Author Series

Tom Dudzick and Mike Randall Wednesday, October 17th at 5:30 PM

By Leslie Zemsky  
September 12, 2018

The Larkin Square author and speaker series is pleased to welcome Buffalo and Hydraulics native, Tom Dudzick,  back home to speak with his long time friend Mike Randall.

Tom Dudzick was born and raised in the Larkinville neighborhood above his father’s tavern on Seneca Street, Big Joe’s. Big Joe’s and his many memories of growing up in the neighborhood inspired his Over the Tavern series of plays as well as his play Miracle on South Division Street.

Tom is in town preparing for the premiere of his new musical, Christmas Over the Tavern. The world premiere at MusicalFare Theatre will be on stage Novemeber 14th – December 16th, 2018. The musical features an all-new holiday story about Buffalo’s favorite family, the Pazinskis, from his Over the Tavern series.  “Christmas 1959 is not very merry for the Pazinskis.  Dad is going through a mid-life depression and refuses to buy a Christmas tree. Sister Clarissa is threatening to expel 12-year-old Rudy for performing a blasphemous one-man Nativity Scene where he plays all the characters as Hollywood celebrities and everyone is worried that this may be their last Christmas together as a whole family. It’s a brand new chapter in this WNY tradition,” shares notes from MusicalFare Theatre.

Mike Randall is well known as the chief meteorologist at WKBW channel 7 Eyewitness News. He recently celebrated his 35th anniversary with the station. A native of Western New York, Mike is also a professional actor, puppet master and magician. He has performed a variety of roles in theaters locally and around the country and he continues to perform his critically acclaimed solo shows of Mark Twain Live! and Charles Dickens Presents: A Christmas Carol.

Tom and Mike are long time friends dating back to performing together in dinner theater in Buffalo.  They look forward to sharing a preview song from Christmas Over the Tavern as well as their memories of acting together. They will welcome questions from the audience as well.

During the event, Larkin Square is pleased to introduce the new book from Arcadia Publishing Images of America Series: The Larkin CompanyWritten by Shane Stephenson with an introduction by Howard Zemsky. The book is filled with historic photos and the history of the Larkin Company and the neighborhood. Books will be available for purchase, and book signing.

The Larkin Square Author and Speaker Series is made possible by presenting sponsor KeyBank and sponsor Independent Health. The Filling Station will have snacks and refreshments available for purchase at the event.

Arthur Bovino and Andrew Galarneau: A Conversation about Food in Buffalo, August 20th, 2018

By Leslie Zemsky  
July 30, 2018

The Larkin Square Author Series is pleased to welcome Arthur Bovino, author of the new book Buffalo Everything: A Guide to Eating in the Nickel City
to speak in Larkin Square on Monday, August 20th at 5:30 p.m. Bovino will be joined by Buffalo News food writer Andrew Galarneau for a conversation about food in Buffalo. 

During the past couple of years, Bovino has traveled and tasted food served throughout Buffalo. He discovered such an abundance of delicious food that Buffalo Everything is the first of two books to be published by Countryman Press.  Buffalo Everything is about the city’s dining scene and history, to be followed in February 2019 by a cookbook focused on iconic local foods and Buffalo sauce-flavored comfort foods and party dishes.

Bovino is a classically trained cook passionate about fine dining—and also a self described  wing nut and pizza nerd. “I’d long heard about Buffalo’s unique pizza scene, so when a friend recommended me for a project focused on a Buffalo sauce-themed cookbook, I jumped on it.” wrote Bovino in a recent blog post, “I dined at 120-plus restaurants and got a comprehensive education on the city’s food history from leading local chefs and writers. From classic Italian and Polish restaurants to New-School Buffalo cuisine, it was food discovery at its best.”

Andrew Galarneau is the food editor for the Buffalo News and writes frequently about Buffalo area restaurants and other local food related news.

“With Buffalo’s wide variety of locally owned restaurants, including in Larkinville, we know this will be a delicious conversation around new and old Buffalo favorite foods.” writes Larkin Square’s Leslie Zemsky, “Food Truck Tuesday receives a mention in the book along with dozens of other dining suggestions and observations.”

Books will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of Talking Leaves Books. Book signing to follow the talk.

Refreshments will be available for purchase from the Filling Station.

Larkin Square Author talks are presented by KeyBank and sponsored by Independent Health.


A Celebration of Writing: Buffalo and Beyond with Elizabeth Licata and writers from Voices from the Rust Belt

By Leslie Zemsky  
April 20, 2018

The Larkin Square Author Series welcomes you to a Celebration of Writing: Buffalo and Beyond on Thursday, May 10th at 5:30 pm in the Larkin Square Filling Station. The event features Elizabeth Licata, author of the new book 100 Things to do in Buffalo before you Die along with the writers Jeff Klein and Ben Gwin who wrote essays for the new book Voices from the Rust Belt.

