Albany Saints & Sinners: Full-Novel Marathon Public Reading of Ironweed

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

(Please note this event will begin at Albany Distilling Company and end at Capital Repertory Theatre)

Join us for the first-ever marathon public reading of the full novel of “Ironweed” by Albany’s native son, William Kennedy. “Ironweed” won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and placed Albany on the literary map.

The reading will commence at noon on Wednesday, November 1 to mark the 40th anniversary of the novel’s publication in 1983.

We will begin the reading at the Albany Distilling Co. Bar and Bottle Shop, maker of Ironweed whiskey, at 75 Livingston Ave. in the North Albany neighborhood. This neighborhood is where Kennedy grew up and where some of the fictional scenes in the Depression-era narrative set in 1938 take place.

The reading, featuring dozens of volunteer readers, is expected to continue for about eight hours. Interested in being a reader? Click here to sign up! A copy of the book will be provided to readers, but feel free to bring your own.

Guests are welcome to sip a cozy drink and listen to the full reading, but you are also encouraged to explore the Bottle Shop and mingle with like-minded literary lovers at the bar. Readers will continue until the book is finished.

After a brief intermission, the final chapters of “Ironweed” will be read on stage at 7 p.m. at Capital Repertory Theatre, 251 N. Pearl St.—right next door. Reservations are required for this portion of the event. Admission is a minimum donation of $10 and all proceeds will go to benefit the food pantry at Sacred Heart Church, 33 Walter St., which was Kennedy’s parish when he was growing up.

The Marathon Reading of “Ironweedis co-sponsored by Albany Distilling Co., Capital Repertory Theatre, New York State Writers Institute, Discover Albany and Historic Albany Foundation.

Read more from the New York State Writers Institute.

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