Contact Information

University at Albany

1400 Washington Avenue

Albany, New York 12222

Phone: 518 442-5620 

e-mail: writers@albany.edu

website: http://nyswritersinstitute.org/

Nationally renowned authors and presenters at the Albany Book Festival 

subject to change

Social entrepreneur, author and founder of Daybreaker,  an early morning dance party sensation held in major cities across the globe. Agrawal will kick off the Albany Book Festival at the 10 a.m. dance party and then sign copies of her new book, Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life.

RADHA AGRAWAL

Book signing: 10:45 in the Campus Center Great Hall

Bestselling author of My Underground American Dream, currently being developed as a television series at Twentieth Century Fox Television with producer and actor America Ferrera. She was named one of People en Español’s "25 Most Powerful Woman of 2017."   Arce's second book, Someone Like Me, will be her first Young Adult book. Arce is a contributor for CNBD and one of the hosts of Crooked Media's "Crooked Conversations." 

JULISSA ARCE

"New Americans" Panel: 2:45-3:45 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

Author of Set the World On Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom and co-editor of New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition  and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence. 

KEISHA N. BLAIN

History Panel: 12:15-1:15 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

Author of four novels, All Things Cease to Appear which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and a Book of the Month Club pick, A Stranger Like You, Somebody Else’s Daughter and The Doctor’s Wife

ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE

Writing workshop: Novels -- Noon to 12:45 p.m. in The Orb

Internationally bestselling author of fantasy fiction. Ciccarelli's first novel, The Last Namsara, debuted on the UK’s Children & YA chart, was named one of Indigo's Best Books for Teens in 2017, and has been translated into 12 languages. Before writing books Ciccarelli made her living as an artisanal baker, an indie bookseller, and a ceramic artist. 

KRISTEN CICCARELLI

Young Adult/Fantasy Talk: 11-11:45 a.m. in the Campus Center Boardroom

Head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's office from 1976 until 2002 and author of a series of novels featuring Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper. Her titles include Final Jeopardy, Likely To Die, Cold Hit and Nero Award winner The Dead-House.

LINDA FAIRSTEIN

Mystery Panel: 1:30-2:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

Middle School Mystery Panel: 12-12:45 p.m. in the Campus Center Boardroom

New York Times bestselling author of 14 suspense novels, including The Switch, a stand-alone thriller, and Guilty Minds, the third to feature “private spy” Nick Heller.  Finder's novels High Crimes and Paranoia have been adapted as major motion pictures. A founding member of the International Thriller Writers, Finder is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.

JOSEPH FINDER

Mystery Panel: 1:30-2:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus of English at the University at Albany, writer of short fiction and novels, Garber has also collaborated with several other artists to create the hypermedia fiction, EROICA. His most recent completed work, The House of Nordquist, dramatizes a Faustian search for the ultimate power that destroys and then renews.

EUGENE GARBER

Writing workshop: Short fiction & novels -- 2-2:45 p.m. in The Bean

Professor, historian, author, and journalist, having served as a columnist and editorial board member for The New York Times and a senior NYS politics editors for Politico, long-time editor and writer at The New York Observer. He is the author of several books on American and Irish history, including Frank and Al: FDR, Al Smith, and the Unlikely Alliance That Created the Modern Democratic Party; JFK: Day by Day; and Give 'Em Hell: The Tumultuous Years of Harry Truman's Presidency, in His Own Words.

TERRY GOLWAY

History Panel: 12:15-1:15 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

Historian and bestselling author, Goodwin's most recent book Leadership in Turbulent Times was published earlier this month. She has written biographies of several U.S. presidents, including Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream; The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga; Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln; and The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. Goodwin's book No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995.

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN

Book Talk: 11-11:45 p.m. Outdoor Tent

Author of  The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,  Gordon-Reed was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for History and the National Book Award for Nonfiction and 15 other prizes in 2009 for her work on the Hemings family of Monticello. In 2010, she received the National Humanities Medal and a MacArthur Fellowship also known as the MacArthur "Genius Award." 

