Festival of Writers names stellar lineup

RENSSELAERVILLE — The Rensselaerville Festival of Writers has announced its lineup of authors for 2014. This year’s celebration of arts and literature will take place from Aug. 15 to 17 in several venues throughout the Helderberg hamlet of Rensselaerville.

Readings, performances, and receptions feature local and regional writers as well as nationally known professionals including:

— Eugene Linden, a preeminent climate-change authority and widely published essayist and journalist appearing in Time, Fortune, and MSNBC. Linden’s latest book is The Ragged Edge of the World: Encounters at the Frontier Where Modernity, Wild Land, and Indigenous Peoples Meet;

— Gail Godwin, New York Times bestselling novelist as well as a writer of opera libretti. Author of 13 novels, two story collections, and various non-fiction works, Godwin’s well-loved books include Father Melancholy’s Daughter, Evensong, and most recently Flora;

— Shin Yu Pai, one of the country’s most admired young poets and a nominee for a Genius Award from The Stranger, a Seattle grant program funding excellence in the arts. Her latest collection is Aux Arcs, called “both telescopic and spacious” in The New York Times;

— Elisa Albert, author of How This Night is Different, The Book of Dahlia, and coming in 2015 After Birth. “Elisa Albert is the real thing — funny , perceptive, and possessed of a unique voice,” said Erica Jong;

— Olivia Bouler, artist, writer, and naturalist, was the American society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ “Kid of the Year” in 2010. Now a teenager, proceeds from her self-illustrated books aid conservation efforts focused on birds of the Gulf Coast;

— Ariel and Joann Eckstut, a mother-daughter team of writers and designers that recently published The Secret Language of Colors, a sweeping survey of color in history, science, art, and across cultural vistas; 

— Pat Hanson, a therapist and life coach who has written Invisible Grandparenting: Leaving a Legacy of Love Whether You Can Be There or Not, exploring ways to be an effective influence among the many family configuration contemporary society presents;

— Ellen Larson, author of In Retrospect, which Amazon says is “a good old-fashioned whodunit set in a post-apocalyptic future”;

— Eugene Mirabelli, professor emeritus in the creative writing department of the University at Albany who wrote the highly regarded Renato the Painter;

— Stephen O’Connor, a Rensselaerville resident and faculty member in Sarah Lawrence College’s master-of-fine-arts program who has published short stories and other works in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and many other periodicals. His work is included in The Best American Short Stories collection for 2013; 

— Scott Oglesby and Ann Stoney, who live in Manhattan and Rensselaerville while working on their highly styled (and often hilarious) writing; and

— Ed Schwarzschild, who teaches at the University at Albany and has won many international prizes and distinction. Most recently, he published The Family Diamond, stories of family, love, and loss set in and around Philadelphia.

This summer marks the fifth Rensselaerville Festival of Writers. The event has grown since the first festival in 2009, going annual in 2011 when it won the Upper Hudson Library System’s Program of the Year award. Past festivals showcased authors including Andy Rooney, William Kennedy, Galway Kinnell, Jean Craighead George, Joan Walsh, David Rees, Verlyn Klinkenborg, Francine Prose, and Mary Morris.

Festival proceeds benefit the historic Rensselaerville Library located at 1459 Main Street, Rensselaerville, NY 12147. For full details, frequently asked questions, and to make reservations, go to festivalofwriters.org or call the library at 797-3949.

More Out & About

  • GUILDERLAND — Guilderhaven has a very busy fall schedule starting with the Rotary Pet Fair on Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shaker Heritage Society.

  • RENSSELAERVILLE — Conkling Hall is calling all cooks and bakers for its annual Cook Off on Oct. 7 from noon to 3 p.m.

    Pork ’n’ Pie will offer tasty samples of pulled pork and dessert pies from cooks and bakers vying for cash prizes. The entry fee for each category is $15.

  • Online registration is now available for special Capitol suffrage tours celebrating the centennial of women winning the right to vote in New York State and for the annual Capitol Hauntings tours of the New York State Capitol.