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NYS Writers Hall of Fame

The NYS Writers Hall of Fame was established in conjunction with the Empire State Center for the Book (http://empirestatebook.org/nys-writers-hall-of-fame/)and the Empire State Book Festival to highlight the rich literary heritage of the New York State and to recognize the legacy of individual New York State writers.

On Friday, April 9, 2010, the first induction ceremony into the NYS Writers Hall of Fame was held and ten past and two current writers were inducted.New members are inducted annually.The New York State Library will be home of the NYS Writers Hall of Fame.


NYS Writers Hall Of Fame 2017 Inductees:

  • Ron Chernow (1949) is an American writer, journalist, historian, and biographer. He has written bestselling and award-winning biographies of historical figures from the world of business, finance, and American politics.
  • William Kennedy (1928) is an American writer and journalist  born and raised in Albany, New York.  Many of his novels feature the interactions of members of the fictional Irish-American Phelan family and make use of incidents of Albany's history and the supernatural.
  • Suzan-Lori Parks (1963) is an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist.  Her 2001 play Topdog/Underdog won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002.  Parks is the first African American woman to achieve this honor.
  • Lillian Ross is an American journalist and author, who was a staff writer at The New Yorker from 1945 until she retired.
  • Alexander Hamilton (1755 or 1757 – 1804) was an American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.  He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the United States Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation's financial system, the Federalist Party, The United States Coast Guard, and The New York Post newspaper. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of the Georrg Washington administration.  
  • Frederick Law Olmsted (1822 – 1903) was an American landscape architect, journalist, social critic, and public administrator. He is popularly considered to be the father of American landscape architecture.  He was famous for co-designing many well-known urban parks with his senior partner Calvert Vaux, including Central Park in New York City, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and Elm Park in Worcester, Massachusetts, considered by many to be the first municipal park in America.
  • Christopher Morley (1890 – 1957) was an American journalist, novelist, essayist and poet.  He also produced stage productions for a few years and gave college lectures.
  • Walter Dean Myers (1937 – 2014) was an American writer of children's books best known for young adult literature.  He wrote more than one hundred books including picture books and nonfiction. He won the Coretta Scott King Award for African-American authors five times.  His 1988 novel Fallen Angels is one of the books most frequently challenged in the United Satates because of its adult language and its realistic depiction of the Vietnam War. 

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NYS Writers Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees:

  • Isaac Asimov (1920?-1992), was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. He was prolific and wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His books have been published in 9 of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification.
  • Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), was an American poet and one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the counterculture that soon would follow.  He vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialism and sexual repression and was known as embodying various aspects of the counterculture, such as his views on drugs, hostility to bureaucracy and openness to Eastern religions. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem "Howl," in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States.
  • Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983), was an American writer and illustrator of children's books. He won the 1963 Caldecott Medal for illustrating The Snowy Day, which he also wrote.  It is considered one of the most important American books of the 20th century. He is best known for introducing multiculturalism into mainstream American children's literature. He was one of the first children's book authors to use an urban setting for his stories and he developed the use of collage as a medium for illustration.
  • Dawn Powell (1896-1965), was an American writer of novels and stories. She had a produgious output, producing hundreds of short stories, ten plays, a dozen novels, and an extended diary starting in 1931.
  • Francine Prose (1947), is an American writer of novels, non-fiction books, and short story collections.  She is a Visiting Professor of Literature at Bard College, and was formerly president of PEN American Center.
  • David Remnick (1958), is a progressive American journalist, writer, and magazine editor.  He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for his book Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire. He has been editor of The New Yorker magazine since 1998.  He was named Editor of the Year by Advertising Age in 2000. Before joining The New Yorker, he was a reporter and the Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post. He has also served on the New York Public Library's board of trustees.  In 2010 he published his sixth book, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama.
  • Colm Tóibín (1955), is an Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic, and poet. He is currently Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and succeeded Martin Amis as professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester. He was hailed as a champion of minorities as he collected the 2011 Irish PEN Award. In 2011, he was named one of Britain's Top 300 Intellectuals by The Observer.

