Sean Kirst to speak at the Hotel Syracuse

The Strathmore Speaker Series is proud to announce that beloved Central New York journalist and author Sean Kirst will speak at the former Hotel Syracuse (now the Marriott Syracuse Downtown) on Tuesday, December 20th, at 7:30 pm. Sean will be discussing his latest book, “The Soul of Central New York: Syracuse Stories” which is a compilation of essays by Sean that capture and convey the essence of our city. Sean will also be doing a book signing. The event is free and open to the public.

Sean K

From the publisher:

A group of strangers risk death along the New York State Thruway to save a soldier from a burning truck. The true story, as told by football legend Jim Brown, of how the number 44 rose to prominence at Syracuse University. The beautiful yet tragic connection between Vice President Joseph Biden and Syracuse. The impossible account of how Eric Carle, one of the world’s great children’s authors, found his way to a childhood friend through a photograph taken in Syracuse more than eighty years ago.

All these tales can be found in The Soul of Central New York, a collection of columns by Sean Kirst that spans almost a quarter-century. During his long career as a writer for the Syracuse Post-Standard, Kirst won some of the most prestigious honors in journalism, including the Ernie Pyle Award, given annually to one American writer who best captures the hopes and dreams of everyday Americans.

For Kirst, his canvas is Syracuse, an upstate city of staggering beauty and profound struggle. In this book, readers will find a nuanced explanation of how Syracuse is intertwined with the spiritual roots of the Six Nations, as well as a soliloquy from a grieving father whose son was lost to violence on the streets. In these emotional contradictions―in the resilience, love, and heart-break of its people―Kirst offers a vivid portrait of his city and, in the end, gives readers hope.


This event marks the second time Sean will speak at the Strathmore Speaker Series. He originally spoke in October 2015 on “Syracuse: What I loved, why I stayed, and what still drives me wild,”shortly before leaving the Post-Standard/ to a standing room only crowd. An audio recording of that event can be found below. This is also the Series’ second Hotel Syracuse-related event, following a talk by owner/developer Ed Riley and muralist Katerina Spilio in spring 2016. This will be the first Speaker Series event to take place at the hotel.


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