Herbert H. & Sonia P. Reuner Library Writers Series

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.

 

2017 Guest Speaker

Okey Ndibe

Okey Ndibe

Thursday, November 9, 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall
Free and Open to the Public

Okey Ndibe is the author of the novels Never look an American in the eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the making of a Nigerian American, Foreign Gods, Inc., and Arrows of Rain, and co-editor (with Zimbabwean writer Chenjerai Hove) of Writers Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa. Janet Maslin of The New York Times as well as Philadelphia Inquirer, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Mosaic magazine named Foreign Gods, Inc. one of the 10 best books of 2014. The novel was also included in National Public Radio’s list of best books of 2014.


Past Guests of the Library Writers Series

Fall 2016: Sapphire
Fall 2015: Abigail Thomas and Kim Wozencraft
Fall 2014: Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
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 

 


Sapphire

Thursday, November 17, 2016
10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Author reading, interview, Q & A, book signing


Sapphire is the author of two bestselling novels, Push and The Kid.  Push was made into the Academy Award-winning major motion film, Precious. The film adaptation received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.  Sapphire is also the author of two collections of poetry.

Sapphire’s poetry, fiction, and essays, have appeared in The Black Scholar, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Teacher’s Voice, The New Yorker, Spin, and Bomb. She has taught literature, fiction, and poetry, workshops at SUNY Purchase, Trinity College, and the Writer’s Voice in New York City and graduate writing workshops at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Brooklyn College, and at the New School University.

Sapphire’s presentation, poetry, novels, and the film Precious, all speak to issues of overcoming adversity and empowerment. Learn more of the 2016 lecture by Sapphire.

Sapphire

 


Abigail Thomas and Kim Wozencraft
Tuesday, November 10
11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.
College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall

Real Writing: Truth or Dare

Nina Shengold, award-winning author & playwright and former SUNY Ulster artist-in-residence, will interview the authors and moderate the audience discussion. Learn more about her from her website.

Abigail Thomas is the author of the memoir, A THREE DOG LIFE, which was named one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. Her memoir SAFEKEEPING was published in 2001 and WHAT COMES NEXT and HOW TO LIKE IT, Thomas' third memoir, was published this spring. Her first three books, GETTING OVER TOM, AN ACTUAL LIFE, and HERB'S PAJAMAS are works of fiction. Abigail's poetry and other works have appeared in The Nation, The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Tin House, and numerous literary magazines. Thomas lives in Woodstock, NY.

Kim Wozencraft is the author of several critically acclaimed novels, including the internationally best-selling RUSH which was adapted to a feature film starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jason Patric. Wozencraft's work has appeared in The Best American Essays, Texas Monthly, The Los Angeles Times, Chronogram, and numerous literary magazines and anthologies. She is a professor of English at SUNY Ulster.

Learn more of the 2015 lecture.

Abigail Thomas

Kim Wozencraft

 

 

 


 Saïd Sayrafiezadeh 

Thursday, November 6, 2014 
11:45 am - 1 pm 
College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall

Author Saïd Sayrafiezadeh was born in Brooklyn and raised in Pittsburgh. Most recently, he wrote the story collection, Brief Encounters With the Enemy, shortlisted for the 2014 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Fiction Prize, and the critically acclaimed memoir When Skateboards Will Be Free, selected as one of the 10 best books of the year by Dwight Garner of The New York Times. He is the recipient of a 2010 Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and a 2012 fiction fellowship from the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

Sayrafiezadeh teaches creative writing at Hunter College and New York University, where he received a 2013 Outstanding Teaching Award.
Thomas Impola, Associate Professor of English at SUNY Ulster, will interview the author and moderate the audience discussion.
Click here for more information.  This event is co-sponsored by Macdonald DeWitt Library and the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc.

Said Sayrafiezadeh


 


 

Diane Ackerman
November 5, 2013

Bestselling Author, Poet & Naturalist

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.

photo of Diane Ackerman

 


Jaimy Gordon
November 9, 2011

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.

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.

 

gordon

 

 


Da Chen
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 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.     


Da Chen 



Michael Cunningham

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 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.

Michael Cunningham

 


 

 

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