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The first John C. Gardner Conference, honoring the celebrated Batavia-born author, will be held Friday and Saturday at Genesee Community College in Batavia.

A keynote address will be given by Gardner scholar Robert A. Morace of Daemen College at 6:45 p.m. Friday, and presentations will follow by authors Liz Rosenberg, Jan Quackenbush and Susan Thornton, and scholar Jeff Henderson. Events will include a production of Gardner's play "Days of Vengeance" at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Gardner was born in 1933, attended school in Alexander, and graduated from Batavia High School in 1951. He died in 1982 as the result of a motorcycle accident. He wrote numerous novels, children's books and plays, and translated medieval texts. A John Gardner Society, with more than 30 members, was formed a year ago to promote interest in the author.

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