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New York State Summer Writers Institute wraps up with three events this week

The New York State Summer Writers Institute wraps up its season this week. We shared event details yesterday for this evening’s tribute to Russell Banks.

Two more events will follow: Marilynne Robinson and Henri Cole on Thursday, and William Kennedy and Danzy Senna on Friday.


Congratulations to Robert Boyers and his team at Skidmore College for another extraordinary summer season of literary delights!


Readings and talks are free and open to the public.

Gannett Auditorium, Palamountain Hall

Skidmore College

815 North Broadway in Saratoga Springs

Phone: 518-580-5593


8 p.m. Wednesday, July 19:

Remembering Russell Banks (Foregone; Affliction; The Lost Memory of Skin)

With Joyce Carol Oates, Nicholas Delbanco (It is Enough; What Remains), Tom Healy (What the Right Hand Knows; Velvet; Animal Spirits), Adam Braver and Robert Boyers, Payne Room, Tang Museum, Skidmore College


8 p.m. Thursday, July 20: Marilynne Robinson and Henri Cole

Marilynne Robinson and Henri Cole

Marilynne Robinson has written five highly acclaimed novels: Housekeeping (1980), Gilead (2004), Home (2008), Lila (2014), and Jack (2020). Housekeeping was a finalist for the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Gilead was awarded the 2005 Pulitzer, and Home received the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction (UK). She is also the author of many non-fiction works, including The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (1998); When I Was a Child I Read Books: Essays (2012), and What Are We Doing Here? (2018). From 1991 until 2016, she taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.


Born in Fukuoka, Japan, and raised in Virginia, poet Henri Cole is the author of numerous collections, including Blizzard (2020); Nothing to Declare (2015); Touch: Poems (2011); LA Times Book Prize finalist Pierce the Skin: Selected Poems 1982-2007 (2010); Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize winner Blackbirdand Wolf (2007); and Pulitzer Prize finalist and Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winner Middle Earth (2003). He is also the author of the memoir Orphic Paris (2018). From 1982 to 1988, Cole served as the executive director of the Academy of American Poets, and he was poetry editor of the New Republic from 2010 to 2014.


8 p.m. Friday, July 21: William Kennedy and Danzy Senna

William Kennedy and Danzy Senna

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy is the founder and executive director of the New York State Writers Institute. His novels include Changó’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes (2011), Roscoe (2002), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award; The Flaming Corsage (1996); Very Old Bones (1992); Quinn’s Book (1988); Ironweed (1983), which received the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game (1978); Legs (1975); and The Ink Truck (1969). Kennedy has also written two nonfiction books, O Albany! (1983), and Riding the Yellow Trolley Car (1993), the play Grand View (1996) as well as the screenplay for :The Cotton Club” (1986) and “Ironweed” (1987).


Danzy Senna's first novel, the bestselling Caucasia, won the Stephen Crane Award for Best New Fiction and the American Library Association's Alex Award, was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages.

A recipient of the Whiting Writers Award, Senna is also the author of the memoir Where Did You Sleep Last Night?, the story collection You Are Free, and the novels Symptomatic and New People. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the novelist Percival Everett, and their sons.


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