Skip to main content


Author, blogger, editor Ken Wheaton to visit GCC

By Billie Owens

Author, blogger and editor Ken Wheaton will bring his creative writing talents to Genesee Community College on Wednesday, Oct.13, for a reading from his first novel, "The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival."

The reading will take place at the Batavia Campus from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in T102. Afterward, Wheaton will have a question-and-answer period, followed by a book signing. This event is free and open to the public. Copies of the book are for sale in the Barnes and Noble Campus Book Store at Genesee's Batavia Campus.

In "The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival," Father Steve Sibille has come home to the bayou to take charge of St. Pete's church. Among his challenges are teenybopper altar girls, insomnia-curing confessions, and alarmingly alluring congregant Vicky Carrier. Then there's Miss Rita, an irrepressible centenarian with a taste for whiskey, cracklins, and sticking her nose in other people's business.

When an outsider threatens to poach Father Steve's flock, Miss Rita suggests he fight back by staging an event that will keep St. Pete's parishioners loyal forever. As the First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival draws near, help comes from the strangest places. And while the road to the festival may be paved with good intentions – not to mention bake sales, an elephant, and the most bizarre cookout ever – where it will lead is anyone's guess. (Excerpt from

Wheaton's writings include editing and writing for Advertising Age and his essay "Bombs! Anthrax! Gas! Ho, Hum," appeared in The Subway Chronicles anthology alongside the work of Calvin Trillin and Jonathan Lethem. Born and raised in Opelousas, La., he now lives in Brooklyn. To find out more visit

"It is imperative that our students have the opportunity to speak with successful writers and poets who are working in the real world," said Shawn Adamson, instructor of English at Genesee. "Not only does it inspire our students to continue with their education, but it also inspires students to never give up on their career aspirations."

This author visit is funded by the President's Innovation Award. The PIA Program provides funding for innovative activities and projects that promote community involvement in the life of Genesee Community College, stimulate student and community pride in the college, or help establish pilot programs or initiatives with the potential for positive, long-term impact on the college.

For further information contact instructor Adamson at 343-0055, ext. 6156 or

Jim Nigro at GoArt! for new book signing and party

By Billie Owens

The Batavian's outdoor columnist Jim Nigro will be at GoArt! beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to sell and sign copies of his first novel.

"Tapestry: A Life Walk Among Friends" is the story of two friends growing up in a small town much like Batavia in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. Most of it is drawn from his real-life experiences.

The event is at Seymour Place, located at 201 E. Main St. in downtown Batavia. Everyone is welcome!

Event Date and Time

Conversations with Calliope- Monday Morning

By Joseph Langen

Bird Feeders

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE:  Good morning Joe. How is this week going so far?
JOE: For the first time in a while last Monday, I woke up feeling some stress with all I had to work on during the week.
CALLIOPE: And this morning?
JOE: No stress. I accomplished all I set out to do last week and feel quite relaxed today.
CALLIOPE: What’s going on in your writing world?
JOE: I finished reading two of Nancy Kress’s novels and got a good sense of how she puts into practice what she writes about construction and characters in fiction.
CALLIOPE: And next?
JOE: I found three of her books on the craft of writing and will start delving into them in more detail.
CALLIOPE: Sounds good. And GO ART?
JOE: All is well. My first program with Sybil Reisch is in order and I have started working on a poetry program for April, National Poetry Month. Talk with you on Friday.

Conversations with Calliope- What's in a Name

By Joseph Langen



(Navajo Code Talkers)

What's in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Great weekend newsletter.
JOE: Thanks, I had a variety of nice comments.
CALLIOPE: What's on your mind today?
JOE: Saturday I tried to track down a name badge for my lover, Fuzzy the Clown. I had meant to order her one for Christmas and forgot to. Now I'm in a last minute search.
CALLIOPE: Good luck.
JOE: This morning I woke up thinking about names and their significance.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: In fiction and real life, some names bring to mind whole stories while stories bring to mind certain names.
CALLIOPE: Were you thinking of any names and stories in particular.
JOE: I thought of quite a few. One connection which comes to mind is Tom Sawyer and the Antebellum South.
CALLIOPE: Do you think fiction and reality intersect.
JOE: I named my youngest daughter Becky after Becky Thatcher. Talk with you tomorrow.


In the Midst Of

By C. M. Barons


                          “A fine new American novel. Barons has the cosmic curiosity of Emerson, the appetite of Whitman, and the talent of Kerouac."  Rod Clark,
"Refreshingly original, highly ambitious in scope and totally offbeat," Bill Chinaski, Alternative Reel 
"...a gourmet meal! This book is a rarefied taste treat for the mind and spirit!"  W. H. McDonald, The American Authors Association 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               An An offbeat 1970's rewind to be filed under Adult Literary Fiction, In the Midst Of is assembled as a retrospective- minus the trite icons typically enlisted to resemble the 70s.  The story is video verite, spurred by downright, gut-metered dialogue.  The backdrop, unaffected: a Kodacolor © snapshot- definitive 70s.  Brian and friends are ensconced on a college campus.  Coed dorms, unisex fashion; lines obscured by casual, experimental encounters.  Edge-lurking has always been fashionable.  Hollis dangles by his fingertips.  Beneath his public facade lies a disturbing void.  His multiple secrets are protected by an ambiguity that passes for cool.  Hollis is the aim- as sure as the bull's eye emblazoned on any Zen-archer's target.        


Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

By Joseph Langen


(Niagara Falls)

var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine, but busy.
CALLIOPE: Still sorting and packing?
JOE: Yes, although I'm beginning to see a dent in the pile.
CALLIOPE: Any literary progress?
JOE: A little. I started on ideas for the video Are You Afraid of This Book.
CALLIOPE: Tell me the premise again.
JOE: I have a suspicion that many people don't read The Pastor's Inferno because it scares them off.
CALLIOPE: Have you thought that it could just be your writing?
JOE: That occurred to me, but I think it's more than that.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: The topic of sexual abuse, the darkness of the subject, more information than they want about the human condition.
CALLIOPE: What do you think people look for in fiction?
JOE: Escape, entertainment, reaffirmation of their views on society, a good story.
CALLIOPE: So you think you challenge people's thinking too much.
JOE: Maybe so. Let's talk a little more about it tomorrow.

Authentically Local