ANNETTE GORDON-REED

History Panel: 12:15-1:15 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

Writer living and working in New York City. She received her BFA in dramatic writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a published playwright, specializing in theater for young audiences. Her plays have been performed by high schools and community organizations in over thirty states. Heretics Anonymous is her first novel. 

KATIE HENRY

Young Adult Panel: 1-1:45 p.m. in the Campus Center Boardroom

Comedian and writer, co-host with Mary Robinson, the first female president of Ireland,  of the Mothers of Invention podcast, co-host on Neil deGrasse Tyson's "StarTalk" on National Geographic. Host of the hit podcast "Maeve In America: Immigration IRL." Higgins has performed all over the world, including in her native Ireland. Her newest book is Maeve in America: Essays by a Girl From Somewhere Else. 

MAEVE HIGGINS

"New Americans" Panel: 2:45-3:45 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

Publisher and author of Danny Dollar Millionaire: The Lemonade Escapade; When I Close My Eyes; and The Supadupa Kid. In 2012 Jackson was honored as the first recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Content of Character Award from Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick.

TY ALLAN JACKSON

Author appearance: 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Children's Activity Room

Gold Star father, Pakistani-American who received international attention following a speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that criticized Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.  Author of the memoir An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice.

KHIZR KAHN

Panelist "New Americans" 2:45-3:45 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

Albany native, novelist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Ironweed, recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship "genius" grant, and founder of the New York State Writers Institute, Kennedy sign copies of the newly published Bootlegger of the Soul: The Literary Legacy of William Kennedy.

WILLIAM KENNEDY

Talk and book signing: 2-2:45 p.m. Outdoor Tent

Pulitzer Prize winning author of the New York Times bestseller Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America. King's most recent book, Beneath a Ruthless Sun, exposes the corruption of racial bigotry and animus that shadows a community, a state and a nation.  His first book, The Execution of Willie Francis, was published in 2008. 

GILBERT KING

History Panel: 12:15-1:15 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

American journalist and writer of Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, an international bestseller translated into more than 15 languages. Kurlansky other works include Milk!: A 10, 000-Year Food FracasPaper:  Paging Through HistoryFrozen in Time:  Clarence Birdseye's Outrageous Idea About Frozen Food; and Salt: A World History

MARK KURLANSKY

Food Panel: 11 a.m. to noon in the Campus Center Ballroom

Host of "The Splendid Table," produced by American Public Media. For two seasons, Lam was a regular judge on Bravo’s hit show, "Top Chef Masters." Lam graduated first in his class at the Culinary Institute of America and has written for numerous publications, including GourmetBon AppetítFood & WineLucky PeachSaveur, and Salon

FRANCIS LAM

Food Panel: 11 a.m. to noon in the Campus Center Ballroom

 New York Times bestselling author of acclaimed stand-alones and the award-winning Tess Monaghan series. Her novel Every Secret Thing, optioned for film by Academy Award-winning actress Frances McDormand, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2014, starring Diane Lane, Elizabeth Banks, and Dakota Fanning. 

LAURA LIPPMAN

Mystery Panel: 1:30-2:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

 Author of The Only Thing Worse Than Witches, an Indie Next List selection, Magaziner also wrote the humorous middle grade books, Wizardmatch and Pilfer Academy.  Mystery in the Mansion, her first book in the "Case Closed" series, a "pick your path" mystery series for middle grade students, was published in August. 

LAURA MAGAZINER

Middle School Mystery Panel: 12-12:45 p.m. in the Campus Center Boardroom

UAlbany alumnus, Albany native, and author of the best-selling  Wicked series, the inspiration behind the  blockbuster Broadway musical "Wicked."

Maguire's other works include Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister;  Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation,  and his most recent novel, Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker.

GREGORY MAGUIRE

Author talk: Noon to 12:45 p.m. Outdoor Tent

Best known for his mysteries featuring the character Easy Rawlins, Mosley has also written a handful of penetrating literary novels that wrestle with questions political and philosophical.

 His latest book, John Woman,  is a convention-defying novel of ideas about the sexual and intellectual coming-of-age of an unusual man who goes by the name John Woman. 