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NYS Writers Hall of Fame 2014 Inductees:

  • Russell Banks (1940), is an American writer of fiction and poetry.  As a novelist , he is best known for his "detailed accounts of domestic strife and the daily struggles of ordinary often-marginalized characters." His stories usually revolve around his own childhood experiences, and often reflect "moral themes and personal relationships." He is a member of the International Parliament of Writers and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
  • Mary Higgins Clark (1929), is an American author of suspense novels. Each of her 51 books has been a bestseller in the United States and various European countries, and all of her novels remained in print as of 2015, with her debut suspense novel, Where Are The Children, in its seventy-fifth printing.
  • Nora Ephron (1941-2012), was an American journalist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, director, and blogger.  She is best known for her romantic comedies and was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Writing: for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally..., and Sleepless in Seattle. She won a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally.... She sometimes wrote with her sister Delia Ephron. Her last film was Julie & Julia. She also co-authored the Drama Desk Award-winning theatrical production Love, Loss, and What I Wore. In 2013, Ephron received a posthumous Tony Award nomination for Best Play for her play Lucky Guy.
  • Alice Hoffman (1952), is an American novelist and young-adult and children's writer, best known for her 1995 novel Practical Magic, which was adapted for a 1998 film of the same name.  Many of her works fall into the genre of magic realism and contain elements of magic, irony, and non-standard romances and relationships.
  • Maurice Kenny (1929), is a Mohawk poet. He was co-editor with Josh Gosciak of Contact/II, a literary magazine.  He is also the editor and publisher of Strawberry Press (most active in the 1970s and 1980s) and Many Moons Press. Strawberry Press publishes poems and artwork, often in postcard form, by Native Americans.  Many Moons Press publishes poetry and artwork primarily from writers and artists associated with the North Country of New York State, including photographer Mark Kurtz and poet Dan Bodah.
  • Rex Stout (1886-1975), was an American writer noted for his detective fiction, particularly the 33 novels and about 40 novellas that featured the detective Nero Wolfe and his assistant Archie Goodwin between 1934 and 1975. In 1959 Stout received the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award.  The Nero Wolfe corpus was nominated Best Mystery Series of the Century at Bouchercon XXXI, the world's largest mystery convention, and Res Stout was nominated Best Mystery Writer of the Century.
  • James Thurber (1894-1961), was an American cartoonist, author, journalist, playwright, and celebrated wit.  He was best known for his cartoons and short stories, published mainly in The New Yorker magazine and collected in his numerous books. One of the most popular humorists of his time, he celebrated the comic frustrations and eccentricities of ordinary people.  In collaboration with his college friend, Elliott Nugent, he wrote the Broadway comedy, The Male Animal, later adapted into a film, which starred Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland.

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NYS Writers Hall of Fame 2013 Inductees:

Read the Introductions at the Reader's Almanac:  Henry S. F. Cooper (James Fenimore Cooper); Honor Moore (Marilyn Hacker); Charles Molesworth (Countee Cullen); Dan Barry (Alice McDermott); Daniel Gallant (Miguel Pinero); and Paul O. Zelinsky (Maurice Sendak)

Noted writers Marilyn Hacker, Alice McDermott, Walter Mosley, and Calvin Trillin are among the eight members of the 2013 Class of Inductees into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. 

The four were in attendance at the induction on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, at the Princeton Club of New York. The announcement of the 2013 inductees was made on February 26, 2013, at the Forbes Gallery in New York City, by Robert L. Forbes, who serves on the board of the Empire State Center for the Book. The Center for the Book is the organization that oversees the Hall of Fame. 

In addition, four deceased writers, James Fenimore Cooper, Countee Cullen, Miguel Pinero, and Maurice Sendak were inducted. “This year’s list of inductees has poets, novelists, and journalists whose work spans from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries” said Rocco Staino, the Center for the Book Director. “I hope that the public will take time to revisit the works of all our inductees.”

  • Countee Cullen (1903-46), an American poet who was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Marilyn Hacker (1942), an American poet, translator and critic. She is best known for formal poems that mix high culture and colloquial speech.
  • Alice McDermott (1953), an American novelist. Her 1998 novel Charming Billy won an American Book Award and the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. In 2006 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for After This.
  • Walter Mosley (1952), an American novelist, most widely recognized for his crime fiction. He has written a series of best-selling historical mysteries featuring the hard-boiled detective Easy Rawlins.
  • Miguel Pinero (1946-88), Puerto Rican playwright, actor and co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. He was a leading member of the Nuyorican literary movement.
  • Maurice Sendak (1928-2012), a writer and illustrator of children’s books. He was best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, first published in 1963.
  • Calvin Trillin (1935), a journalist, humorist, food writer, poet, memoirist and novelist. He is the 2012 recipient of Thurber Prize for American Humor.

