Contemporary Writers Series
2003-2004

William Kennedy

William Kennedy headshot

September 18
Montante Cultural Center, 8 p.m. 

William Kennedy is a lifetime resident of Albany, New York. The novels in his Albany cycle include Legs, Billy Phelan's Greatest Game, and Ironweed, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and, based on his screenplay, made into a film starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. His most recent novel, Roscoe, was named one of the Best Books of 2002 by the New York Times Book Review; it was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. He is the founder and executive director of the New York State Writers Institute. To read Mark Shechner's review of William Kennedy's Roscoe, click here.

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Michael JoyceMichael Joyce headshot

November 6, 8 p.m.
Grupp Fireside Lounge

Michael Joyce was born and raised in South Buffalo. He earned a BA in English and Philosophy from Canisius College and an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. His first novel, The War Outside Ireland, received the Great Lakes New Writers Award. He is the author of acclaimed hypertext fictions, including afternoon, a story and Twilight, A Symphony. His critical studies include Othermindedness: the Emergence of Network Culture; Of Two Minds: Hypertext Pedagogy and Poetics; and Moral Tales and Meditations. His most recent novel is Liam's Going. He is professor of English at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. 

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Edwidge DanticatEdwidge Danticat headshot

March 11
Montante Cultural Center, 8 p.m.

Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti and came to the United States when she was twelve years old. She graduated from Barnard College and received her MFA from Brown University. Her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, was published in 1994; the next year, her story collection, Krik? Krak! was named a finalist for the National Book Award. Her second novel, The Farming of the Bones, won the American Book Award. She is the author ofBehind the Mountains, a young adult novel, and After the Dance, a nonfiction narrative of Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti. She was named one of twenty "Best Young American Novelists" by Granta magazine in 1996, and in 1999 was selected by The New Yorkeras one of the "Best Twenty Writers for the Twenty-First Century." She is the editor of The Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora and The Beacon Best of 2000: Great Writing by Women and Men of All Colors and Cultures. She lives in New York City. 

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Sharon OldsSharon Olds headshot

April 1
Montante Cultural Center, 8 p.m. 

Sharon Olds was born in San Francisco and educated at Stanford University and Columbia University. She is the author of seven books of poetry, among them, Satan Says, which received the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award; The Dead and the Living, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lamont Poetry Prize; The Gold Cell; The Father, which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize in England; The Wellspring; Blood, Tin, Straw; and The Unswept Room. She's received a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and, this past year, was awarded the 68th Academy Fellowship for Poetic Achievement from the Academy of American Poets. She currently lives in New York City and teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University. 

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