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October 28, 2018 - 1:34pm

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The John Gardner Society gathered at the Pok-A-Dot on Saturday night for the group's annual reading of works by John Gardner.

A Batavia-native, Gardner is an internationally acclaimed novelist and literary critic who died in a motorcycle accident in 1982.

Readers this year were Steve Lewandowski, Byron Hoot, Beth Bucchler (top photo), Richard Beatty, Bill Kauffman, David Lampe, Chris De Pasquale, Helen Maier, Terry Abrams, John Maier and Eric Zwieg.

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Byron Hoot

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Bill Kauffman

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Terry Abrams

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September 16, 2018 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Gardner Society, batavia, Literature, news.

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The John Gardner Society will host its annual reading of Batavia's most renowned novelist at the Pok-A-Dot the evening of Oct. 27.

The reading will start at 8 p.m.

Anybody with an interest in Gardner, literature, Batavia's history, or just looking for an evening of camaraderie and entertainment, is invited to attend or read their own favorite passages from Gardner's work.

For more information or to be added to the list of readers, contact Bill Kauffman at [email protected].

The event is sponsored by the John Gardner Society and Genesee Community College.

Photo: File photo from last year's reading.

May 11, 2018 - 11:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Literature, poetry, moon java, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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Bryon Hoot, a poet from Pennsylvania who visits Batavia often for literary events, reads some of his poetry at Moon Java this evening for the debut event for The Visual Truth Theater Ensemble, a literary group organized by Eric Zwieg.

Zwieg, Julian Tuast, and Cole Rogers also read from their work. Richard Beatty was the emcee for the reading.

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Richard Beatty

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Cole Rogers 

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April 25, 2018 - 9:39am

A new literary group in Batavia, organized by Eric Zwieg, The Visual Truth Theater Ensemble, will present readings by writers Byron Hoot, Cole Rogers, Julian Tuast, and Zwieg on May 11 at Moon Java Cafe.

The title of the program is "Speak Again, Speak Like Rain" and begins at 7 p.m.

Richard Beatty, of the Geezer Radio Show on WGCC on Thursday nights from 8 to 10 p.m., will host the reading.

The reading is free and open to the public.

Contact [email protected] for additional details. 

October 25, 2015 - 7:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Gardner, John Gardner Society, Literature, batavia, Pok-A-Dot.

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Batavia's literary legend John Gardner was honored Saturday night by the John Gardner Society with the annual reading from passages of his work at his favorite restaurant, the Pok-A-Dot.

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June 29, 2015 - 7:28pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, art, books, Literature.

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Connie Boyd and Dave Bateman, her son-in-law, show off a new little free library they setup at 16 Montclair Ave. in Batavia last week.

Bateman built Boyd the box for a holiday gift. One of her favorite TV shows is "Doctor Who" so he customized the box to resemble a tardis, a police box the doctor travels around in. The tardis even comes with a working light on top.

Boyd wanted to have a little free library of her own after seeing a box on Washington Avenue. She loves the concept of sharing her favorite novels with neighbors. The purpose of a little free library is to have people take a book from the box and leave one in return.

"Not everyone is able to get to the library so I wanted to make books accessible to everyone and encourage reading in my community," Boyd said.

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There are about 20 adult books in the box. Boyd said her neighbors have already been adding and borrowing from the collection. She plans on adding books for children soon.

October 26, 2014 - 11:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Pok-A-Dot, books, Literature, John Gardner.

Members of the John Gardner Society gathered, as they do every October, for a reading of selections from the work of Batavia's own John Gardner.

Top photo: Bill Kauffman reading a portion of an essay about Gardner by Susan Thornton, who was Gardner's fiancée at time of his death.

Byron Hoot, who began attending the readings a few years ago, driving to Batavia annually from his home in Pennsylvania. 

Jim Gardner, John's brother

Leona Pastore and Terry Abrams

Bill Kauffman

Brian Paris reading

September 25, 2014 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, arts, books, Literature.

Jen Reardon loves books and wants to encourage people to read more, so she set up a little free library in front of her house on the corner of Washington Avenue and Lewis Avenue.

