Lew Bryson.jpg

Lew Bryson has been writing full-time about beer and spirits since 1995. He is the author of Tasting Whiskey (2014), a columnist for All About Beer magazine and a regular writer for The Daily Beast, Whiskey Wash, Scotchwhisky.com, Whisky Magazine, and The Full Pint.

Craft Beer and Spirits  
2:30pm-3:15pm, Campus Center Assembly Hall



Ricardo Cortés is the author and illustrator of Sea Creatures from the Sky, It’s Just a Plant, and A Secret History of Coffee, Coca & Cola. He is also the illustrator of the New York Times best-selling classic for parents about putting their children to bed, Go the F--k to Sleep, as well as the G-rated follow-up, Seriously, Just Go to Sleep. His latest work is Party: A Mystery, with text by Jamaica Kincaid. 

With Jamaica Kincaid: 12:30pm-1:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium
Children's Event: 2:30pm-3:15pm, Multi-purpose Room


Mary Cregan.jpg

Mary Cregan was 27 years old when her first baby, Anna, died at two days old. Her first book, The Scar: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery, is a memoir interweaving the author’s descent into depression with a medical and cultural history of mental illness. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Irish Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Financial Times.

Depression and Mental Health with Bassey Ikpi
10:30am-11:15am, Campus Center Assembly Hall


Naima Coster, photo by Jonathan Jimenez

Naima Coster is the author of Halsey Street, a novel of family, loss, and renewal, set in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn. It was a finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction. Coster’s stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Catapult, Arts & Letters, Aster(ix), The Rumpus, Kweli, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere.

Latina Author Panel
2:30pm-3:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium


Sylvia Day.jpg

Sylvia Day, leading American romance novelist, rose to fame with her best-selling erotic Crossfire series. Day is an international bestselling author of more than 20 award-winning novels translated into 41 languages. Publishers Weekly calls her work an “exhilarating adventure.”

Romance Writing
12:30pm-1:15pm, Outdoor Tent


Ken Druse.jpg

Ken Druse, an award-winning author and photographer, has been called “the guru of natural gardening” by the New York Times. He is best known for his 20 garden books published over the last 25 years. The American Horticultural Society listed his first large-format work The Natural Garden (1988) among the best books of all time. 

Gardening Event with Margaret Roach
10:30am-11:15am, Campus Center West Auditorium
Solo event: 1:30pm-2:15pm, Campus Center Assembly Hall


L.M. Elliott was a Washington-based magazine journalist before becoming a New York Times bestselling novelist. Her most recent historical novel for Young Adults is Hamilton and Peggy: A Revolutionary Friendship, an in-depth portrait of the youngest of the Schuyler sister trio made famous in Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical “Hamilton.” She writes under L. M. Elliott for historical novels and Laura Malone Elliott for picture books.

Young Adult Panel
11:30am-12:15pm, Campus Center West Boardroom


Nick Flynn is the author of the bestselling memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, which was adapted as the 2014 film Being Flynn, starring Robert De Niro, Julianne Moore and Paul Dano. His new book is the poetry collection, I Will Destroy You, an exploration of the redemptive power of art.

"Hollywood" at the Albany Book Festival:  Writers Talk About Recent Film Adaptations of Their Work. With John Searles. 
Presented by Yaddo, the historic artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, NY
3:30pm-4:15pm, Outdoor Tent


Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of the Civil War era and nineteenth-century America, is the author or editor of more than 20 books. His next book, The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution, will be published in mid-September.

Solo event: 12:30pm-1:15pm, Campus Center Assembly Hall
History Writing with Harold Holzer
3:30pm-4:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium


Matthew Futterman, a 22-time marathon finisher and deputy sports editor of The New York Times, is author of Running to the Edge: A Band of Misfits and the Guru Who Unlocked the Secrets of Speed (2019). He graduated from Union College in Schenectady and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

11:30am-12:15pm, Campus Center Assembly Hall


Craig Gravina.jpg

Craig Gravina is a New York beer historian, co-author of Upper Hudson Valley Beer (2014) and co-founder of the Albany Ale Project. He frequently writes about beer culture, the state of brewing and beer making in the United States and across the globe.

Craft Beer and Spirits  
2:30pm-3:15pm, Campus Center Assembly Hall


Helon_Habila, photo by Jide Alakija.jpg

Helon Habila, born in Nigeria, is an author, poet and professor of creative writing at George Mason University in Virginia. His books include Travelers (2019), an exploration of the African diaspora in Europe, and The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria (2016).

