Writer and long-time Strathmore resident, Sean Kirst, will speak on Syracuse: What I loved, why I stayed, what still drives me wild at the Firebarn at 2 pm, Sunday, October 18th, 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Since receiving his first paycheck as a journalist more than 38 years ago, Sean Kirst has built his writing career on his passion for the cities and countryside of Upstate New York. Before coming to Syracuse, Kirst worked for newspapers in Rochester, Niagara Falls, and his hometown, Dunkirk, New York. Kirst joined The Post-Standard/Syracuse Media Group as a writer in 1988 and became a columnist in 1991. Today his work focuses primarily on civic issues – often starting at the neighborhood level – involving struggle, hope and passage, the themes that dominate our Upstate lives.
Photo from Newshouse.
In 2009, Kirst became the first Upstate journalist to win the Ernie Pyle Award for human interest writing, presented annually to the one journalist nationally who best personifies the approach and ethic of Pyle, the renowned World War II correspondent. In 2010, Kirst received both the national Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in column writing and the national Capitol Beat award for commentary, for his columns on state government in Albany. He has won two national Clarion Awards for opinion writing. Kirst has also been recognized by the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors for his interactive involvement with readers, through his blog, and he has been honored by the U.S. Justice Department for sensitivity to victims of violent crime. In 2014, the Syracuse Press Club added his name to its Wall of Distinction.
Kirst is also the author of “The Ashes of Lou Gehrig,” a collection of baseball essays, and co-author of “Moonfixer: The Basketball Journey of Earl Lloyd,” the autobiography of basketball Hall of Famer Earl Lloyd, who in 1950 became the first African-American to play in the National Basketball Association. The England-based Tolkien Society credits Kirst with proposing the worldwide Tolkien Reading Day that is now held every March, a celebration that always includes a gathering in Central New York.
Born in 1959, Kirst lives in Syracuse with his wife, Nora, a kindergarten teacher in the Syracuse city schools. They have three children: Sarah, Seamus and Liam.