stage mic

Upcoming Literary Events: September 21-27, 2023

There are a lot of great events this week in our regional literary community, including the NYS Poet and Author ceremony, the Albany Book Festival, the Caffe Lena Poetry Festival, and so much more. Here’s a quick look at the book discussions, readings, open mics, and workshops coming up.


Thursday, September 21

6:00 PM – Poetry Event/Book Launch: “The Wonder of Small Things” @ Battenkill Books
Join Battenkill Books for the book launch of “The Wonder of Small Things: Poems of Peace and Renewal,” with poets James Crews and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

6:00 PM – Kashmir Hill, “Your Face Belongs To Us: A Secretive Startup’s Quest To End Privacy As We Know It” @ Oblong Books
“Your Face Belongs to Us” is a gripping true story from NY Times Technology Reporter Kasmir Hill, about the rise of a technological superpower that has been long-feared by the civil liberties community and long-desired by governments and authoritarian regimes. And it is a powerful warning that in the absence of vigilance and government regulation, this kind of technology will fundamentally change our ability to be anonymous.

6:45 PM – A Writer’s Night in September @ The Longmeadow Adult Center
Join Longmeadow Adult Center and Straw Dog Writers Guild on Thursday, September 21, 6:45-7:45pm for A Writer’s Night with featured reader Tommy Twilite (aka Thomas Clark), a poet, songwriter and performer who lives in Florence MA. He is the Co-founder and Director of the Florence Poets Society, and the Executive Editor of Silkworm.

7:00 PM – CAPS Be the Feature Open Mic
CAPS Be the Feature Open Mic is always a fluid evening. Maybe participants read 6 poems. Maybe 5. Maybe 3. Maybe 2…

7:30 PM – Third Thursday Poetry Night Featuring Susan Comninos @ Social Justice Center
Susan Comninos will read from her work at the Third Thursday Poetry Night at the Social Justice Center in Albany with an open mic for community poets. 


Friday, September 22

9:00 AM – Meet the Author: Neal Shusterman @ Saranac Lake Town Hall
Shusterman will give a presentation about his work and process. This event is free for schools and students to attend, but please register the number of students you plan to bring in advance on the Adirondack Center for Writing website.

9:00 AM – Early Literacy Storytime! @ Troy Public Library
Kids ages 0-5 are welcome to this early literacy story.

6:00 PM – Michael Dumanis and Franny Choi – “Creature” and “The World Keeps Ending, The World Goes On” @ Northshire Manchester
Acclaimed poets Michael Dumanis and Franny Choi will join us to read from their latest collections. “Creature” is a complex poetics of vitality which expertly cultivates the multiplicity of language.”The World Keeps Ending, The World Goes On” is a poetry collection for the ends of worlds—past, present, and future.

6:00 – Fourth Friday Open Mic @ The Poetry Barn
Join us in community for another fourth Friday open mic ~ Autumnal Equinox edition! Bring your poems/songs/stories of equal parts dark & light. Sign-up starts at 6 PM, with performances to begin at 6:30 PM. Each performer will have 5-10 minutes.

7:30 PM – State Author and State Poet Ceremony @ University at Albany
You are invited to attend the installation ceremony for State Author Jacqueline Woodson and State Poet Patricia Spears Jones.


Saturday, September 23

10:30 AM – Albany Book Festival @ University at Albany
The 6th Annual Albany Book Festival will feature conversations with bestselling authors, panel discussions, readings, book signings, a children’s room with authors and fun activities, a meet and greet with nearly 100 local authors, and an exhibitor floor. 

2:00 PM – Caffe Lena Poetry Festival @ Caffe Lena
Join host Carol Graser for a day of poetry featuring National Book Award winner Martín Espada, with opening poets Regan Good and Roger Wyze Smith

2:00 PM – Anne O’Brien Carelli, signs and discusses, “I’ll Remember Poppy” @ The Book House
An inspirational story about a child’s compassionate relationship with Poppy, a grandfather who has dementia. Told through the eyes of the child, this sweet, gentle story is both heartwarming and informative.

3:00 PM – Author talk with M.L. Olmstead, author of “The Knights: Lost in the Void” @ Troy Public Library – Main Branch
Join a conversation about the major themes in the book: good vs evil, reluctant heroes, the responsibility and consequences of obtaining power, friendship and love, trust and betrayal, and the struggles of growing up. After the book discussion, Maria will answer any questions about her writing process and explain the different ways to publish a book.