WALTER MOSLEY

Mystery Panel: 1:30-2:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

Talk on his new novel John Woman: 3-3:45 p.m. Outdoor Tent

 Interlink cookbook editor and author of The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes That Make America Great, which Anthony Bourdain described as a “powerful, important, and delicious cookbook which everyone should own.”

LEYLA MOUSHABECK

Food Panel: 11 a.m. to noon in the Campus Center Ballroom

Author of 11 books of poetry and fiction, winner of the Gertrude Stein Award in Poetry and an NEA Interarts Grant, Nakell was also a finalist for the America's Award in Fiction for The Library of Thomas Rivka and a finalist in the New American Poetry Series.

MARTIN NAKELL

Writing workshop: Creative writing -- 1-1:45 p.m. in The Orb

A teacher in Mogadishu, Somalia, Iftin used his English language skills to post secret dispatches to NPR and the Internet when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006. The story of his heart-stopping efforts to secure his U.S. visa under deadline was the subject of "Abdi and the Golden Ticket," a one-hour special on This American Life and one of the show’s highest rated broadcasts. He tells the story in his memoir, Call Me American

ABDI NOR IFTIN

"New Americans" Panel: 2:45-3:45 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom

Author of 16 volumes of poetry. Ostriker was named New York's 11th State Poet by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August. She will receive the New York State Walt Whitman Citation of Merit for Poets at a ceremony in the University at Albany Campus Center on 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, and attend a book signing  at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, also in the university Campus Center.

ALICIA OSTRIKER

New York State Poet installation ceremony: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, Campus Center Ballroom. Book signing: 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, Great Hall

Author of Unscripted Joss Byrd, which was inspired by her work as a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars, and All of This Is True, a story of four privileged Long Island teens who befriend their favorite YA author with disastrous results.

LYGIA DAY PENAFLOR

Young Adult Panel: 1-1:45 p.m. in the Campus Center Boardroom

Historian and author of more than 30 books, including TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, The Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy; 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR; and Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius who Fixed the 1919 World Series.

DAVID PIETRUSZA

Writing workshop: History -- 11-11:45 a.m. in The Bean

Artist and the author of five novels, the most recent, The Widower’s Notebook, is a memoir about the unexpected death of his wife, Joy, after 40 years of marriage.  Joyce Carol Oates called it “deeply moving . . . beautifully written . . . It is such an achievement, like running uphill against a strong wind.” A few of Santlofer’s other works include The Death Artist, The Killing Art and Anatomy of Fear.

JONATHAN SANTLOFER

Memoir Panel with Jeffrey Berman: How We Grieve: 1-1:45 p.m. Outdoor Tent

Author, teacher and memoir writer, Smith has written four books. The first, Another Name for Madness, is a memoir about her mother’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease. Other works include The Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair and Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers, which she co-authored with famed pathologist Dr. Michael Baden.

MARION ROACH SMITH

Writing workshop: Memoir -- 1-1:45 p.m. in The Bean

Writer, culinary historian and educator, Twitty is the author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, which book focuses on Twitty’s goal to “document the connection between food history and family history from Africa to America, from slavery to freedom.” His food blog, Afroculinaria, won the Saveur magazine 2016 award as Editors’ and Readers’ choice for Food and Culture.

MICHAEL W. TWITTY

Food Panel: 11 a.m. to noon in the Campus Center Ballroom

Associate Professor of English and  director of the Center for Humanities, Arts and TechnoScience at the University at Albany,  former reporter and columnist, Valentis is co-author of Brave New You and Romantic Intelligence: How to be as Smart in Love as You are in Life.  

MARY VALENTIS 

Writing workshop: Getting Published -- 2-2:45 p.m. in The Orb

Named the 12th New York State Author by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August. 

 Novelist, nonfiction writer and professor, Whitehead’s #1 New York Times bestseller, The Underground Railroad, won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Carnegie Medal for Fiction, the Heartland Prize and more. Whitehead received a MacArthur Fellowship "genius" award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writers Award, the Dos Passos Prize. His other works include The Intuitionist, The Colossus of New York, Sag Harbor and Zone One.

COLSON WHITEHEAD

New York State Author installation ceremony: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, Campus Center Ballroom. Book signing: 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, Great Hall