NEW YORK STATE WRITERS HALL OF FAME 2012 INDUCTEES:

Noted authors Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, E.L.Doctorow,and Pete Hamill are among the 14 writers in the 2012 Class of Inductees into the NYS Writers Hall of Fame. The four were be in attendance at the induction on June 5, 2012 at the Princeton Club of New York.

Ten deceased writers including Kurt Vonnegut, Washington Irving, and Marianne Moore were also be inducted. The full list of the 2012 inductees is as follows:

  • John Cheever (May 27, 1912 – June 18, 1982), a novelist and short story writer. He was a long time resident of Ossining, NY, who is sometimes called "the Chekhov of the suburbs." His fiction is mostly set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the Westchester suburbs. 2012 marks the centennial of his birth.
  • Hart Crane (July 21, 1899 – April 27, 1932), a poet who depicted New York City in many of his works with a vibrancy that is rare in poetry. He was a resident of Brooklyn living at 77 Willow Street and 110 Columbia Heights. While there, he wrote to his mother “Just imagine looking out your window directly on the East River with nothing intervening between your view of the Statue of Liberty, way down the harbour, and the marvelous beauty of Brooklyn Bridge close above you on your right!”
  • Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885 – April 16, 1968), a novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and member of the Algonquin Roundtable. She won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, So Big, her Showboat was translated into a the Broadway musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, and her works Saratoga Trunk, Cimarron, and Giant were made into memorable films. She lived for a time at West 65th Street and Central Park West.
  • Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859), author, essayist, biographer, and historian best known for Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. He solidified the term Knickerbocker into the American vocabulary. Although he is best associated as a resident of the Hudson Valley with his Sunnyside home, a Tarrytown tourist attraction, he also lived on Williams Street in Manhattan. 
  • Henry James (April 15, 1843 – February 28, 1916), New York City born writer of 20 novels, 112 stories, 12 plays, several volumes of travel & criticism, and a great deal of literary journalism. He is well known for such works as The Portrait of a Lady and The Turn of the Screw.
  • Mary McCarthy (June 21, 1912 – October 25, 1989), a novelist, essayist, and critic. Although born in Seattle, her New York roots began in 1929 when she arrived in Poughkeepsie, NY, to attend Vassar College and continued her ties until her death in 1989. During that period she taught at New York’s Bard & Sarah Lawrence Colleges and wrote political and social commentary, literary essays, and drama criticism which appeared in magazines such as Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The New York Review of Books. McCarthy was the author of 28 books during her lifetime, both fiction and nonfiction. 2012 marked the centennial of her birth.
  • Marianne Moore (November 15, 1887 – February 5, 1972), a poet noted for her irony and wit. Although born in Missouri, she was a quintessential New Yorker, throwing out the first ball to open the Yankees 1968 season and living at 35 West 9th Street in Manhattan, as well as living for 37 years at 260 Cumberland Street in Brooklyn. It is only fitting that she joins her protégés Elizabeth Bishop (inducted in 2010) and John Ashbery (inducted in 2011) in the Hall of Fame.
  • Barbara Tuchman (January 30,1912 – February 6, 1989) a self-trained historian who received two Pulitzer Prizes. She won in 1963 for The Guns of August that chronicled the days before World War I and in 1972 for the biography of Joseph Stilwell, Stilwell and the American Experience in China. Tuchman’s New York roots began at birth and continued throughout her life. 2012 marked the centennial of her birth.
  • Kurt Vonnegut (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) a writer who used satire, gallows humor, and science fiction in his works of fiction. A longtime resident of Manhattan and eastern Long Island, it is a fact that most of his published works were created within its borders of New York, beginning with columns he wrote for The Cornell Daily Sun, in Ithaca, where he was a member of the class of 1944. Jay McInerney described Vonnegut as a “satirist with a heart, a moralist with a whoopee cushion, a cynic who wants to believe." He served as New York State Author from 2001–2003.
  • Richard Wright (September 4, 1908 – November 28, 1960) an African-American author of controversial novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes, especially those involving the plight of African-Americans during the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. He came to New York in 1937 and as a member of the WPA worked on a guidebook to the city, New York Panorama (1938), and wrote the book's essay on Harlem. While in New York he earned a Guggenheim Fellowship, which allowed him to complete Native Son. It was selected by the Book of the Month Club as its first book by an African-American author.

The following living writers were also inducted at the June 5, 2012 ceremony.

