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  • NYS Writers Institute

Sign up for Albany Book Festival online workshops!

Before we get to the Albany Book Festival online workshops that begin on Sunday, September 19, here's a reminder of a bunch of upcoming events. Some dates to remember...

Tuesday, September 14:

Acclaimed poet Randall Horton joins us for two events. More info

Wednesday, September 15:

Virtual conversation with poet Cathy Park Hong. More info

Sunday, September 19: "The City Without Jews" 1924 silent film with live musical accompaniment. Presented in partnership with the UAlbany Performing Arts Center. More info

Tuesday, September 21:

Jennifer Doudna, 2020 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry. More info

Friday, September 24:

New York State Author and New York State Poet installation ceremony (more details to come)

Saturday, September 25:

All these events free and open to the public.

Sign up for Albany Book Festival 2021 online workshops

Sunday September 19, 1 – 2:00 p.m. Click here to register Emily Layden's debut novel, ALL GIRLS, was named a New York Times Staff Pick, a People Book of the Week, and one of the most-anticipated books of 2021 by Town & Country, Good Housekeeping, Parade, E!Online, and Bustle. A graduate of Stanford University, she lives and writes in Albany.

Sunday September 19, 3 – 4:00 p.m. Click here to register Elizabeth Brundage is the author of five novels, The Vanishing Point, All Things Cease to Appear, A Stranger Like You, Somebody Else’s Daughter, and The Doctor’s Wife. All Things Cease to Appear was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a WSJ best mystery of 2016 and was the basis for the Netflix film Things Heard and Seen starring Amanda Seyfried and James Norton.

Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Witness, New Letters, Greensboro Review, and elsewhere. She has taught at several colleges and universities, most recently at Skidmore College, where she was a visiting writer in residence, and lives with her family in Albany.

Tuesday, September 21, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Click here to register Marion Roach Smith has taught a sold-out class called “Writing What You Know” since 1998. She is the author of four books, including The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text on Writing & Life.

She is a former staff member of The New York Times and has written for Martha Stewart Living, Prevention, New York Daily News, Vogue, and Good Housekeeping.

Wednesday, September 22, 7 – 8:00 p.m. Click here to register Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev) is the founder of The American Meditation Institute, originator of National Conscience Month and author of the new book, YOUR CONSCIENCE: The Key to Unlock Limitless Wisdom and Creativity and Solve All of Life’s Challenges. Mr. Perlmutter’s first book, The Heart and Science of Yoga® received six major Book of the Year awards, and was endorsed by Dean Ornish MD, Dr. Oz, and Bernie Siegel MD.

Since 1996 Leonard has served as the editor of “Transformation” the journal of Yoga Science as Holistic Mind/Body Medicine. He has taught workshops on the benefits of the conscience, meditation and Yoga Science at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Kaiser Permanente, UConn School of Medicine, The New York Times Forum on Yoga, the Commonwealth Club of California, among others.

Thursday, September 23, 7 – 8:00 p.m. Click here to register D. Colin is a poet, actor, and visual artist living in Troy, NY. As a multidisciplinary artist, she aims to inspire, empower and educate through poetry, paint and performance and is passionate about cultivating space for stories, healing and community. She is the author of two poetry collections, Dreaming in Kreyol and Said the Swing to the Hoop.

She is also a Cave Canem, VONA and New York State Writers Institute fellow with degrees in English and Africana Studies. Since 2016, D. Colin has been running Poetic Vibe, a weekly open mic voted best in the Capital Region in 2019.

About the Albany Book Festival

The fourth annual event, on Saturday, Sept. 25, at the University at Albany, will be held in-person for the first time since 2019. Events will begin at 10:30 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. More information at

The list of Albany Book Festival guests includes (subject to change):

  • Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Friday Black: Stories),

  • Ayad Akhtar (Homeland Elegies),

  • Robert Boyers (The Tyranny of Virtue: Identity, The Academy, and the Hunt for Political Heresies),

  • Elizabeth Brundage (The Vanishing Point),

  • Mary Gaitskill (This is Pleasure),

  • Garth Greenwell (Cleanness),

  • Farah Jasmine Griffin (Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature),

  • Janell Hobson (When God Lost Her Tongue: Historical Consciousness and the Black Feminist Imagination),

  • Quiara Alegría Hudes (My Broken Language: A Memoir, co-wrote the Tony Award-winning stage musical "In the Heights" with Lin-Manuel Miranda.),

  • Amitava Kumar (A Time Outside This Time),

  • Reif Larsen (Uma Wimple Charts her House),

  • Emily Layden (All Girls),

  • Ed Lin (David Tung Can’t Have a Girlfriend Until He Gets Into an Ivy League College),

  • George Makari (Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia),

  • Bethany C. Morrow (So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix),

  • Peter Osnos (An Especially Good View: Watching History Happen),

  • Jay Parini (Borges and Me: An Encounter),

  • David Pietrusza (Too Long Ago: A Childhood Memoir. A Vanished World.),

  • Nathaniel Philbrick (Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy),

  • David Rohde (In Deep: The FBI, the CIA, and the Truth about America’s “Deep State”),

  • Ed Schwarzschild (In Security),

  • Dana Spiotta (Wayward),

  • Setsuko Winchester ( and

  • Simon Winchester (LAND: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World).

The book festival will also include a Local Authors Marketplace, readings by young local writers published in Skribblers magazine; and readings from banned books to help kick off Banned Books Week beginning September 26 with the theme, “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” The festival’s children’s programming is organized by Skribblers and the Albany Public Library.

More information at

Albany Book Festival Sponsors

The NYS Writers Institute is grateful for the following individuals and businesses whose donations help fund this year's Albany Book Festival.


Bruce Piasecki & The Creative Force Fund


Pernille Ægidius Dake / George and Kathleen McNamee / Renaissance Corporation of Albany

Charles Touhey and Alice Green / University Auxiliary Services


Times Union / Ellen Jabbur / Stuyvesant Plaza


Laurie Bank and Stuart Freyer / A. Andrew Casano, MD & Bella Pipas / Bernard F. Conners Foundation / The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza / Susan Novotny / CDPHP / Fenimore Asset Management / FAM Funds / Doris Fischer Malesardi / The Foy Fund / Henry Greenberg / Paul and Mary Grondahl / Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C. / William and Dana Kennedy / William & Mary Jean Krackeler / Betsy Lopez / Mackin & Casey / Modern Press / Jeffrey Pollard / Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC / Roberta and Bob Redmond / Mary Scanlan / Herb and Cynthia Shultz / Jim and Teresa Stellar / Steve McKee Foundation / UAlbany William L. Reese Emeritus Center Three Voices Grant Program


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