The SUNY Ulster Herbert H. & Sofia P. Reuner Library Writers Series is a special program
sponsored by The Ulster Community College Foundation, begun in 1998, that brings renowned
writers to campus every fall. This is a truly unique opportunity for SUNY Ulster students
and community members to hear award winning authors read from their work.
Each guest writer presents a reading of their work, open to the public, in the evening. If possible, a question and answer session in the college lounge during the day, open to students and the public, will also be scheduled.
Fall 2013: Diane Ackerman
Fall 2012: Cancelled due to weather
Fall 2011: Jaimy Gordon
Fall 2010: Da Chen
Fall 2009: Michael Cunningham
Fall 2008: David Rakoff
Fall 2007: Francine Prose
Fall 2006: Carolyn Forché
Fall 2005: Billy Collins
Fall 2004: Joyce Carol Oates
Fall 2003: Gail Godwin
Fall 2001: Tess Gallagher
Fall 2000: Philip Levine
Fall 1999: Gerald Stern
Fall 1998: Gioia Timpanelli
Herbert H. & Sofia P. Reuner Library Writers Series
Bestselling Author, Poet & Naturalist
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
1:15 p.m. College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall
Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry, including the bestselling A Natural History of the Senses. Her most recent book, the memoir One Hundred Names for Love, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National book Critics Circle Award, and the Books for a Better Life Award. Her nonfiction book, The Zookeeper’s Wife, is about one of the most successful hideouts of World War II – a tale of people, animals, and subversive acts of compassion.
Author of the 2010 National Book Award-winning novel Lord of Misrule Jaimy Gordon graduated from Antioch College, and received her Doctor of Arts from Brown University. Gordon's second novel, She Drove Without Stopping, brought her an Academy-Institute Award. Her third novel, Bogeywoman, made the Los Angeles Times Best Books List for 2000. Gordon currently teaches at Western Michigan University and in the Prague Summer Program for Writers.
National Book Award-Winning Author Jaimy Gordon to Read at SUNY Ulster .. McPherson & Co. of Kingston Published Lord of Misrule ... With her reading on Nov. 9, 2011 at SUNY Ulster, 2010 National Book Award winner Jaimy Gordon will come full circle with a local publisher who helped launch her writing career
and encouraged her for years to complete her surprise winning novel, Lord of Misrule.
The Kalamazoo, Michigan author and writing professor at Western Michigan University went from being virtually unknown in the mainstream literary world to win one of the highest honors in American fiction with her sixth novel that depicts an entire world of run-down second-rate racetracks with vivid descriptions of horses.
Jaimy Gordon by Alan Ritch
"People in our country are fascinated with fame and celebrity and radical turns of
luck like mine," she says. "In our culture, the average person identifies with the
underdog who has had a huge stroke of luck, even if it's deserved."
Gordon's local appearance comes through a long-time friendship with Bruce McPherson of McPherson & Co. of Kingston who published her first underground fantasy classic, Shamp of the City-Solo, when she was still a graduate student, after the two met while taking a poetry class together at Brown in Providence, R.I.
"Jaimy has an extraordinary command of language and metaphors, and her ability to paint a scene is breathtaking," Bruce McPherson said. "She can capture character in a voice like very few writers. She has both comic and tragic sensibility and can work both sides of the road."
Seeing its potential for mainstream literary acclaim, McPherson pushed Gordon every summer for nearly 10 years, after first reading Lord of Misrule in 1999, to finish it and then entered it into the National Book Award competition.
"Bruce McPherson was there at the very beginning of my career when I had no career, and then again, partly by chance, partly by his own unaccountable expectations, last year, when my career seemed to be slumping towards its end," she says. "He just about trapped me into finishing Lord of Misrule."
Winning the National Book Award for the horse racing novel was a complete long shot. As McPherson recalls, "No one expected her to win. When she was shortlisted, we were astounded and overjoyed. It was unprecedented. To actually win was out of the question."
Gordon is candid about her lack of savvy in managing her writing career, being easily distracted from her writing by her outside interests, such as opera and classical music, and not working as hard as she should have to stay in front of the public.
She offers this advice to young writers and others on finding happiness in the arts, whether or not they find fame: "Keep at it. Practice pays off. You do get to be a better writer and others will see that. Do things you are genuinely interested in and be generous to other people."
Gordon's second novel, She Drove Without Stopping, brought her an Academy-Institute Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her third novel, Bogeywoman, made the Los Angeles Times Best Books List for 2000. She is currently working on a novel to be published by Pantheon Books Pantheon Books about a young American Jewish food writer married to a German photographer who discovers six Jews hiding in a cave since they never came back from a picnic in 1936.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
10:30 a.m.: Question and Answer Session
7:00 p.m.: Author's Reading
Vanderlyn Hall, Student Lounge
Da Chen grew up in the deep south of China. He arrived in America at the age of 23 with $30 in his pocket, his bamboo flute and a heart filled with hope. He attended Columbia University School of Law on a full scholarship. His books are translated into eleven languages. He currently lives with his family in upstate New York.
He is best known for his memoirs Colors of the Mountain and Sounds of the River. He is the recipient of the 2007 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. His books are translated into eleven languages. He currently lives with his family in upstate New York.
Both the 10:30 am and the 7:00 pm events will be held in the Vanderlyn Hall Student Lounge, on the College’s Stone Ridge campus, and are free and open to the public.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author ( The Hours )
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
1 p.m. Question and Answer Session
7:00 p.m. Author's Reading
Vanderlyn Hall, Student Lounge
Michael Cunningham is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Michener Fellowship from the University of Iowa. His novel A Home at the End of the World met wide acclaim in 1990. A film version of The Hours featured Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep.
His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review and other publications.
Both events will be held in the Vanderlyn Hall Student Lounge, on the College’s Stone Ridge campus, are free and open to the public.