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Introducing a new podcast, a deep dive into the NYS Writers Institute audio archives

A New Podcast From Adam Colman and the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany



Last February, we received an email from Adam Colman, a producer for Open Source on WBUR, the NPR station in Boston. Adam wrote:


I'm writing now to see if the Writers Institute would be interested in making a podcast, or interested in a pilot of a Writers Institute podcast that I could produce. I produce the Cosmic Library podcast for Lit Hub, have produced shows for McSweeney's and KCRW's Organist, and more -- and it would be an honor to produce a show for the Writers Institute, one of my favorite things in the world.


Adam grew up in Albany and attended his first NYS Writers Institute event when he was just 16 years old.

We checked out his work and agreed to partner with him, giving him access to the thousands of video and audio recordings in our archives.

Readers may remember a Times Union article by Amy Biancolli from four years ago detailing efforts to digitize our vast recordings of writers' events.

"Stored in its multitudinous cabinets are audio and video recordings of every single writer who has ever appeared at the New York State Writers Institute. That's 35 years' worth of talks. Thousands of hours of individual recordings documenting visits from around 2,000 writers – preserved for the ages on various technologies... 'It’s this sea of incredible literature magic that happened here,” [Writers Institute Director Paul] Grondahl said. 'But you gotta dig deep to find the pearls. You gotta dive down.'"

We're happy to announce that Adam's deep dive into our archives has discovered a treasure trove of pearls from writers including Don DeLillo, Jonathan Franzen, Susan Choi, Jonathan Lethem, Jamaica Kincaid, Saeed Jones, and Amelia Gray, among others.


At Saturday's Albany Book Festival, we proudly played the trailer for Adam's first podcast, produced in collaboration with Literary Hub.


Thank you, Adam, for helping us to share our rich trove of writers' stories with a new online audience. We look forward to hearing more stories from our archives coming soon.