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As some things change, others remain the same...

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In the late Nineties, I interviewed Heidi Nightengale for a position in Cayuga Community College’s Continuing Education Division under the leadership of associate dean Keith Batman, who currently chairs the Cayuga County Legislature. At that time, I found Ms. Nightengale to be keenly intellectual possessing a high degree of purpose, dedication and focus to serving the needs and aspirations of others. Goal driven with a creative spirit and engaging personality, Ms. Nightengale served the college quite well.

Flash forward over 20 years and Heidi continues to exhibit the same qualities that impressed me back in the day. And she has become a well-respected poet, writer and most recently a publisher where she brings together all of her professional skills, savvy, and creative abilities to Clare Songbirds Publishing House.




Heidi Nightengale has been writing and publishing in local, regional and national literary magazines for over 25 years. Her chapbook, Bird Vision, was published by Puddi…

“Oh what a night…”

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Was it the Dells who sang that phrase in 1969 or ‘just my imagination running away with me’ manipulating my brain to categorize the intimacy, caring, and gracious spirits that permeated Thursday evening’s “word, revisited?”







John W. Crowley conducted a well-paced informative lecture fueled by scholarly knowledge, wit, booming laughter, and a soft cadence that resonated with his audience. His topic dealt with the history and scope of 19th century books illuminated by historical anecdotes, publishing formats, and behind the scenes historical observances. 




Dr. Crowley covered pre-Civil War and subsequent book publishing initiatives and direct marketing strategies to solicit the ordering of subscription books by the general public, and then delivering those purchased books into the hands of a welcoming public. His “lecture” was a panorama of words in a concise, deliberative style that kept the audience engaged and attentive. 




The evening’s Q&A enhanced the lecture style of Crowley’s pr…

Do you remember that old school saying about “If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem?”

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So active community member and working mom, Jenna Quinn, arranged for the City of Auburn, New York Police Department to hold training sessions for the upcoming local civil service exam for prospective police officers. The department hopes to recruit interested folks who will help create a more diverse group of people sitting for the exam and hopefully, into the department.

The current chief of police, Shawn Butler, his command staff, and officers are committed to community engagement through their proactive “Coffee with a Cop” initiative, progressive diversity training for officers, and using the civil service exam as the first step to have the community work with the department to help create a more diversified police department. These ongoing efforts are a proactive pathway to the department’s commitment to partnership with the Auburn community. 



Department officers will host and teach training sessions regarding the civil service exams at the Booker T. Washington Community Cent…

Rocking Auburn, NY...In the area, join us!

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While he continues to be active in the world of words even in retirement, Dr. John W. Crowley has rarely spoken in Auburn (though he has been a city resident.) The last time Crowley did a public talk was during the Nineties when he delivered the commencement address at Auburn Correctional Facility. So, it is safe to share that he is an undiscovered gem. And if rare books and the history behind such publications and writers like Mark Twain spark your interest, then you should be in the audience on October 12, 2017 when he will grace the podium at “word, revisited” at 6 PM at Cayuga Museum’s Carriage House Theater.

Professor Crowley taught American literature for forty-two years, all but ten of them, at Syracuse University, where he chaired the English department for three years. Dr. Crowley has published about fifteen scholarly books, a hundred or so essays and reviews, and a few of his essays have appeared in aaduna. Interestingly, he has also written an (unpublished) novel as a…

Our Collective Appreciation, Thanks, and Applause

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With the aplomb that she is noted for, last evening, Patricia Roth Schwartz took her “word,revisited” audience, who came to the Carriage House Theater, Cayuga Museum of History & Art, on an enchanting poetic journey that took flight with birds; re-captured memories of childhood times in West Virginia; the intrigue and dynamic creativity of incarcerated men in the Auburn Correctional Facility; the intricacies and adventures of loving someone, and the racial turmoil of past and present times, as well as matters of citizen resistance. All in one reading!


Schwartz, a prolific published poet, writer, raconteur, and writing workshop leader, presented a gracious evening of words that soared, rested, and resumed its journey of emboldening the imagination of participants. During her Q&A with sublime grace, she bantered about her life and evolution of becoming a poet, and her adventures as a student with other noted “celebrities.” {Next time you see her, ask her about Checkers, the fam…

When does a firefly soar with light?

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In the city of Auburn in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York stands a walled institution that has defined the intricacies and livelihood of the City and its residents for centuries. From its inception in 1816, Auburn State Prison was the 2nd NYS prison; established a new system of inmate incarceration called the “Auburn or Congregate System;” was home to commercial silk production with the purchase of cocoons in 1841 and became the principal cash market for silk cocoons and raw silk; holds ownership to being the first facility in the world to use the electric chair for an inmate execution in 1890, and in 2010, Auburn Correctional Facility, a maximum security state prison, serves as manufacturer of NYS license plates. So, what does this backdrop have to with a firefly and light?


Patricia Roth Schwartz, poet, memoirist, writer of fiction and creative non-fiction, and editor will be the featured speaker at the September 28th session of “word, revisited” starting at 6 PM at the

When is waiting a joy and not an inconvenience?

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Well, if you are a fan of the ‘word’ then you wait with a joyful expectation for the next book, collection of poems, essay, play, lyrics, screenplay or any other creative endeavor that centers around a special person weaving and positioning words in forms that intrigue, empower and stretches our imagination and sense of our life.  And your joy will continue to broaden!





On Thursday, September 14, Syracuse based poet Elinor Cramer kicked-off the fall 2017 season of “word, revisited,” a bi-monthly literary program produced by The Cayuga Museum of History and Art, Olive Trees, and aaduna. And she created a wonderful ambiance of celebration, pathos and intriguing poetic tales of the colorful denizens of a cooperative apartment called the Mayflower from her recent chapbook aptly titled, “Mayflower.”


Ms. Cramer wasted no time in capturing her audience’s imagination and creating an ambiance where her characters became real and evocative of several layers of human and complex emotions. Cramer w…