African Writers Panel
11:30am-12:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium


Harold Holzer.jpg

Harold Holzer, one of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era, has authored, co-authored or edited 52 books. Holzer is director of The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York City, a post he assumed in 2015 after 23 years as senior vice president of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  His newest work is Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French (2019). Holzer’s 2012 book, Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America, was the official young adult companion book to the Steven Spielberg film “Lincoln,” for which he served as script consultant. 

Solo event: 1:30pm-2:15pm, Campus Center West Boardroom
History Writing with Eric Foner 3:30pm-4:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium


Bassey Ikpi.jpg

Bassey Ikpi is a Nigerian-born American spoken-word poet and writer whose debut collection of essays about coping with mental illness, I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying was published in August. She founded The Siwe Project to combat the stigma surrounding mental health treatment among those of African descent and also created #NoShameDay, an initiative for people on Twitter to share stories of their own experiences with mental illness.

Depression and Mental Health with Mary Cregan
10:30am-11:15am, Campus Center Assembly Hall


Uzodinma Iweala, photo by Caroline Cuse.

Uzodinma Iweala is a writer and medical doctor of Nigerian descent who is currently CEO and editor-in-chief of Ventures Africa. His 2005 book Beasts of No Nation (2005), the story of a child soldier in West Africa, became the basis of a Netflix original film starring Idris Elba. He is also the author of Our Kind of People: Thoughts on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, (2012).

African Writers Panel
11:30am-12:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium


Madhur Jaffrey.jpg

Madhur Jaffrey is recognized for bringing Indian cuisine to the western hemisphere with her debut cookbook, An Invitation to Indian Cooking (1973). Raised in a large Hindu family in colonial India, Jaffrey is an author, TV chef, illustrator, and award-winning actress. Her latest cookbook is Madhur Jaffrey's Instantly Indian Cookbook: Modern and Classic Recipes for the Instant Pot (2019).

2:30pm-3:15pm, Outdoor Tent


Stephanie Jimenez.jpg
Young Adult Panel: 11:30am-12:15pm, Campus Center West Boardroom
Latina Writers Panel: 2:30pm-3:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium


Stephanie Jimenez, a Fulbright recipient, has published fiction and non-fiction in the Guardian, O! the Oprah Magazine, Joyland Magazine, The New York Times, and more. They Could Have Named Her Anything (2019) is her debut novel. 

Jamaica Kincaid.jpg
With Ricardo Cortes
12:30pm-1:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium


Jamaica Kincaid is the Antiguan-born author of the all-time classic A Small Place (1988), a reflection on colonialism and its effects on her home island. Kincaid’s other books include Annie John (1983),  Lucy (1990), and Mr. Potter (2002). A staff writer for The New Yorker for 20 years, her columns have been collected in the volume Talk Stories (2001).

Wayetu Moore, credit Yoni Levy.jpg
African Writers Panel: 11:30am-12:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium
Children's Event: 3:30pm-4:15pm, Multi-purpose Room


Wayétu Moore, born in Liberia, moved with her family to New York City to escape civil war when she was five. She is the author of She Would Be King (2018) and founder of One Moore Book, a publisher of educational stories for children whose cultures have been underrepresented in the publishing industry or are from countries with low literacy rates. 

Cherrie Moraga.jpg

Cherrie Moraga is a Chicana writer, playwright and poet who has dedicated her career to the literature of queer women of color. In 1981, she co-edited the classic feminist anthology This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Her most recent book is Native Country of the Heart: A Memoir (2019).

Latina Author Panel
2:30pm-3:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium


Joyce Carol Oates, credit Dustin Cohen.j

Joyce Carol Oates, National Book Award winner, five-time Pulitzer nominee and widely acclaimed fiction writer and essayist, has written more than 100 books, including national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, a fictional retelling of the Marilyn Monroe story nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls. Her latest novel is My Life as a Rat (2019).

Conversation on new novel: 1:30pm-2:15pm, Outdoor Tent
Conversation on Loss/Grief memoir: 3:30pm-4:15pm,
Campus Center West Boardroom


Allison Pataki-photo by Tricia McCormack

Allison Pataki, historical fiction novelist, wrote the memoir Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience (2019) after her husband suffered a near-fatal stroke at age 30. Her other works include the bestselling novels Sisi, The Traitor’s Wife, and The Accidental Empress, as well as two children’s books. She is the daughter of former Governor George Pataki. 