3:00 PM – Local Author Spotlight: Multi-Author Signing @ Northshire Saratoga
Northshire Saratoga is delighted to welcome you back to this in-person event at our Saratoga Springs, NY store! Five local authors will join us to sign their newest books. Please note that this will be a signing only, there will not be a seated author presentation. The featured authors and books are: Carl Korn – He Saved Everyone But Me, Erica Renaud – Pray with Me, Bob Semenza – Times with Marie… and Parkinson’s, Andrew Valenza – Empire of the Void, and Marie Williams – Loyalists in the Adirondacks.

3:15 PM – Tribute to Russell Banks @ University at Albany
Join us at the Albany Book Festival for a tribute to the late Russell Banks, major American novelist, who died January 7, 2023, at his home in Saratoga Springs.


Monday, September 25

1:30 PM – Howe Monday Memoir Writing Group @ Albany Public Library – Howe Branch
Participate in a group of memoir writers and get feedback.

7:00 PM – Poetic Vibe @ The Fish Market
Poet, artist, and performer D. Colin hosts the weekly Poetic Vibe series, a dynamic night of poetry and spoken word. 

7:00 PM – Poetry at The Church @ Goshen Methodist Church
Monthly poetry open mic hosted by Ted Gill. This month’s featured pet is Carl Welden.


Tuesday, September 26

12:00 PM – FFAPL Tuesday Book Talk @ Albany Public Library – Washington Ave. Branch
Miki Conn, author, poet, artist, and storyteller, presents “A Conspiracy of Mothers,” a novel by Colleen Van Niekerk.

2:00 PM – Book Club @ Schenectady Public Library – Woodlawn Branch
Join the Woodlawn book club for a discussion of “The Boy From The Woods” by Harlan Coben. New book club members are always welcome. Request a copy of the books online or at any SCPL location.

2:00 PM – Teen Writing Club @ Schenectady Public Library – Central Branch
Kids in grades 6-12 that love to write are invited to join. We usually pick a writing prompt, do some writing, and then share; but sharing is not mandatory. We are very welcoming to new members. This club meeting will be held in person and virtually. A meeting link for remote participants will be sent a day before the event. Snacks will be served. Registration required.

5:30 PM – Book Club @ Schenectady Public Library – Rotterdam Branch
Join the Rotterdam book club for a discussion of “My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry” by Fredrik Backman. New book club members are always welcome. Request a copy of the books online or at any SCPL location.

6:00 PM – Tom Shachtman, “Echoes: A Novel” @ Scoville Memorial Library
Tom will read from and talk about his new novel Echoes, or The Insistence of Memory, and sign books at this event.


Wednesday, September 27

5:45 PM – Writers Group @ Schenectady Public Library – Central Branch
Whether you’ve been doing it forever or just starting out, bring your written words to this volunteer run community group and receive feedback from fellow wordsmiths as time permits.No registration required.  Ages 18+

6:30 PM – Author Visit with Tom Conwell – “The Night Visitants” @ Voorheesville Public Library
Author Tom Conwell discusses his book, The Night Visitants: A Ufologist, An Experiencer, And The Undefinable. Compelled to unravel the mystery of the abduction phenomenon, mild-mannered Tom, a ufologist and pattern researcher, goes on a quest to prove a hypothesis: that extraterrestrials are here. Books will be available for purchase at the event. No registration necessary.

7:00 PM – Own Voices Book Discussion: “Portrait of a Thief” by Grace D. Li @ Bethlehem Public Library
Join us for a meeting of the Own Voices Book Group. Each meeting will discuss a book by a diverse author. New members are always welcome! Registration is appreciated but not required. This month’s selection is “Portrait of a Thief” by Grace D. Li.

7:00 PM – Straw Dog Writes New Online Program
The Straw Dog Program Committee announces a new initiative: Straw Dog Writes. Starting Sept 27, 2023, each Wednesday at 7pm, whenever there is not another scheduled Straw Dog event, any Straw Dog members who would like to spend some time writing together can join a Zoom session. 

8:00 PM – Virtual Author Talk with Amor Towles, author of “Rules in Civility, A Gentleman in Moscow, and The Lincoln Highway”
Tune in as we chat online with New York Times bestselling author Amor Towles about his incredible body of work. His books have sold more than 6 million copies worldwide and have been heralded as irresistible, marvelous, and gorgeously crafted books of beauty. 

Did we miss anything? Let us know at, and be sure to check out to find out more about our vibrant literary and arts community.