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Today at the NYS Summer Writers Institute: Fiction writer Mary Gaitskill and poet Peg Boyers



The NYS Summer Writers Institute readings for the summer of 2022 are online and begin at 7 p.m. Reservations are not required. Attend the readings hereSchedule subject to change. For more information, call the NYS Summer Writers Institute at 518-580-5593.


7 p.m. Monday, July 11: Mary Gaitskill and Peg Boyers

Mary Gaitskill is the author of three novels (The Mare, Veronica and Two Girls, Fat and Thin) and three collections of short stories (Bad Behavior, Don’t Cry and Because They Wanted To), Mary Gaitskill is one of the most celebrated writers in the country.


Her most recent books include a collection of essays (Somebody With A Little Hammer) and a controversial novella called This Is Pleasure which appeared in a summer 2019 issue of The New Yorker Magazine. Stacey D’Erasmo wrote of her in The NY Times Book Review that “Ambiguity—the inseparability of light and darkness, love and pain, nurture and destruction, progress and regress—is her métier. The question she seems to ask again and again, and with astonishing force…is how to feel, how we do feel.” She has taught at the summer writers institute for seventeen years.


Peg Boyers was born in San Tomé, Venezuela, but spent her childhood on the move, living in Libya, Italy, Indonesia, and Cuba.


She is the author of three volumes of poems, all published by the University of Chicago Press. The first,Hard Bread (2002), was described by Richard Howard as “the most original debut in my experience of contemporary American poetry.” With poems spoken in the invented voice of the late Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg, the book, says Robert Pinsky, “not only surpasses the notion of a merely good first book” but “soars beyond the conventional expectations of ‘persona’ and dramatic monologue.” “The creation of the voice in this book,” wrote Frank Bidart, “stoic, passionate, resigned, insistent on truth—is a brilliant achievement.”


Boyers’ second book, Honey With Tobacco (2007), “has a rare power,” wrote George Steiner; “a beautiful book,” wrote Henri Cole.


She is executive editor of the quarterly Salmagundi and teaches creative writing at Skidmore College. Her third book, To Forget Venice, came out in October of 2014 and was hailed for its “disarming flights of imagination” and “inspired ventriloquism.” Her most recent book, The Album, was published by Dos Madres Press in the fall of 2021.

Read: "Playa Colorado' by Peg Boyers.



Also this week

Tuesday, July 12: A Conversation: Writing & Talking About Race: John McWhorter & Thomas Chatterton Williams

Wednesday, July 13: Student Reading (Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction)

Thursday, July 14: Rick Moody (Fiction) & Francine Prose (Fiction)


About the NYS Summer Writers Institute

The NYS Summer Writers Institute was founded and is still produced by author and professor Robert Boyers at Skidmore College, with sponsorship from Northshire Bookstores and in collaboration with the NYS Writers Institute at the University at Albany.


Previous visiting writers include Nobel Prize winner Louise Glück, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, Booker Prize winner Michael Ondaatje, Pulitzer Prize winner and NYS Writers Institute Founder William Kennedy, Mary Gordon, Tom Healy, Margo Jefferson, Binnie Kirshenbaum, John McWhorter, James Miller, Caryl Phillips, Katha Pollitt, Francine Prose and Victoria Redel.