Memoir with Abigail Thomas: 11:30am-12:15pm, Outdoor Tent
Children's Event: 1:30pm-2:15pm, Multi-purpose Room


Melissa Rivero, photo by Bartosz Potocki

Melissa Rivero was born in Lima, Peru, and raised in Brooklyn. Undocumented for most of her childhood, Rivero became a U.S. citizen in her early 20s. Her debut novel The Affairs of the Falcóns (2019) tells the story of a young undocumented Peruvian woman fighting to keep her family afloat in New York City.

Latina Author Panel
2:30pm-3:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium


Margaret Roach photo by Erica Berger.jpg

Margaret Roach wrote the 2011 corporate-dropout memoir And I Shall Have Some Peace There about walking away from her executive career with Martha Stewart Omnimedia for a quieter life closer to nature. Her other works include The Backyard Parables (2013), blending garden memoir and how-to, and her most recent book A Way to Garden: A Hands-On Primer for Every Season (2019). 

Gardening Event with Ken Druse
10:30am-11:15am, Campus Center West Auditorium
Solo event: 12:30pm-1:15pm, Campus Center West Boardroom


Jonathan Santlofer, credit Clarke Tolton

Jonathan Santlofer, novelist, author and editor, wrote the memoir The Widower's Notebook (2018) following the sudden death of his wife, acclaimed food writer Joy Santlofer. His other works include the international bestselling novel, The Death Artist, as well as Color Blind, The Killing Art and Anatomy of Fear, which won the Nero Award for best crime novel of 2009.

In conversation on Loss/Grief Memoir with Joyce Carol Oates
3:30pm - 4:15pm, Campus Center West Boardroom


Will Schwalbe, author and publishing executive, wrote the 2012 memoir The End of Your Life Book Club, which chronicled the books he read with his mother when she was dying. Host of the podcast “But That’s Another Story,” his other works include Books For Living, Some Thoughts on Reading, Reflecting and Embracing Life, and Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better


In conversation with Dani Shapiro: 10:30am-11:15am, Outdoor Tent
Solo event: 2:30pm-3:15pm, Campus Center West Boardroom 

Hollis Seamon, a professor who has taught writing at The College of Saint Rose and Fairfield University, wrote the YA novel Somebody Up There Hates You (2013) about a 17-year-old boy who is in hospice care. She is the author of the short story collections Corporeality (2013) and Body Work (2000) and the mystery novel Flesh (2005).


Young Adult Panel
11:30am-12:15pm, Campus Center West Boardroom

John Searles is the author of the bestselling novel, Strange But True, which was adapted as a film with an all-star cast including Amy Ryan, Nick Robinson, Blythe Danner, Margaret Qualley, Brian Cox, Greg Kinnear and Connor Jessup. The film will be released September 9, 2019, just five days before the Albany Book Festival!


"Hollywood" at the Albany Book Festival:  Writers Talk About Recent Film Adaptations of Their Work. With Nick Flynn. 
Presented by Yaddo, the historic artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, NY
3:30pm-4:15pm, Outdoor Tent

Dani Shapiro is the best-selling author of the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her latest book, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list earlier this year. 


In conversation with Will Schwalbe: 10:30am-11:15am, Outdoor Tent
Solo event: 1:30pm-2:15pm, Campus Center West Auditorium 

Marion Roach Smith is the author of four mass-market books and runs The Memoir Project, an online teaching and coaching platform.


In conversation with Margaret Roach 
3:30pm-4:15pm, Campus Center Assembly Hall
Abigail Thomas.jpg

Abigail Thomas, writing instructor and acclaimed memoirist, started writing when she was 48. She is the author of Three Dog Life, about life with her husband after he suffered a brain injury,  named one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. Stephen King called it “The best memoir I have ever read.” Her other books include An Actual Life (1997), Safekeeping: Some True Stories from a Life (2011) and Herb’s Pajamas (2013) and What Comes Next and How to Like It (2015).

Memoir with Allison Pataki
11:30am-12:15pm, Outdoor Tent


Susan Verde.jpg

Susan Verde, a former elementary school teacher, is the author of the “I Am” series, all illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, including I Am Love: A Book of Compassion (2019), I Am Human: A Book of Empathy (2018) and I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness (2017). Her other books include You and Me (2015), The Water Princess (2016), Rock ’n’ Roll Soul, (2018), illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell, and Unstoppable Me (2019).

Children's Author
Yoga Event: 10:30am-11:15am, Multi-purpose Room


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/