March 5 and 6, 2019

Mark Nepo

Mark Nepo, bestselling author of 20 books, a graduate of the University at Albany, and a frequent guest on Oprah Winfrey's programs, joined the NYS Writers Institute for a pair of events March 5 and 6.

Speaking about Nepo's The Book of Awakening, Oprah Winfrey said, "Mark Nepo is a poet. He's an author and a philosopher and has been through two different cancers. So when he writes, he writes purely from the heart."

Winfrey says she reads a lesson from the book daily and, "If we all do it together, we can begin to open our hearts, change the world and begin to have the life you want by being present to the life you have now." Nepo was part of Winfrey’s "The Life You Want" tour in 2014 and has appeared several times with Oprah on her "Super Soul Sunday" program on OWN TV.

His newest book is More Together Than Alone: Discovering the Power and Spirit of Community in Our Lives and in the World (2018). Arianna Huffington calls it "a compelling testament to the power of community to help us lead happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives. Mark Nepo has given us not only a much-needed message of hope and inspiration, but a practical guide on how to build a better tomorrow, together."

Speaking of his book, Nepo writes, "This is the medicine of poetry: that through raw and honest reflection, we deepen our conversation with life. The purpose of poetry and expression is to make life real, to remove everything that gets in the way, and to help us live."

Nepo graduated from UAlbany with a Doctor of Arts in English in 1980 and taught in the English Department for 18 years. While at UAlbany and still in his 30s, Nepo was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma that spread to his brain. His struggles with cancer helped him to form a philosophy of experiencing life fully while facing an unknowable future.

Pictures courtesy of Christopher Payne, a current journalism student at UAlbany and New York State Writers Institute Intern.


Above: Picture of Mark Nepo and Oprah Winfrey.  Courtesy of