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John C. Gardner Appreciation Page

The purpose of this page is to raise awareness of John C. Gardner, the poet, novelist, dramatist, translator, and teacher who died in 1982. Gardner was raised just outside of Batavia , NY, attended school through grade 11 in Alexander, NY, and graduated from Batavia High School in 1951.

The author of many novels, plays, transliterations of medieval texts, he also wrote three influential works on the art of writing--On Becoming a Novelist, The Art of Fiction, and On Moral Fiction. Many of his students, such as Raymond Carver and Charles Johnson, have had successful publishing careers. Additionally, he wrote children's stories (such as "Dragon, Dragon"), plays (including "Days of Vengeance" written for his mother, Priscilla), composed operas, librettos, and paintings, and played the French horn (having studied music at the Eastman School of Music).

We hope this page will encourage people to learn more about him, his works, and his family. The John Gardner Society plans local events that will happen this year and in future years, events such as Batavia Reads Gardner Festival and the John Gardner Conference (to be held at Genesee Community College on April 13, 2013). Genesee County is proud of this native son, and Genesee Community College is pleased to help celebrate one of the most important names in 20th century American literature.

An example of John Gardner's helpful notes to a writer.

Sunlight Dialogue Tour -Link is to the right, allowing you to drive around Batavia and see specific spots from the novel (designed by Maureen Mass-Feary).

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Goat Lady, who really came through Batavia in 1948! 

Facsimile of one of John's Business cards

A facsimile of one of John's business cards, supplied by Marge Cervone. He used it while a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Detroit in 1970 or 1971. 
Thanks Joel!

(This webpage designed, maintained and developed by Charley Boyd , Vince Iglesias-Cardinale, Jan Quackenbush, Tracy Ford and Marie Iglesias-Cardinale).

Jim Fessenden and Paul Fergusson, you are both deeply missed but will always be part of what we do.

John Gardner Conferences:

Saturday, April 13th from 9:30-3:00
Come for a celebration of John Gardner's legacy!

Scholarly presentations, a special performance of Gardner's one-act play by Bette Smith, Joel Gardner's preview of The Sunlight Man (the movie about his father's legacy), and lunch at the Pok-a-Dot, all included with your admission.  For more information, call (585) 343-0055 extension 6281