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Poetry, concert at Toadstool


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Independent Bookstore Day marks its third year of celebrating independent bookstores nationwide on Saturday, April 29. Over 490 independent bookstores in 48 states will be celebrating with parties, author readings, in-store events, and exclusive day-of merchandise.

The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough rounds out April as National Poetry Month at 11 a.m. with poetry readings by Becky Sakellariou and Tim Mayo. Sakellariou will read from and sign her most recent collection “No Foothold In This Geography” and Mayo will be reading from and signing his latest, “Thesaurus Of Separation.”

At 2 p.m., the bookstore invites everyone to stop in to hear David Kontak and the intriguing music he creates. David designs and builds musical instruments in his home workshop that are completely out of this world. He will perform original works on these instruments. For the last thirty years, he has been exploring the musical possibilities inherent in new, invented instruments. His work involves a two part process: In the first step, an instrument is created that employs new and unusual sounds. The second step requires him to build a coherent musical statement from these strange raw materials. His music is simultaneously playful, introspective, wild, and heavy, pushing the boundaries of what one might call music, expanding boundaries, and opening minds.

On Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m., the Toadstool Bookshop will welcome Adina Hoffman signing and discussing “Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects Of A New City.”

Hoffman grew up in Peterborough and now lives part time in Jerusalem. A remarkable view of one of the world’s most beloved and troubled cities, “Till We Have Built Jerusalem” is a gripping and intimate journey into the very different lives of three architects who helped shape modern Jerusalem.

The book unfolds as an excavation. It opens with the 1934 arrival in Jerusalem of the celebrated Berlin architect Erich Mendelsohn, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany who must reckon with a complex new Middle Eastern reality. Next we meet Austen St. Barbe Harrison, Palestine’s chief government architect from 1922 to 1937. Steeped in the traditions of Byzantine and Islamic building, this most private of public servants finds himself working under the often stifling and violent conditions of British rule. And in the riveting final section, Hoffman herself sets out through the battered streets of today’s Jerusalem searching for traces of a possibly Greek, possibly Arab architect named Spyro Houris. Once a fixture on the local scene, Houris is now utterly forgotten, though his grand Armenian-tile- clad buildings still stand, a ghostly testimony to the cultural fluidity that has historically characterized Jerusalem at its best.