Peekskill Gallery Hosts Poetry Reading

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Peter Waldor reads from his collection of poems.
Peter Waldor reads from his collection of poems. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Two poets conducted a reading and a discussion at Peekskill's Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA).

Award winning poet Peter Waldor, author of "Who Touches Everything" read from several his anthologies. Many of Waldor's poems focus on his family and spending time with his kids.

Jeffrey Schrier, a sculptor whose work is displayed at HVCCA read several of his poems. One poem was about a security guard who worked on "War of the Worlds" which was filmed near Schrier's studio, while another poem was about visiting his father in Los Angeles in the midst of wildfires.

"I write poems when I have difficulty understanding something or when I am so full of light," Schrier said. "I need to make something not be encumbered by physical material. I can resolve something."

Livia Strauss, the director of HVCAA, gave a presentation called Looking To Prayer As Poetry. The presentation discussed how prayers in the Jewish faith are almost constructed like poems.

"Why put prayers in poetic form?" Strauss asked. "They are easier to remember. You can sing them and back then people didn't have books or pictures. They would put prayers on the wall."

Strauss had an exercise where she handed out "The Mourner's Kaddish" and asked people to cut out certain words or phrases and tape them to a piece of paper to  make their own prayer.

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