Pulitzer Prize-winning poet) and Danzy Senna (“Caucasia”)

Tuesday, July 13: Fiction and poetry reading by Ann Beattie (“Love Always,” “Walks With Men”) and Honor Moore (“Red Shoes,” “The Bishop’s Daughter”)

Wednesday, July 14: Fiction and poetry reading by Russell Banks (“The Darling”) and Chase Twichell (“Dog Language”)

Thursday, July 15: Fiction reading by Joyce Carol Oates (National Book Award-winner, “them,” “We Were the Mulvaneys”) at Gannett Auditorium, Palamountain Hall

Friday, July 16: Fiction and poetry reading by Mary Gaitskill (“Veronica”) and Tom Healy (“What the Left Hand Knows”)

Monday, July 19: Fiction and poetry reading by Amy Hempel (“The Dog of the Marriage”) and Henri Cole (“Middle Earth”)

Tuesday, July 20: Fiction and poetry reading by Rick Moody (“Demonology”) and Peg Boyers (“Honey with Tobacco,” “Hard Bread”)

Wednesday, July 21: Geoffrey O’Brien and Jim Miller, “What We Write About When We Write ‘Creative’ Non-Fiction,” a conversation about reality, genre bending, appropriation, fiction, fact and non-fiction. O’Brien is the author of “The Fall of the House of Walworth,” and Miller wrote “Democracy Is in the Streets.”

Thursday, July 22: Fiction and poetry reading by Jayne Anne Phillips (“Termite & Lark,” “Fast Lane”) and Mary Kinzie (“Summers of Vietnam”)

Friday, July 23: Fiction and poetry reading by Howard Norman (“The Bird Artist”) and Lloyd Schwartz (Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, “Cairo Traffic”)

The Freedom Park Concert Series @ Freedom Park, Scotia (7pm various days)
Music in the Park @ Schodack Town Park, Schodack (6pm Tuesdays)
Tuesday Nights in the Park @ Cook Park, Colonie (6:30pm Tuesdays)
Rockin’ On the River @ River Street, Troy (5pm Wednesdays)
Halfmoon Summer Concert Series @ Town Hall Courtyard, Halfmoon (6pm Wednesdays)
Lake George Arts Project Summer Concerts @ Shepard Park, Lake George (7:30pm Wednesdays)
Jazz On Jay @ Jay Street, Schenectady (12noon Thursdays)
Alive at 5 @ Riverfront Park, Albany (5pm Thursdays)
Tiki Thursdays @ the Piggy Bank, Beacon (6pm Thursdays)
Concerts in the Park @ Wiswall Park, Ballston Spa (6pm Thursdays)
Schaghticoke Summer Eve Concerts @ the Schaghticoke Town Hall Gazebo, Melrose (6:30pm Thursdays)
Music in the Park @ Dutchman’s Landing Park, Catskill (7pm Thursdays)
Guilderland Performing Arts Center @ Tawasentha Park, Guilderland (7:30pm Thursdays)
Garage Bands in the Garage @ the Albany Public Library, Albany (6pm Fridays)
Upbeat on the Roof @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs (7pm Fridays)
Summer Sounds of Salem @ Main Street Gazebo, Salem (11am Saturdays)
Music Haven Stage @ Central Park, Schenectady (7pm Sundays)
Skidmore Jazz Institute @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs (Tuesday, June 29-Friday, July 9)
At the Plaza Launch Party @ Empire State Plaza, Albany) (Wednesday, June 30)
Sand Lake Summer Fest @ Butler Park, Averill Park (Friday-Sunday, July 2-4)
Pearl-Palooza @ Pearl St., Albany, (Saturday, July 3)
Fabulous Fourth Festivities @ the Empire State Plaza, Albany (Sunday, July 4)
California Transit Authority, Sirsy @ Clifton Common, Clifton Park (Sunday, July 4)
Lake George Jazz Weekend @ Shepard Park, Lake George (Saturday-Sunday, September 18-19)

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