Larkin Square Blog

Mark Slouka speaks on November 15th.

By Leslie Zemsky  
October 10, 2016

Bestselling author Mark Slouka returns to Buffalo and Larkin Square to speak about his new memoir Nobody’s Son: A Memoir (W.W. Norton & Company; October 18, 2016) .  Mark first spoke in Larkin Square about his best selling, critically acclaimed novel, Brewster.

Nobody's Son_ 978-0-393-29230-5As noted on Mark’s website: “Born in Czechoslovakia, Mark Slouka’s parents survived the Nazis only to be forced to then escape the Communist purges after the war. Smuggled out of their own country, the newlyweds joined a tide of refugees moving from Innsbruck to Sydney to New York, dragging with them a history of blood and betrayal that their son would be born into.

From World War I to the present, Slouka pieces together a remarkable story of refugees and war, displacement and denial, admitting into evidence memories, dreams, stories, the lies we inherit and the lies we tell—in an attempt to reach his mother, the figure at the center of the labyrinth. Her story—the revelation of her life-long burden and the forty-year love affair that might have saved her—shows the way out of the maze.” Read More

Nancy Davidoff Kelton speaks on October 20th

By Leslie Zemsky  
October 10, 2016

Join us in welcoming Nancy Davidoff Kelton to speak at the Larkin Square Author Series on Thursday, October 20th at 5:30pm inside the Filling Station.

b6afe7_998963f5a0ae49d7bbfde9d35abbd284Nancy will be speaking about her new memoir Finding Mr. Rightsein. 

Nancy was born in Buffalo and has lived the majority of her adult life in New York City. Her memoir is both heartwarming and funny. She writes with honesty about growing up in Buffalo, followed by marriage, divorce and finding love again in New York City. As for many of us, life throws plenty of  curveballs and obstacles, some happy, some funny and some sad.  Nancy has a gift for chronicling life’s ups and downs. The book is a series of essays that when combined read like a novel. As a reader, I was rooting for Nancy to find “Mr. Rightstein.”  You will have to read the book to find out if she is successful in her quest…or better yet, come to the author talk, enjoy a glass of wine, meet Nancy, purchase a copy of her book from Talking Leaves, at the event, or ahead at their store and have it signed!

Nancy’s essays have been published in the New York Times, Hadassah magazine, The Boston Globe, Redbook, Parents and other publications. She teaches writing at the New School and New York University.

I will join Nancy in her talk with a conversation on writing a memoir ( Nancy teaches classes on this), growing up in Buffalo, dating after 50 and more! The audience will be invited to join the conversation with questions.

Beer, wine, coffees, tea and light fare available for purchase. The Larkin Square Author talks are free, including parking, thanks to the support of Presenting Sponsor KeyBank, and sponsor Independent Health. Talking Leaves co- sponsors the events.

Hope to see you on the 20th!
Leslie Zemsky

Truck or Treat in Larkin Square!

By Samantha Epps  
October 06, 2016

The treat is a fleet of food trucks spread around Larkin Square; the trick is to pick a winner with so many options!

IMG_0406That’s any given Tuesday in Larkin Square from April into October, as in 2016 Food Truck Tuesday furthered its place as Buffalo’s biggest dinner party with another successful six-month season.

IMG_0384Topping it off with an annual tradition, “Truck or Treat” will return on Friday, October 21st, 5-8pm, with dozens of Buffalo and Rochester trucks serving their usual creative fare while competing in a pumpkin-carving contest and offering candy for kids in costume. As is Truck or Treat tradition, local Grateful Dead tribute band Workingman’s Dead will don its own musical costume onstage, plus a bonus this year in the zombie-like revival of The Stamplickers, the long-lost underground party band fronted by Amy’s Truck owner Amanda Amico.
“We’re thrilled to again get into Halloween spirit with the food trucks and community this year,” said Larkin Square Director of Fun Leslie Zemsky. “We’ll be keeping an eye on our life-sized caricatures of the late pioneers John Larkin and Darwin Martin, in case they come back to life to join the fun!”

IMG_0416Admission is free; beer, wine, and soft drinks will be available for purchase. Food Truck Tuesdays are presented by KeyBank and sponsored by Independent Health. For more information about this and other Larkin Square events, please visit


Ann Hood returns to the Larkinville, October 5th, 2016

By Leslie Zemsky  
September 08, 2016

We are delighted to welcome Ann Hood back to Buffalo and Larkinville. Ann will be speaking at the Larkin Square Author Series on Wednesday October 5th from 5:30 – 6:45 pm. Ann’s new novel is called The Book that Matters Most (W.W. Norton & Co., 2016)Book That Matters Most_9780393241655

This will be Ann’s third time speaking in Larkin Square. Back by popular request, Ann is a very engaging speaker. Her previous best sellers include the novels An Italian Wife and The Obituary Writer. She is also the editor and a contributor to two best selling books of essays with a knitting theme, The Knitting Circle and Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting

The Book that Matters Most is an enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets, friendship, and the healing power of literature. Read More

Paul Hertneky, author of Rust Belt Boy to speak September 21st

By Leslie Zemsky  
August 31, 2016

From Pittsburgh to Buffalo, tales of growing up in a Rust Belt City have a similar thread of experience. The Larkin Square Author Series is pleased to welcome author Paul Hertneky to speak about his new book, Rust Belt Boy on Wednesday, September 21st at 5:30 pm. Paul’s book shares the experiences of one immigrant grandchild who became an emigrant himself, and in so doing tells the story of a generation.

Cover for UPNE catalog“Nearly all of the essays and stories are set in my hometown of Ambridge, Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh,” says Hertneky.  “But every American settlement has seen waves of immigrants.  Those waves often come and go without us recognizing their singularity, their influence, and the pattern they follow.  I have written these essays to acknowledge the boomers who moved away— from Milwaukee and Youngstown and Scranton and all the places in between—and in appreciation for those who stayed home and supplied the gravity, took care of the parents, the towns, and each other.”

Along with the immigrant experience, the book touches on the joys and tribulations of industrial small town life—its foods, cultures, families, workers, bosses and politicos.

Over twenty-five years, Paul Hertneky has written stories, essays, and scripts for the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, NBC News, The Comedy Channel, Gourmet, Eating Well, Traveler’s Tales, The Exquisite Corpse, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Adbusters, and many more. His work centers on culture, food, industry, the environment, and travel, winning him a Solas Award, and two James Beard Award nominations. A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, he serves on the faculty of Chatham University.

The Larkin Square Author Series is presented by Key Bank and sponsored by Independent Health. The event is co-sponsored by Talking Leaves books, who will be selling copies of Rust Belt Boy at the event.

Beer, wine, and light fare will be available for purchase. Q and A and book signing to follow the talk.