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According to Dissent Magazine, Joshua Bennett is “one of the most impressive voices in poetry today… quietly building a reputation as one the brightest intellectual and political thinkers of a new generation.” Bennett’s new collection, "OWED," perfectly melds his apt social and political commentary with the warmth and familiarity of the human experience.

This collection serves as an open letter to the people, places, and objects that have colored Bennett’s past and led to his present. Bennett’s primary concern is how we might mend the relationship between ourselves and the things that we have been taught to think of as insignificant.

In "OWED," Bennett speaks to the expansive range of registers within the world of black aesthetics and experience: the joy, rage, love, terror, and awe that gives a world within a world all its shape and tenor.

Mark Doty is the author of more than 10 volumes of poetry and three memoirs, including "Heaven's Coast," "Firebird," and the New York Times best selling "Dog Years," as well as a book about craft and criticism, "The Art of Description: World into Word."

His latest is "What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life."

Drawing on forty years of published work, Jay Rogoff’s "Loving in Truth: New and Selected Poems" marks a milestone in the career. The volume presents over one hundred poems from earlier collections alongside forty¬-seven poems previously unavailable in book form.

Throughout his body of work, Rogoff interweaves craft and feeling as he contemplates immigrant ancestors, foreign adventures, baseball, ballet, and the uncanny entwinings of art and life.

Jay Rogoff is the author of six previous collections of poetry, including "The Art of Gravity" and "Venera." His poems and criticism have appeared in numerous journals, and he serves as dance critic for the Hopkins Review.

Book Cover for "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" and author photo of Ocean Vuong
Author photo by Tom Hines

Brilliant, heartbreaking, tender, and highly original - poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel, “On Earth, We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling written as a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. 

Sharon Olds is renowned for poetry that examines marriage, motherhood, intimacy, and the human condition. She is the author of 13 books of poetry and received both the Pulitzer Prize and England’s T. S. Eliot Prize.

Her new collection, “Arias,” explores political conscience, race and class in poems delivered with operatic passion, anguish and solo force.


High wire artist Philippe Petit visits the University at Albany as part of The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany on Thursday, October 3, 2019.
Patrick Dodson

Philippe Petit has performed on the high wire more than 80 times around the world; he is also a magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, lecturer, writer and subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary "Man on Wire."

Petit’s first “coup” was walking between the towers of Notre Dame in Paris in 1971. He followed with a walk between the pylons of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, setting the stage for “the artistic crime of the century,” his Twin Towers walk a quarter of a mile above the sidewalks of New York in 1974.

We spoke with Petit on stage on October 3 as part of UAlbany’s Creative Life series. The Creative Life is created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

  This week's Book Picks from Lily Bartels at The Open Door Bookstore and Gift Gallery in Schenectady, NY.

List:
"Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love" by Dani Shapiro
"Never Home Alone: The Natural History of Where We Live" by Rob Dunn
"The Dakota Winters" by Tom Barbash
"After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet" by Julie Dobrow
"The Travelling Cat Chronicles" by Hiro Arikawa
"Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year" by Nosy Crow and Fiona Waters

Djelloul Marbrook is the author of ten poetry books and ten fiction books. He has won the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize, the International Book Award in poetry, and the Literal Latté fiction award for "Artist's Hill."

His poetry and fiction has been widely published in journals and anthologies. He lives in the mid-Hudson Valley and had a long newspaper career including stints at the Providence (RI) Journal, the Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, the Baltimore Sun, and the Washington Star.

His new poetry volume – “The Seas Are Dolphins’ Tears” is just out - as is his trilogy of novels.

Jessica Hornik will be reading and signing "A Door on the River: Poems" at three events over the next few weeks. She will be at the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, New York tonight, at Russell Sage in Troy, New York on October 25, and she will participate in the Volume Reading Series at Spotty Dog Books and Ale in Hudson, New York on November 10.

In her first book, Hornik’s poems carry power rooted in nature, place, and family. "A Door on the River" marks the emergence of a beautiful, confident voice in the landscape of American poetry. Jessica Hornik was born in Albany and was raised in Clifton Park. She earned degrees from Cornell and New York University.

Brad Gooch is a poet, novelist, and biographer, whose most recent book is Rumi's Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love. He is the author of ten previous works, including: the memoir Smash Cut; the acclaimed biography of Frank O'Hara, City Poet; and Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, which was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and New York Times best seller. The recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships, he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and is Professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

In Rumi's Secret, Gooch brings to life the man and puts a face to the name Rumi, vividly coloring in his time and place—a world as rife with conflict as our own.

“The Children Are Reading” is a new collection of poetry by Gabriel Fried that takes readers into the magically dark and twisted worlds of children’s literature and children’s imaginations, as well as the fearful fantasies of the adults who care for them.

Gabriel Fried is the author of "Making the New Lamb Take," winner of the Kathryn Morton Prize, which was named a top poetry collection of 2007 by Foreword Reviews and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is also the editor of an anthology, "Heart of the Order: Baseball Poems," and longtime poetry editor of Persea Books. He teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Missouri.

Jamaican-born Everton Sylvester is a founding member of the Brooklyn Funk Essentials. He has been touring, writing, and recording with BFE for the past 25 years and half a dozen albums. Lead vocalist and/or writer on many of Funk Essentials’ most loved hits.

Everton’s spoken-word lyrics are set to deep Jamaican grooves by Searching for Banjo, lending the feel of a roots-reggae bash. Everton will be performing tracks from his just-released album “Trial Separation,” as well as some Brooklyn Funk Essentials classics when he performs on Sunday night at 7PM at Helsinki Hudson as part of The Rogovoy Salon series. 