She got the idea after learning about a web site called LittleFreeLibrary.org. In fact, she bought her brightly colored box from the web site. The site also tracks locations of little free libraries, and hers is the first one registered in Genesee County.

"I knew of nothing in area, at least on the map, so why not do this?" Reardon said. "I love books. I seem to always have lots of readers around me with lots of books and they're like, 'what can I do these,' so I thought we'll put them out and let people take a book, leave a book."

That's the whole concept of the little free library right there -- there's no fee, no library card to sign up for, you take a book and leave a book. Return what you take whenever you like, nor never return it if you like it that much. Just put something else in its place.

Yesterday was the first day for Reardon's little free library and quite a few people stopped and took books. Not too many have been added to the collection yet.

"Yesterday was a busy day at the little free library," Reardon said. "There was definitely more borrowing than trading, but since it's the first day, I don't think people really knew what to make of it."

Reardon already has one of the most colorful front yards in Batavia, with a cornucopia of flowers growing all spring, summer and fall. Her green, orange and purple box fits right in.

Her neighborhood is perfect for something like this, Reardon believes.

"We have all income levels within like a three block area," she said.

"I think people don't read enough and some people might not have access to books. You can always go to the library, but if you have books in your home, you're more likely to pick it up and read it, kids especially.

June 14, 2013 - 11:13am
posted by Leslie DeLooze in creative writing, poetry, Literature, contest.
Event Date and Time: 
July 18, 2013 - 9:00am to July 19, 2013 - 5:00pm

Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia is presenting a “Mine” for Poetry Contest for adults in the "Dig into Reading" Summer Reading Club (free and easy to join). Dig into a page of text — from a book, a magazine, or a newspaper (Please make a copy, if it is not yours!). Find words to make a poem...and eliminate the rest as artistically as possible. Samples are available at the library. Entries are due at the library by Friday, July 19 at 5 p.m. and prizes will be awarded.  More information is available at the library, by calling 343-9550, ext.

April 16, 2013 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC, books, Literature, John Gardner.

This item was submitted by Byron Hoot, from Wexford, Pa., who has made a couple of trips to Batavia in the past year in connection with his appreciation of John Gardner, including this past Saturday's John Gardner Conference at GCC.

“The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” So began the first presenter for the 15th Annual John Gardner Conference hosted by Genesee Community College organized by Tracey Ford and Charley Boyd of GCC, coordinated by Sandy Hortdahl of Northeast State, Tennessee. 

It was “the spirit (that) giveth life” throughout the conference. The spirit of Gardner was alive and well among the conference attendees, who came from across New York state, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. 

Presenters spoke on a wide range of topics, from Paul Johnston’s “Taggart Hodge, Antinomian” to John and Helen Maier’s reading of “The Miller’s Tale” in Chaucer’s Middle English, to Denise Divins’ probing look at the archetypical world of Grendel. In addition, there was Bette Smith’s excellent performance of Gardner’s one-act play, Days of Vengeance, and Jennifer Duncan’s talk of Gardner’s influence on her own writing. 

Attendees had a chance to examine some of the original Gardner materials housed at GCC and overseen by librarian Phyllis Andrews. Finally, as a visual coda, there was a screening of "The Sunlight Man," a documentary made by Gardner’s son, Joel. As important as the ideas and insights, the presence of Gardner’s brother Jim and his wife, Wanda, added the personal touch of stories from family members who loved and love Gardner still.

A pilgrimage to the Pok-a-Dot for lunch gave conference attendees added time to socialize. A hidden gem, Genesee Community College deserves much credit for keeping alive the spirit of an important American writer. This is a pilgrimage well worth making.

November 26, 2011 - 6:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, books, Tom Rivers, Literature.

Ace ag reporter Tom Rivers was at Coffee Culture this morning with his son Ruben signing copies of his book "Farm Hands." The book is based on a series of articles Rivers wrote for the Batavia Daily News about his efforts to get out and work the fields, experiencing firsthand what it's like to be a farm hand. Rivers said so far the book has sold 5,500 copies. If you don't have your copy yet, it's available at Present Tense books and the Holland Land Office Museum.

