Trolley, Fall 2019
For our Fall 2019 edition, we asked readers to share their impressions of our fall Visiting Writer events, including the Albany Book Festival held in September at the University at Albany.
Featured writers include UAlbany students, community members, professors and adjunct professors. These essays carry forward Writers Institute founder William Kennedy's premise for Trolley to be written by all and accessible to all.
We hope you enjoy the variety of perspectives and opinions shared in Trolley and we will see you again in the spring.
-- Michael Huber
NYS Writers Institute, Albany NY
The second annual Albany Book Festival drew more than 5,000 people to the University at Albany campus in September. (Patrick Dodson / UAlbany)
A web magazine of essay, opinion, literature, culture, and politics, published by the New York State Writers Institute based at the University at Albany.
Editor: Paul Grondahl
Executive Editor: William Kennedy
Managing Editor: Michael Huber
Contributing Editor: Edward Schwarzschild
“I have always imagined paradise will be a kind of library.”
– Jorge Luis Borges
For this fourth column, in celebration of the 2nd annual Albany Book Festival, we present a wide-ranging interview with one of the luminaries who spoke at the Festival, Joyce Carol Oates.
Though this interview took place in early 1995, you’ll find that the conversation touches upon many issues of current concern, from American politics, to Supreme Court justices, to quantum physics and the vicissitudes of memory.
And of course, once again, as with so much of what you can find in the Institute’s archives, this interview overflows with wisdom, laughter, and a love of literary conversation. Read more.
"When I entered the UAlbany Campus Center there were sounds of bustling activity. Piles of books and purple tote bags were everywhere. The aroma of strong Starbucks coffee overwhelmed the other scents. People were chatting excitedly and planning their day using the detailed program which was available on- line and in print."
"America was a slave society for a lot longer than not. This was not confined to the South, but colored everything. And we're still dealing with the fallout...
But secession was not a noble cause, it was a vile one. A rebellion against the ideals America actually stands for (or should). The war was not about "liberty" but its opposite, slavery — no slavery, no war."
"When one thinks of a book festival, what comes to their mind is probably something like the Scholastic Book Fairs we had growing up; the most exciting day of elementary school, when a pop-up bookstore would appear for a day. We could buy any books we wanted, or at least that our lunch money allowed us to..."
"Simply put, there is no substitute for the feel of a book in your hands and reading the printed page.
So when I learned the New York State Writers Institute would be hosting a Book Festival – their second, my first – it seemed the perfect opportunity to lead me back to a pastime I enjoyed several years before."