Jay Rogoff is the author of six books of poetry. His latest full-length collection, Enamel Eyes, A Fantasia On Paris, 1870, a lyrical sequence with the breadth and depth of a historical novel, considers the events of "the terrible year" through multiple perspectives.

The Franco-Prussian War, the siege of Paris, and the Commune come alive through the eyes and voices of a variety of historical figures who witnessed and participated in the events.

Jay Rogoff will have a poetry reading on Friday night at the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga to celebrate his new collection, Enamel Eyes, A Fantasia on Paris, 1870. 

Amber Tamblyn’s directorial debut, Paint it Black, will screen twice at the Woodstock Film Festival - tonight at 6:30 at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock and Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre in Saugerties at 5:30 p.m. She will also participate in the festival’s "Women in Film and Media" panel on Saturday October 15 at the Kleinert James Art Center in Woodstock. Other participants in the panel are Bette Gordon, Catherine Hardwicke, and Mary Stewart Masterson. The panel is moderated by Thelma Adams.

Based on the novel of the same name by Janet Fitch, Paint it Black explores and explodes the confusion of grief when Josie’s boyfriend, Michael, commits suicide and his death brings her into the orbit of his powerful and powerfully cold and heartbroken mother, Meredith. Their strained relationship circling around who knew Michael better, who loved him more, and what can they get from - and do to - each other now that he is gone.

Tamblyn co-wrote the adaptation with Ed Dougherty. It stars Alia Shawkat as Josie and Janet McTeer as Meredith.

This year marks the 7th year of the Woodstock Writers Festival where they will once again bring readers outstanding panels, speakers, fabulous parties, workshops, and lots of great literary talk.

The festival, held April 7 to 10, will also feature the usual story slam, intensive writing workshops, memoir and other panels, plus keynote speaker Nancy Jo Sales, who writes about the experience of teenage girls in the Internet age; Barney Hoskyns with his tell-all of Woodstock in the 1960s; activist Gail Straub moderating a discussion on spirituality and creativity. The festival will also include an addiction panel for the first time, offering inspiration from writers who have experience with the difficult path from addiction to recovery.

We get a festival preview with Martha Frankel and Kitty Sheehan.

  Professor Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright and teacher. She was recently named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, as well as the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. In 2009, she composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

In her memoir, The Light of the World, she finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. She tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. She reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband’s death, and the solace found in caring for her two sons.

  Donald Hall has lived a remarkable life of letters, a career capped by a National Medal of the Arts, awarded by the president. Now, in the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of very old age, he is writing searching essays that startle, move, and delight.

  Edgar Allan Poe was an oddity. His life was odd, his literature is odd, his legacy is odd. Actually, his legacy is the oddest part about him.

In the new Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe, J. W. Ocker explores Poe's strange physical legacy along the East Coast and across the ocean by touring Poe's homes, examining artifacts from his life--locks of his hair, pieces of his coffin, original manuscripts, the bed where his wife died--and traveling to the many memorials dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe.

Poe-Land is a unique travel diary that follows the afterlife of the poet, author, and critic who invented detective fiction, advanced the emerging genre of science fiction, and elevated the horror genre with an unrivaled mastery over the macabre that has made the genre what it is today.

"Venera" By Jay Rogoff

Apr 21, 2014

    

  Jay Rogoff has taught at Skidmore College since 1995; first in the former Liberal Studies Program, and since 2001 in the English Department, where he teaches courses in poetry, poetry writing, nonfiction writing, arts reviewing and criticism, Shakespeare, and twentieth century poetry.

His new poetry collection is Venera. It is Rogoff’s fifth book. In it, a husband consoles his wife when she is wakened by an imaginary child; another man daydreams of his kindergarten crush. Mary at the Annunciation, stunned by Gabriel’s inhuman beauty, contemplates her decades of purity stretching ahead.

Drawing on the natural world, personal intimacy, and the imagination as evoked in visual art and biblical narrative, Rogoff’s poems detail our drive to both acts of veneration and submission to Venus’s sensuous power.

    Edna St. Vincent Millay was the most celebrated poet of her time and a significant figure in the 20th century American literature. Throughout her career, Millay led a life unfettered by conventions. Nowhere could she enjoy personal freedom and her own boundless imagination more than when she retreated to Steepletop, her beloved country estate, in Austerlitz.

The Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at Steepletop will debut a new exhibition of rare photos and personal treasures. The show opens with a fundraising reception on Millay’s birthday – that’s this Saturday, February 22 from 5:30-9:30 pm at McDaris Fine Art in Hudson, NY.

      In His Day is Done, Maya Angelou delivers an authentically heartfelt and elegant tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, who stood as David to the mighty Goliath of Apartheid and who, after twenty-seven years of unjust imprisonment on the notorious Robben Island, emerged with “His stupendous heart intact / His gargantuan will / Hale and hearty” to lead his people into a new era.

Maya Angelou joins us to discuss the poem and the loss of a man she feels fortunate to have called a friend.

    Two-term Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins has put together his first compilation of new and selected poems in twelve years.

Aimless Love combines more than fifty new poems with selections from four previous books - Nine Horses, The Trouble with Poetry, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead.

Collins’s unmistakable voice, which brings together plain speech with imaginative surprise, is clearly heard on every page, reminding us how he has managed to enrich the tapestry of contemporary poetry and greatly expand its audience.