Reading

Since 1985, Vassar and New York Stage and Film have been partners in the Powerhouse season, a collaboration known for being the springboard for new productions that go on to theaters across the country and around the world.

The 2019 season began this past weekend and continues through July 28 bringing some of the most influential theatrical voices working today to Poughkeepsie, New York for fully-staged productions, workshops, and readings of new plays and musicals, and readings of other works in progress.

Johanna Pfaelzer is the Artistic Director of New York Stage and Film and she joins us with a preview.

It may be hard to believe, but this year marks the 10th annual Woodstock Bookfest and they will be busily igniting the conversation by bringing readers and writers together for a weekend of discussion and celebration.

Taking place from March 28–31, the festival hosts classes, panels, keynotes, Story Slams, parties and more, all in the unique surroundings of Woodstock.

Martha Frankel is the Executive Director of the Woodstock Bookfest and she joins us this morning along with award winning novelist, James Lasdun.

Consider it a literary bucket list. The new book, "1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List" is an extraordinary book that’s as readable, entertaining, surprising, and enlightening as the 1,000-plus titles it recommends.

Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history, and more, "1,000 Books to Read Before You Die" ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation: You have to read this. But it’s not a proscriptive list of the “great works,” rather, it’s a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage.

The man responsible is James Mustich. James began his career in bookselling at an independent book store in Briarcliff Manor, New York, in the early 1980s. In 1986, he co-founded the acclaimed book catalog, A Common Reader, and was for two decades its guiding force.

This Saturday, September 29, The New York State Writers Institute presents The Albany Book Festival. A fun way to celebrate authors, books and readers, the Albany Book Festival will run between 10a.m. and 4p.m. at UAlbany's uptown campus. Kicking off with a dance party, the Albany Book Festival presents conversations on genres such as food, mystery, history, and memoirs of new Americans.

The festival will feature renowned authors Doris Kearns Goodwin, Walter Mosley, Khizr Khan, Gregory Maguire and many more.

Joining us today is Director of New York State Writers Institute Paul Grondahl and Co-Director of Grassroot Givers Mary Partridge-Brown.

The Great American Read

Sep 20, 2018

The Great American Read on PBS is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey.) The 100 books have been placed into a bracket and divided into quadrants based on the years they were published: The Classics, Mid-Century, Late Century and Contemporary.

The Great American Read investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.

We were joined by Social Media Coordinator at WMHT Danielle Sanzone, Director of the Greenwich Free Library Annie Miller; librarian at Albany Public Library Christina Stenson-Carey; Suzanna Hermans of Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck and Millerton; and Matt Tannenbaum of The Bookstore in Lenox, MA.

In her admired works of fiction, including the recent "The Book That Matters Most," best-selling author Ann Hood explores the transformative power of literature.

In her new book, "Morningstar," she reveals the personal story behind beloved novels in her life.

It may be hard to believe, but this year - 2018 - marks the 9th annual Woodstock Bookfest. And they will be busily igniting the conversation by bringing readers and writers together for a weekend of discussion and celebration.

Taking place from March 22nd – 25th, they’ll host classes, panels, keynotes, Story Slams, parties and more, all in the unique surroundings of Woodstock.

Martha Frankel is the Executive Director of the Woodstock Bookfest.

The World is Just a Book Away is an anthology edited by USC professor James Owens that captures the stories of how books and reading inspired some of the world's most prominent people.

Recognizing the life-changing nature of reading, Owens set out in 2002 to create this deeply moving book. At first glance, the sixty contributors to this anthology may not seem to have much in common yet they all share their personal love of books and reading.

The Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District will hold its annual Holiday Book Sale from Friday, November 17 through Sunday, November 19 at Locust Grove, the Samuel Morse Historic Site on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, NY.

The Friends Book Store, at the Boardman Road Branch Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 17 and 18 as well.

The Holiday Book Sale features gift-quality books and media, sorted into multiple categories. This year’s sale, with the most books ever in the history of our Holiday Sale, includes a large selection of needlework and crafts books, as well as fine arts and arts-instruction books and manuals.

There will be a separate room for individually priced vintage items, coffee-table books, books of local interest, collectible books and books signed by authors.

The Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District is an all-volunteer organization that supports the district’s programs and services and Mark Nelson and Patricia Breen join us. 

Far from a typical music festival, Basilica SoundScape features live concert performances, conceptual sound performances, author readings, installations, collaborations, curated local vendors and artisans, on-site activities and more, creating an immersive, innovative weekend of art, music, and culture.

Basilica SoundScape 2017 – taking place this Friday through Sunday – will feature a lineup of some of the most innovative and genre-pushing musicians, visual artists and writers working today, with unique collaborations across disciplines.

Melissa Auf der Maur is the Co-Founder and Director of Basilica Hudson.

Leonard Marcus is one of the world's most respected historians of children's books and the people who create them. His own award-winning books include Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon and Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom. A frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review and Horn Book Magazine, Marcus has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, ABC's Good Morning America, and BBC Radio 4. He is a founding trustee of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and is the curator of landmark exhibitions at the New York Public Library and elsewhere. He teaches at New York University and the School of Visual Arts, and lectures about his work throughout the world. Marcus holds degrees in history from Yale, and poetry from the University of Iowa Graduate Writers Workshop. 

His new book, Golden Legacy chronicles the fascinating story of the creation, marketing, and worldwide impact of Little Golden Books, the most popular children's books of all time.

Albany Public Library, Grassroot Givers, and the Red Bookshelf will join with the City of Albany to encourage young people to keep reading this summer...

Willard Spiegelman is the Hughes Professor of English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. From 1984 until 2016, he was also the editor in chief of Southwest Review. He has written many books and essays about English and American poetry. For more than a quarter century he has been a regular contributor to the Leisure & Arts pages of The Wall Street Journal.