Licata offers suggestions for Buffalo residents and visitors for enjoying “a rich banquet of intriguing history, iconic architecture, lush scenery, fun food, and a relentless nightlife”, (book cover). Suggestion number 57 encourages partying in the Hydraulics aka Larkinville, we heartily concur!

Voices from the Rust Belt features a collection of essays edited by Anne Trubek previously published in Belt City anthologies including writers from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Flint, Youngstown, Akron and Buffalo.

The essays in the book “address segregated schools, rural childhoods, suburban ennui, lead poisoning, opiate addiction, and job loss. They reflect upon happy childhoods, successful community ventures, warm refuges for outsiders, and hidden oases of natural beauty. But mainly they are stories drawn from uniquely personal experiences: A girl has her bike stolen. A journalist from Buffalo (Margaret Sullivan)  moves away, and misses home. A father gives his daughter a bath in the lead-contaminated water of Flint, Michigan” (from the introduction).

Joining the event will be the writers Jeff Klein and Ben Gwin with the editor Anne Trubek

Books will be available for purchase at the event through Talking Leaves. A signing will follow the talks. Beer, wine and other refreshments along with snacks will be available for purchase from the Filling Station.

The event is free and open to the public thanks to the support of presenting sponsor KeyBank and sponsor Independent Health.  Talking Leaves is the co-sponsor of the Larkin Square Author Series.

Lauren Belfer and Margaret Sullivan Monday, June 25th

By Leslie Zemsky  
April 20, 2018

The Larkin Square Author Series welcomes Lauren Belfer and Margaret Sullivan on Monday, June 25th at 5:30 pm to Larkin Square.

The two nationally acclaimed  writers and expat Buffalonians will interview each other on stage and then open up the event to questions from the audience. Lauren Belfer is the best selling author of City of LightAnd After the Fire and more. Margaret Sullivan is the former managing editor of the Buffalo News, former Public Editor of the New York Times and currently the Media Columnist for the Washington Post.

Books will be available for purchase at the event through Talking Leaves.  Included books are a selection of novels by Lauren Belfer and Voices from the Rust Belt which includes an essay written by Margaret Sullivan.  Beer, wine and other refreshments along with snacks available for purchase at the event. Book signing to follow the talk.

A night of Mystery with writers Jeff Schober and Suzanne Zewan

By Leslie Zemsky  
February 08, 2018

The Larkin Square Author series presents an evening of mystery writing with authors Jeff Schober and Suzanne Zewan on Wednesday, February 28th at 5:30 pm in the Filling Station in Larkin Square.

Everyone loves a good mystery, learn more about the art of crafting a good one from Jeff and Suzanne.  This will be Jeff’s third visit to the Larkin Square Author Series and Suzanne’s first.

Jeff Schober is the author of numerous crime fiction books including Boneshaker and Broken and Profane.  His nonfiction works include Growing up Gronk and Bike Path Rapist: A Cop’s Firsthand Account of Catching a Killer Who Terrorized a Community.

Jeff’s newest book, Faces and Fingertips, while written  as a stand-alone novel, continues characters introduced in Broken and Profane and Boneshaker. When these lonely souls converge, results are hopeful, electric, and sometimes heartbreaking.

Ken Connell is a former Buffalo detective who has lost everything: his wife, his job, even his striking good looks, thanks to a shotgun blast that punctured his neck. These days he investigates insurance fraud, reminisces about the woman he loved, and dreams of moving south, while convinced he is being followed. R.J. Sorrentino has always lived on the fringe. He was angry before leaving for Vietnam and grew angrier when he returned. He’s a survivor; yet lately, surviving isn’t enough. His one chance at redemption is his ability to draw. Now working as a police sketch artist, a grisly discovery twists him back into uncertainty. Laura Pantera inhabits a world that looks different from everyone else’s. Her cheating husband is gone, and she’s haunted by a painful childhood. Days are long and nights turn surreal when she plunges into an abyss. Yet a mysterious neighbor mat just provide a lifeline to happiness.

Suzanne Zewan  is coordinator at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and is an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. She has a M.A. in English and Creative Writing and a M.S.Ed. in Career and Technical Education. Other publications include a poem in Jigsaw (2014), a short story and two poems in Jigsaw (2016), and a short story in Amaranth Review (2016).

Suzanne will be speaking about her novel, Shadow by the Bridge. In the book, 11-year-old Fritz Reynolds recalled his father telling him that man is the only creature who can find amusement in killing. Little did he realize that those words would become the theme for his teenage years growing up in the rural hamlet on Linden, New York. In this coming-of-age story, Fritz takes us back to a simpler time when neighbors gathered at the general store to listen to radio shows, drank barrel-aged cider and worshiped at the Baptist Church every Sunday. All was picturesque in his close-knit farming community until terror was unleashed on them.

Refreshments will be available for purchase, a Q and A and book signing will follow the talk. Books will be available for purchase at the events through the co- sponsor Talking Leaves.

The Larkin Square Author series and other  public events are presented by KeyBank and Sponsored by Independent Health.