  • E. L. Doctorow (January 6, 1931) born in the Bronx, a long time resident of New Rochelle and now in residence in Manhattan. Doctorow’s novels include The Book of Daniel, a National Book Award nominee in 1972, Ragtime, which received the first National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1976, World’s Fair, which won the 1986 National Book Award, and Billy Bathgate, winner of the PEN/Faulkner prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the William Dean Howells medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His novel,Homer & Langley, was published in 2009.
  • Peter Hamill (June 24, 1935) Brooklyn born Hamill is a journalist, novelist, and essayist. He worked as a journalist for the New York Post, the New York Daily News, the Village Voice, and Newsday. Author of 11 novels with his latest being Tabloid City published in 2011.
  • Toni Morrison(February 18, 1931) a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist. The Bluest Eye and Beloved are among her best known works. In 1977 Song of Solomon became the first work by an African-American author to be a featured selection in the Book-of-the-Month Club since Native Son by Richard Wright. Her New York roots span back to 1964 when she lived in Syracuse and then later in New York City and Rockland County. She taught both at Bard College and the University at Albany, The State University of New York.
  • Joyce Carol Oates (June 16, 1938) born in western New York’s Lockport and graduated from Williamsville South High School and Syracuse University. She has written over 50 novels in addition to short stories, poetry, and non-fiction. Her novel Them (1969) won the National Book Award, and her novels Black Water (1992), What I Lived For (1994), and Blonde (2000) were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

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NEW YORK STATE WRITERS HALL OF FAME 2011 INDUCTEES:

Noted writers such as Herman Melville and Willa Cather were among the nine members of the 2013 Class of Inductees into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. 

John Ashbery and Paula Fox attend the event to receive the honor in person. In 2008, John Ashbery’s Collected Poems 1956–1987 was published as part of the Library of America series.  He was the first living poet to receive that honor.   To coincide with the  Hall of Fame induction, Paula Fox who turns 88 in April will also have a new book, News from the World (W.W. Norton) released that month.

The induction ceremony into the NYS Writers Hall of Fame was held during the Empire State Book Festival Gala on Friday, April 1, 2011 at the State Room, in Albany, New York. 

  • John Ashbery (1927) Born in Rochester, NY. This American poet has published more than twenty volumes of poetry and won nearly every major American award for poetry, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
  • Willa Cather (1873-1947) a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, works such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and The Song of the Lark. In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer for One of Ours (1922), a novel set during World War I. Cather lived in New York for most of her adult life and writing career.
  • Julia DeBurgos (1914-1953) considered by many as the greatest poet to have been born in Puerto Rico. She spent her life between New York and Puerto Rico. On September 14, 2010 the US Postal Service issued a postage stamp in her honor.
  • Ralph Ellison (1914-1994) is best known for his novel, Invisible Man that won the National Book Award in 1953.
  • Paula Fox(1923) born in New York City she writes for both adults and children. Her novel The Slave Dancer (1973) received the Newbery Medal in 1974; and in 1978, she was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal.
  • Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) attended the New School in New York City.  She was a playwright who is best known for A Raisin in the Sun.
  • Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007) born in New York City best known for her Young Adult fiction, particularly the Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.
  • Herman Melville (1819-1891) born in New York City  He was novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the novella Billy Budd.
  • Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) a founding member of the Algonquin Roundtable she was a poet and satirist best known for her wit and her eye for urban foibles.

The nominees into the NYS Writers Hall of Fame were chosen by a selection committee comprised of Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, Jeffrey Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education of the New York State Education Department, Barbara Genco, retired librarian from Brooklyn Public Library and Editor of Collection Management at Media Source, Brian Kenney, Director of the White Plains Public Library, Brian McCarthy, Associate Publisher of the Library of America, Kathleen Masterson, Director of the Literature Program at the New York State Council on the Arts, Bertha Rogers, Executive Director of Bright Hill Press & creator of the New York State Literary website and map, Rocco Staino, Chairman of the Empire State Center for the Book, and Hong Yao, Associate Coordinator Collection Development at Queens Library.

Plans are under way to house the NYS Writers Hall of Fame at the New York State Library in Albany. The Empire State Center for the Book is part of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and is housed at the New York Library Association.

For additional information on the Empire State Center for the Book and the Writers Hall of fame, contact Rocco Staino at the New York Library Association. 1-800-252-NYLA or [email protected]/* */.

 

 


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