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Maps and Directions

On Campus Parking

Uptown Campus:
Courtesy parking for Writers 
Institute events on the Uptown
Campus will be available in the
State Quad Student Parking Lot
one hour prior to and one hour
after events. Visitor Parkling lots
are also available for $3 a vehicle
after 4 pm., though parking spaces
are very limited.

Downtown Campus:
For Downtown Campus events, 
courtesy parking will be 
available in the Thurlow Student
Parking lot.


Events are free and open to the public and take place on the University at Albany’s Uptown Campus, unless otherwise noted. 
Books are available in advance of events and at the events, from the following bookstores: 
The University Bookstore at the University at Albany and The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza


Gish Jen, novelist and nonfiction writer
January 30 (Tuesday)

Craft talk — 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus
Presentation/Q&A — 7:30 p.m., Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, Albany

Gish Jen is a beloved and prize-winning chronicler of the Chinese-American experience in fiction. Her new work, The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap (2017), explores stark differences between Eastern and Western ideas of the "self."

Junot Diaz proclaimed her "the Great American Novelist we’re always hearing about," and John Updike, in the millennial issue of TIME magazine, named her his literary successor in the 21st century. Read more.

Jen’s other books include The Love Wife (2004), Mona in the Promised Land (1996), Who’s Irish? (1999), and Typical American (1991).

Cosponsored by the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education, Friends of the New York State Library, and the UAlbany Center for International Education and Global Strategy in association with the launch of its new Global Distinction program

A Celebration of William Kennedy’s 90th Birthday and the 35th Anniversary of the New York State Writers Institute

January 31 (Wednesday)

Ceremony — 7:00 p.m., Albany City Hall, 24 Eagle Street, Downtown Albany

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and the City of Albany invite the public to Albany City Hall to celebrate William Kennedy’s transformative impact on the city’s life, lore, and literary culture.

Kennedy’s "Albany cycle" of novels has helped to establish the city as an internationally recognized capital of the literary imagination. The New York State Writers Institute, founded by Kennedy in 1983, is responsible for making Albany a famous crossroads on the map of world literature for visiting writers in all genres and fields.

Read more about this occasion and the news coverage of the event.

Film screening with commentary by writer/director Rodrigo Reyes

February 2 (Friday) 7:00 p.m. Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus

(Mexico/United States, 2016, no rating, 78 minutes, color, in Spanish with English subtitles)

Rodrigo Reyes’, right, debut fiction feature, LUPE UNDER THE SUN, won the two top prizes—Best Film and Best Narrative Feature—at the 2017 Brooklyn Film Festival. A first-of-its-kind dramatic film that uses non-actors who are real farm workers, LUPE follows the grinding routine of an aging Mexican migrant worker in southern California as he comes to terms with his past. Watch a trailer, listen to a podcast and read more.

Cosponsored by the Mohawk Regional Migrant Education Tutorial and Support Program (METS) of the New York State Department of Education.

2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Keynote Speaker: Michele Norris

February 6 (Tuesday): 7:00 p.m., Campus Center Ballroom, Uptown Campus

Michele Norris, eminent American broadcast journalist, became the first African-American female host in the history of National Public Radio, serving as anchor of its flagship evening news program All Things Considered from 2002 to 2015.

Previously, she served as an ABC News correspondent, winning both the Emmy and Peabody awards for her coverage of the 9/11 attacks. In 2014, she received a second Peabody for her NPR Race Card Project, which invites listeners to comment on matters of race in exactly six words. She is also the author of the memoir, The Grace of Silence (2010), which Toni Morrison called, "an insightful, elegant rendering of how the history of an American family illuminates the history of our country." There will be a reception in the Patroon Room from 5:30-6:45 p.m. before the program begins. Read more.

Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Student Association, and University Auxiliary Services in collaboration with the Writers Institute

Emily Witt, investigative journalist and author

February 8 (Thursday)

Presentation/Q&A 7:30 p.m., Campus Center Room 375, Uptown Campus

Emily Witt is the author of Future Sex (2016), a brave, first-hand investigation of the many varieties of sex and dating in 21st century America. In candid fashion, the 30-something author shares her search for love in a confusing world of dating apps, transient hook-ups, and novel sexual cultures.

The New York Times reviewer called the book, "smart, funny, beautifully written…." The Boston Globe reviewer said, "These gorgeously written essays, linked by tone, style, and a singular ambitious purpose, are brimming with intellect and infused with a caustic, compelling humor." Read more about Emily Witt.

Sponsored by the Writers Institute in association with UAlbany’s Sexuality Month, a program of the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program of Counseling and Psychological Services

A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of James Baldwin, featuring Darryl Pinckney
February 9 (Friday)

Student readings of Baldwin’s work with commentary by Darryl Pinckney — 4:15 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus

Darryl Pinckney, novelist, playwright, essayist, and author of the acclaimed new novel Black Deutschland (2016), will provide commentary on selections from the works of James Baldwin, one of the iconic authors of the 20th century. Selections will be presented on stage by UAlbany students.

In a Boston Globe review of Black Deutschland, John Freeman said, "The essayist and novelist Darryl Pinckney probably knows Baldwin’s life and work better than any living American, and in his long-awaited second novel, Black Deutschland, he pays Baldwin the highest tribute: telling a story in which a man much like Baldwin — a gay, black, alcoholic ex-pat — learns that who he is, who he loves, where he’s from can’t be disentangled." Read more.

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO Film screening with commentary by Darryl Pinckney 
February 9 (Friday) 

Screening with commentary by Darryl Pinckney 7:00 p.m. Friday, February 9, Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus
Screening only 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28; and 12:15 p.m. Thursday, March 1, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus.

Directed by Raoul Peck (United States, 2017, 93 minutes, PG-13, color and b/w)


Based on James Baldwin’s unfinished memoir, Remember This House, this Oscar-nominated documentary presents his meditations on the history of racism in the United States and his perspectives on slain civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The Guardian called it, "one of the best movies about the civil rights era ever made." Watch the trailer

Presented by the Writers Institute in conjunction with the Performing Arts Center with support provided by The University at Albany Foundation, 

Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, University Auxiliary Services, English Department, Sexuality Month, and the Diversity Transformation Fund administered through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion

February 16 (Friday) 

Film screening with commentary by commentary by co-director and screenwriter Gloria La Morte

7:00 p.m. Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus

(United States, 2009, 80 minutes, color, in Spanish with English subtitles)

A powerful film about the experience of new immigrants, ENTRE NOS presents the story of a Colombian woman and her two young children struggling to survive on the streets of New York City. Watch the trailer and read more.

Cosponsored by the UAlbany Department of Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies

NYS Writers Institute

Science Library 320

University at Albany

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222

(518) 442-5620

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