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Skidmore College
New York State Summer Writers Institute

2021 Visiting Writers and Public Readings 

Public Readings for the summer of 2021 will be offered online and begin at 7 pm according to the schedule below. Reservations are not required.
Attend the Readings HERE

Writers Institute Students will offer readings of their own work Wednesdays June 30, July 7, 14 and 21.

With sponsorship from our partners at New York State Writers Institute and Northshire Bookstores.

2021 Visiting Writers and Public Readings (print version)

Monday, June 28:
Poet Campbell McGrath (American Noise) and Novelist Elizabeth Benedict (The Practice of Deceit)
Tuesday, June 29:
A Conversation with Novelist Claire Messud (The Woman Upstairs, The Emperor’s Children) and Literary Critic and Novelist James Wood (The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Guardian)
Thursday, July 1:
Poet Gregory Pardlo (Pulitizer Prize, Digest) and Memoirist Phillip Lopate (Getting Personal)
Monday, July 5:
Poet Vijay Seshadri (Pulitzer Prize, 3 Sections) and Novelist Adam Braver (Misfit, 1963, Crows Over The Wheatfield)
Tuesday, July 6:
Fictionist Adam Haslett (Imagine Me Gone) and Novelist Calvin Baker (A More Perfect Reunion: Race, Integrationand The Future of America)
Thursday, July 8:
Poet Charles Simic (Pulitzer Prize: The Lunatic: Poems, Hotel Insomnia) and Poet Rosanna Warren (Ghost in a Red Hat)
Monday, July 12:
Novelist Rick Moody (The Ice Storm, Hotels of North America) and Memoirist Honor Moore (Our Revolution: A Mother and Daughter at Mid-Century
Tuesday, July 13:
Poet Peg Boyers (To Forget Venice, Hard Bread, Honey With Tobacco) and Novelist Mary Gaitskill (The Mare, Veronica)
Thursday, July 15:
Novelist Russell Banks (Foregone, Affliction, The Lost Memory of Skin) and Poet Chase Twichell (Things as It Is)
Monday, July 19:
Fictionist Dana Johnson (Break Any Woman Down, Elsewhere, California) and Novelist-memoirist Danzy Senna (Caucasia, Where Did You Sleep Last Night)
Tuesday, July 20:
Novelist Joyce Carol Oates (Zombie, Blonde, The (Other) You: Stories) and Novelist Percival Everett (Telephone: A Novel)
Thursday, July 22:
Novelist-Memoirist Jamaica Kincaid (Among Flowers, Autobiography Of My Mother, Lucy) and Poet Henri Cole (Blizzard: Poems, Nothing To Declare)

Visiting writers biographies; faculty bios can be found here:

Russell Banks is the author of Cloudsplitter, Continental Drift, The Book of Jamaica, and many other works of fiction. Banks’s novels Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter (three Cannes Film Festival awards) have been made into successful feature films. His novel Rule of the Bone was praised by Cornel West as the work of “a great writer wrestling with the hidden secrets and explosive realities of this country.” The Darling is Banks’ political novel. (“Russell Banks’s twentieth-century Liberia is as hellish a place as Joseph Conrad’s nineteenth century Congo. The only creatures that behave with humanity are the apes. A dark and disturbing book,” writes Michael Ondaatje.) Banks’ 2011 novel is Lost Memory of Skin. Janet Maslin in The New York Times: “Destined to be a canonical novel of our time…delivers another of Banks’ wrenching, panoramic visions of American life.”

Jamaica Kincaid is the author of many books, including Mr. Potter (described by Robert Boyers as “a perfect, perfectly heartbreaking novel”), Lucy, At The Bottom of the River, Annie John, My Brother, A Small Place, Autobiography of My Mother, and other books. Her most recent novel is See Now Then. Kincaid is described as follows in The New York Times: “She has the gift of endowing common experience with a mythic ferocity... She is one of our most scouringly vivid writers.”

Charles Simic is a Serbian American poet and former co-poetry editor of the Paris Review. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 for The World Doesn't End, and was a finalist of the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for Selected Poems, 1963-1983 and in 1987 for Unending Blues. He was appointed the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2007.

Chase Twichell is an American poet, professor, publisher, and, in 1999, the founder of Ausable Press. Her most recent poetry collection is Things as It Is. Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been earned her Claremont Graduate University's Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Her work has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Artists’ Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

James Wood has been a staff writer and book critic at The New Yorker since 2007. In 2009, he won the National Magazine Award for reviews and criticism. He was the chief literary critic at the Guardian, in London, from 1992 to 1995, and a senior editor at The New Republic from 1995 to 2007. His critical essays are collected in The Broken Estate: Essays on Literature and Belief; The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays. He is also the author of the novel The Book Against God and a study of technique in the novel, How Fiction Works. His

Previous visiting writers include Louise Glück, Mary Gordon, Tom Healy, Margo Jefferson, William Kennedy, Binnie Kirshenbaum, John McWhorter, James Miller, Michael Ondaatje, Caryl Phillips, Robert Pinsky, Katha Pollitt, Francine Prose and Victoria Redel.

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