Karlie Flood interviews a central figure in Albany’s poetry scene, Mary Panza, the VP of Albany Poets and an editor of “Up the River”.
I love to write. I’ve always been a writer, since I’ve been old enough to hold a pen. I do creative writing, fiction, and dabble in spy fiction, travel writing, romance, historical fiction. Mostly I write short stories, and I’ve published a couple collections of short stories. I’ve self-published A Serious Evening in Vienna, The Love Letter with a Bullet Hole,and The Traveler’s Sketchbook. The last one dips into another creative outlet that I have which is drawing.
I want to start by thanking the NYS Writers Institute for making this event possible. What an incredible semester they’ve put together so far. Thanks to Paul Grondahl and his incredible team. They give a gift to— anyone who finds inspiration in the essential acts of reading and writing. So, thank you to the Institute for bringing Nana back to campus. It’s just an incredible pleasure to have him back here. As most of you know, Nana is a UAlbany alum. He was an English major here; he wrote his honors thesis here.
Schwarzschild is the Director of Creative Writing and an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University at Albany. He’s also a Fellow at the New York State Writers Institute. He specializes in Fiction Writing and Contemporary Literature. He received his Ph.D. in American Literature from Washington University in St. Louis and his MA in Creative Writing from Boston University. He was also a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Stanford University’s Creative Writing Program.
He has walked the streets of the Capital Region poetry scene for decades, participating in the literary community in many ways: starting organizations, funds, events, and providing a solid example for new writers by continuously contributing his own work. He co-founded Albany Poets, started the The Troy Poetry Mission, and he has been published innumerable times.