ALBANY, NY (10/12/2017) (readMedia)-- The 9/11 terrorist attacks changed Ryan Smithson's life. After graduation from Columbia High School in East Greenbush, he enlisted in the Army Reserves and was deployed to Iraq in 2004. What he saw during his tour of duty haunted him.
When Smithson returned home, writing was his therapy. His unflinchingly honest portrayal of the war in Iraq, Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-Year Old GI, was published in 2009.
Smithson, a UAlbany graduate and Rotterdam resident, will read from his memoir at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, October 26, in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the UAlbany Uptown Campus. A book signing will follow the talk. This reading is free and open to the public.
The Griffin Theatre Company of Chicago will perform an adaptation of Ghosts of War at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 1, in the Main Theatre, Performing Arts Center, on the UAlbany Uptown Campus. Advance tickets: $15 general public/$10 students, seniors and UAlbany faculty/staff. Day of show tickets, $20 general public/$15 students, seniors and UAlbany faculty/staff. Contact the box office at (518) 442-3997.
School Library Journal described Ghosts of War as "a thorough but powerful look at one man's experiences," and Publishers Weekly wrote, "Smithson avoids writing either pro-war propaganda or an antimilitary polemic, providing instead a fascinating, often humorous – and occasionally devastating - account of the motivations and life of a contemporary soldier."
Smithson received his master's in English from the University at Albany. He has traveled the country making public appearances at colleges, high schools, libraries and education conferences and he continues to benefit from the therapeutic aspects of writing and storytelling.
Smithson's reading and the Ghosts of War stage performance are presented by the NYS Writers Institute, the UAlbany Performing Arts Center and UAlbany's English Department. Funding support provided by University Auxiliary Services, the University at Albany Foundation, the UAlbany Alumni Association, and the Hampton Inn.
For additional information contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at www.nyswritersinstitute.org.