October 23, 2011 - 11:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Pok-A-Dot, Literature, John Gardner.

The John Gardner Society gathered Saturday at the Pok-A-Dot for the annual reading of the author's works.

Readers were Lucine, Bill and Gretel Kauffman, Erica Caldwell, Terry McCormack, Tracy Ford, Maureen Maas-Feary, Brian Paris, Helen Maier, Terry Abrams and John Maier.

WNED's Jay Moran recorded the readings and will air a segment later in the week, possibly on Wednesday.

If you can't view the slide show, click here.

October 9, 2011 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, books, Literature.

Miranda Fix was at Coffee Culture on Saturday signing copies of her new novel -- her sixth -- "Calling all Angels."

Fix, a registered nurse with 30 years experience, describes her new book this way:  “It’s about my story and my experiences as a nurse surviving in a profession that is full of illusions, disenchantments and despair. But deep inside that sadness is a rainbow of color and these shades of blues, yellows greens and reds are the true colors of our angels. They are there for us, they guide us, empower us, pray for us and keep us safe. They are there when you call upon them…you just need to ask them for help. 

"Calling All Angels is a novel about true life and the amazing strength in the patients I have met along the way. Stories that will make you laugh and cry, but they are full of hope and wonder. I wish you love and happiness as in the ways of the angels…and remember to believe.”

The mother of two children, and grandmother to three, Fix lives in Corfu.

April 30, 2011 - 9:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, arts, Present Tense, poetry, Literature.

Winners of the 5th Annual National Poetry Contest -- sponsored by Present Tense Books and Gifts and GoArt! -- were announced Friday. Some of the winners were at Present Tense on Washington Avenue, Batavia, Saturday afternoon to receive their prizes.

Pictured above are Joe Gagne, Abby Sapecky, Faith Finnin (back row), Lindsay Augello, and Chloe Shuskey.

A complete list of winners and their poems are posted on the Present Tense Web site.

Each winner received a gift certificate from Present Tense.

January 22, 2011 - 2:26pm

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Local author Thomas Talbot, whose new novel "The Craft" is based on the disappearance of William Morgan, was at Present Tense today signing copies of his book.

October 24, 2010 - 7:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Pok-A-Dot, Literature, John Gardner.

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It's been said that the Pok-A-Dot was John Gardner's favorite eatery. In "The Sunlight Dialogues," Gardner mentions the 56-year-old diner in one passage.

For 14 years, the John Gardner Society has gathered at The Dot to remember the man and read from his work.

Saturday, nine people took turns reading from a variety of his works, including novels, poems, short stories and nonfiction.

Pictured above, Erica Caldwell, owner of Present Tense Books on Washington Avenue.

After the jump are more pictures from the event.

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October 13, 2010 - 11:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Announcements, events, books, Literature.
Event Date and Time: 
October 23, 2010 - 8:00pm to 10:10pm

Members of the John Gardner Society and other fans of the late author who was born and raised in Batavia and often made Batavia the subject of his literary work will gather at the Pok-A-Dot, Liberty and Ellicott streets, Batavia. Admission is free. All are welcome.  For more information or to be added to the reading list, call Bill at (585) 757-2455.

October 24, 2009 - 11:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Literature, John Gardner, Gardner Society.

Last year, I couldn't make the John Gardner reading at the Pok-A-Dot because my parents were visiting. This year, I had to cover the Notre Dame game. As I told Bill Kauffman, "Like they say in baseball, maybe next year."

Thanks to Charley Boyd for posting this video of Kauffman opening the 13th annual event.

August 23, 2008 - 10:58am
posted by C. M. Barons in fiction, Literature, Seventies.

 

 
 
 
                       “A fine new American novel. Barons has the cosmic curiosity of Emerson, the appetite of Whitman, and the talent of Kerouac."  Rod Clark, BookReview.com
 
"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
 
 
                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A
n 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.        

 

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