New York State Writers Institute Announces Fall 2022 Season


A Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, a writer of apocalyptic fiction, social justice themes, and “space, the final frontier” are some of the New York State Writers Institute’s proposals for its fall 2022 season. This marks also the fifth year of the Albany Book Festival, the flagship event of the season.

The season will include discussions with acclaimed writers throughout the fall, including New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander; Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” at an event co-sponsored by the College of Saint Rose; American Book Award-winning poet Carolyn Forché; and Melissa Gilbert, star of the classic TV show “Little House on the Prairie” and author of “Back to the Prairie: A Home Remade, A Life Rediscovered.”

A screening of “A Tear in the Sky,” featuring “Star Trek”‘s William Shatner and famed physicist Michio Kaku, will kick off the season at 7:30 p.m. on August 26. The documentary follows a team of military and scientists attempting to recapture UFO evidence to answer the question “Are we alone?” A panel discussion with Kevin Knuth and Matthew Szydagis, two University of Albany physics professors who worked on the team, will follow the film.

The book festival, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 17, will feature more than 100 authors and poets at the Campus Center in UAlbany. Festival highlights include Garry Trudeau, creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip “Doonesbury”; award-winning novelist and Pulitzer finalist Susan Choi, author of “Trust Exercise”; and former American Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. The festival will also include online workshops, panel discussions, family activities and local authors signing and selling their books.

“We created the Albany Book Festival as a way to re-emphasize and celebrate the capital’s great literary tradition,” said Paul Grondahl, director of the Writers Institute. “It promotes literacy while bringing together a diverse group of amazing writers and great crowds of book lovers.

All fall season events will take place at UAlbany’s Downtown and Downtown campuses and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Masks are strongly encouraged. For more information and a complete season schedule, visit or contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620.

  • August 26: Screening of the film “A Tear in the Sky” and Q&A with University of Albany professors Kevin Knuth and Matthew Szydagis
  • September 6: African Americans and Asian Americans – Sharing Cultures with Asha Lemmie, novelist, and Bohan Phoenix, rap music artist
  • September 17: Albany Book Festival
  • September 20: Stories from Central New York with Andrea Barrett
  • September 22: Living an Authentic Life with Zaina Arafat
  • September 29: A woman of endurance with Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa
  • October 6: Children’s Literature Superstar with Kwame Alexander
  • October 11: Lighting the fire of the Black Lives Matter movement with Michelle Alexander, co-sponsored by the College of Saint Rose. Registration required.
  • Oct. 14: School of Business: Symposium and Awards Ceremony
  • October 18: The Creative Life with Lucy Sante in conversation with Joe Donahue
  • October 20: “Wicked” author Gregory Maguire
  • October 25: We Refuse to Forget with Caleb Gayle
  • October 27: Screening of the film “To be Hmong is to be free”
  • October 28: Telling the Truth 2022 Symposium with panelists Jill Abramson and Nandini Jammi
  • 24 Oct-Nov 4: Display of Paj ntaub (Hmong history fabrics)
  • November 1: Empire State Archives & History Prize organized by Harold Holzer. Registration required, live streaming option available.
  • November 3: “The Latehomecomer” by Kao Kalia Yang Stage adaptation from literature to life. For tickets, visit
  • November 9: Feminism, Fame, Art, Trade and Autonomy with Elisa Albert
  • November 16: The Creative Life with Maira Kalman in conversation with Joe Donahue
  • November 17: great American poet Carolyn Forché
  • November 30: Home Remade, Life Rediscovered with Melissa Gilbert in conversation with Joe Donahue

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