Drawing on more than six decades' worth of lessons from his storied career as a writer and professor, Willard Spiegelman reflects with candid humor and sophistication on growing old.Senior Moments is a series of discrete essays that, when taken together, constitute the life of a man who, despite Western cultural notions of aging as something to be denied, overcome, and resisted, has continued to relish the simplest of pleasures: reading, looking at art, talking, and indulging in occasional fits of nostalgia while also welcoming what inevitably lies ahead.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

The goal of the all-volunteer Reading Is Fun Program (RIF) in Schenectady, NY is to keep helping Schenectady's needy 4-9 year olds in pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-3, to learn reading-readiness and conversational skills and vocabulary.  

We are joined by Founder and Executive Director Alvin Magid and Chief Operating Officer Mary Lou Russo.

  Gone with the Mind is Mark Leyner’s latest novel – in which a character named Mark Leyner is to give a reading from his autobiography, also entitled Gone with the Mind, in a mall food court. 

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're discussing the long and colorful history of American crime writing. Our guest is Harold Schecter, professor of English at Queens College, CUNY, and the editor of the Library of America's True Crime volume. A writer of true crime fiction himself, Harold recently served as the scholar-advisor for the New York Council's new Reading and Discussion series "True Crime an American Genre."

Sean Thomas / vogue.com

  Stephen Belber’s new play, The Dizzy Little Dance of Russell DiFinaldi, will be part of New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater’s Reading Festival this weekend.

A sprawling modern American epic about Russell DiFinaldi and his brother Jerry, two men trying to figure out what it means to do good in the world. David Cromer directs the reading and it stars Finn Wittrock.

Wittrock co-starred on American Horror Story: Freak Show and on HBO’s The Normal Heart. He was also in the most recent Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.

BIFF - The Paper Trail

May 28, 2015

  The Paper Trail is screening at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA as part of the Berkshire International Film Festival on Sunday, May 3st at 1:30pm.

The documentary is about writers and people in the literary world talking about what they do, how they do it, what it means to them - and the future of writing and publishing. The talking-head style doc features luminaries and authors who are just starting out.

We are joined by the film’s director, Kelly Carty, and the co-director,  writer, and producer, Jonathan Bee.

  

  Today in our Ideas Matter segment, we check in with the Vermont Humanities Council to talk about their program Standing Together: Veterans Book Groups. We are joined by Michael Heaney, a retired American History Professor, lawyer, and a wounded combat veteran of the Vietnam War. In 1965 and 1966, he served in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division as an infantry platoon leader. Much of his post-war life has been devoted to working with combat veterans, and to writing, teaching, and leading discussions about war- and veteran-related matters. For 15 years, he led wilderness expedition courses for combat veterans, in a program jointly sponsored by Outward Bound and the Veterans Administration.

  We are very happy to continue our weekly feature on the RT, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter. This morning we welcome the folks from NY Humanities to discuss the importance of remembering World War One through literature.

Wendy Galgan, Assistant Professor of English at St. Francis College joins us to discuss the New York Council for the Humanities' Our World Remade: WWI New Reading & Discussion Series.

  Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we welcome the folks from Mass Humanities to discuss the importance of reading on the occasion of The New Yorker taking its pay wall down.

  We are very happy to continue our weekly feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

Today we’ll learn about the Vermont Humanities Council’s “Vermont Reads” program – a statewide, one-book reading program that builds community through reading, discussion, and the exchange of ideas.

This year’s Vermont Reads book is Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Here to tell us more about the book and the program are Peter Gilbert, Vermont Humanities Council Executive Director and Amy Cunningham, Vermont Humanities Council Director of Community Programs.

    We are very happy to continue our new regular feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we spotlight MASS Humanities and their Family Adventures in Reading program. The idea is to explore diversity, knowing about the world; children responding to humanities themes through literature and illustration. The program emphasizes the importance of adult-child interaction with reading and conversation.

To discuss, we welcome, Mary Jo Maichack - a national award-winning singer, storyteller and creative teaching artist; and Hayley Wood - a Senior program Officer at Mass Humanities. She is the editor of Mass Humanities' blog, The Public Humanist and she manages Family Adventures in Reading.

  We are very happy to continue our new regular feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities.

It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we spotlight New York State’s Summer Reading kick-off. Erika Halstead is program officer for the NY Council for the Humanities and she joins us to tell us more.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Monday’s ceremony marked the installation of the Born Learning Trail, a series of signs along a pathway through a playground at Springside Park in Pittsfield, aimed young children and their families to encourage outdoor activity and reading.

The Born Learning Trail comes from efforts by Pittsfield Promise, a city-wide coalition that is working through a variety of projects with a goal of boosting  reading proficiency levels among Pittsfield third-graders to 90 percent by 2020.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and his administration have designated November as Family Literacy Month. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard brings us more details about what’s happening to help children and families become more engaged in reading in the Berkshires and across the Commonwealth.

November of 2012 has been recognized by Governor Patrick’s administration as the 16th Family Literacy Month. Throughout the month, cities and towns across Massachusetts will be holding events and hosting activities to engage parents and encourage early learning.

WAMC

    The latest results of standardized tests taken by Massachusetts students were a mixed bag.  The  2012 MCAS scores were the highest in the 14 year  history of the test.  Education officials say the achievement gap is closing between minorities and whites.  But early childhood education advocates decry the lack of progress in third grade reading, which is a strong predictor of future success in school. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

  

WAMC

Education officials in Massachusetts are stressing the importance of early childhood literacy when it comes to closing the achievement gap.  A pioneering reading proficiency program in Springfield has been nationally recognized.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.