Book this: A guide to autumn literary events


Word Café

Word Café is the brainchild of writer/editor Nina Shengold, who has assembled a series of published local writers to offer readings and discussion, followed by writing exercises, every Thursday at 6 p.m. through November 20. Tickets cost $15 per session and can be purchased at Outdated at 314 Wall Street in Kingston. For information, or to preregister via PayPal, visit

  • September 18: Mark Wunderlich.
  • September 25: Beverly D’Onofrio.
  • October 2: Amitava Kumar.
  • October 9: Alison Gaylin.
  • October 16: Laura Shaine Cunningham.
  • October 23: Jana Martin & Greg Olear.
  • October 30: Carol Goodman.
  • November 6: Sari Botton.
  • November 13: Kiese Laymon.
  • November 20: Joseph Luzzi.


Kingston Spoken Word

Kingston Spoken Word is a monthly reading series curated by Annie LaBarge at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills. Presenters include poets, literary bands, songwriters, actors, memoirists and writers of fiction and non-fiction. Audience members are encouraged to offer feedback while partaking of refreshments. The suggested donation is $5; 320 Sawkill Road, Kingston; (845) 514-2007, (845) 331-2884,

  • Saturday, October 11: Abigail Thomas, Jennifer Waddell.
  • Saturday, November 22: Bertha Rogers, Richard Levine.


New Paltz

Inquiring Minds Bookstore

Inquiring Minds Bookstore presents readings by local authors; 6 Church Street, (845) 255-8300,

  • Friday, September 19, 7 p.m.: Writer, director and actor Nicole Quinn, It’s a Nightmare, the first book in The Gold Stone Girl Trilogy.
  • Sunday, October 12, 4 p.m.: Gary Kleppel, The Emergent Agriculture, a collection of essays on sustainability viewed through the lens of farming.



ArtsWalk Literary Arts Festival  

The ArtsWalk Literary Arts Festival is presented by the Columbia County Council on the Arts at the historic Hudson Opera House. This two-day annual reading series features New York State writers and poets; 327 Warren Street,

  • Saturday, October 11, 12 noon: Dara Lurie, Mark Lamoureaux; 1:45 p.m.: Dorothy Albertini, Veronica Wong; 3:30 p.m.: Gretchen Primack, Norm Magnusson.
  • Sunday, October 12, 12 noon: Sean Cole, Manuel Borras; 1:45 p.m.: Kenyatta Paul Garcia, Katie Yates; 3:30 p.m.: Geoffrey Gatza, Celia Bland.



Bard College

Bard College is a major literary center with luminaries such as author Neil Gaiman and poet Robert Kelly on the faculty and innovative Barrytown writers George Quasha and Charles Stein working nearby. Many readings and performances take place at the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center on the college campus;

  • Monday, September 22, 6 p.m.: Lindsay Hill, winner of the 2014 PEN Center USA Fiction Award, at Anne Cox Chambers Alumni/ae Center; 4604 Route 9G; (845) 758-7089.
  • Friday, October 3, 7:30 p.m.: Neil Gaiman in Conversation with Audrey Niffenegger, at the Fisher Center, Annandale Road/Route 9G, $25.
  • Thursday, October 16, 7:30 p.m.: German playwrights Tankred Dorst and Ursula Ehler, at Olin Hall, Room 102, reservations required; (845) 758-7900, [email protected]



Oblong Books

Oblong Books is an independent bookstore that sponsors author readings and book-signings at various venues in the Rhinebeck area. Highlights of the fall schedule are below, with a complete calendar at Unless otherwise noted, events take place at Oblong, located on Montgomery Row in Rhinebeck; (845) 876-0500.

  • Friday, September 19, 7 p.m.: Vernon Benjamin, History of the Hudson Valley from Wilderness to the Civil War.
  • Saturday, October 11, 7 p.m.: Barbara Ballinger, The Kitchen Bible: Designing the Perfect Culinary Space.
  • Tuesday, October 18, 7 p.m.: Peter Yarrow, performance and book-signing, Peter, Paul, and Mary: Fifty Years in Music and Life, $10; Morton Memorial Library, 82 Kelly Street, Rhinecliff.



Writers Omi

Writers Omi offers writers residencies of one week to two months. This year Omi hosts writers from all over the globe, including a Swiss poet and literary critic; a literary translator who converts Italian, Spanish and Catalan into Bulgarian, working with texts by Italo Calvino and others; and a recipient of the 2012 Barbara Jefferis Award and the 2012 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. A reading will be held at the Visitors’ Center at Omi at 1405 Route 22 in Ghent; (518) 392-4568,

  • Saturday, October 18, 5 p.m.: Reading followed by reception and barbecue. Admission is free, but donations for dinner are invited.




The Bardavon Opera House is a historic venue that hosts music and dance productions and films, as well as the occasional literary star; 35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie,

  • Saturday, October 11, 8 p.m.: David Sedaris, whose latest book is Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls; $48.


Vassar College

Vassar College, which nurtured such poets and writers as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Elizabeth Bishop and Mary McCarthy, presents readings and lectures by acclaimed authors at the stately and historic campus; 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie,

  • Tuesday, September 23, 6 p.m.: Novelist Jess Row, Your Face in Mine; Taylor Hall, Room 203.
  • Tuesday, October 7, 5:30 p.m.: Cartoonist and writer Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic; Villard Room of Main Building.
  • Tuesday, October 28, 6 p.m.: Pulitzer Prizewinning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex, The Virgin Suicides) delivers the annual William Gifford Lecture; Villard Room of Main Building.



Howland Cultural Center

The Howland Cultural Center offers events of all kinds, including First Friday “Calling All Poets” readings and multicultural evenings combining music and poetry.

  • Saturday, September 20, 8 p.m.: “Rhythms & Visions: Configurations, Progressive Music and Poetry” with poet Richard Aplon; $8.
  • Friday, October 3, 8 p.m.: Poets Marina Mati, Mike Jurkovic; open mic, $5.
  • Friday, November 7, 8 p.m.: Poets James Cotter, Tony Pena; open mic, $5.
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