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*****Media Advisory*****
Press Release
Two Brothers, Two Paths, Two Poets
4/1/05

BRENTWOOD, CA – Two Brothers, Two Paths, Two Poets. Hugh Peterson and Ken Peterson of Brentwood. Please join the Brentwood Arts Commission when they host the first invitational featured poetry reading offered by the Literary Arts Committee, chaired by Ron Beatty. Hugh and Ken Peterson will be featured at this event to be held on April 6th at 7 pm in the Presentation Room at the Brentwood Education and Technology Center located at 101 Sand Creek Road (the nearest cross street is Brentwood Blvd.).

Ken and Hugh both attended Brentwood Elementary School and Liberty High. Hugh was always good at language arts. He wrote well with facility. Hugh has an undergraduate major in Language Arts and a graduate Degree in Scandinavian Studies from U.C. Berkeley. He has taught in various Junior Colleges and High Schools. After returning to Brentwood as a teacher at Liberty High School, he was named the Outstanding Teacher of the Year, the first year the award was given.

Their mother, Shirley Peterson, was a closet poet until the 1980's when, with the encouragement of Mary Jane Barnes, among others, she started to participate in public readings. Hugh became active in the Brentwood group, and Ken joined in 1988.

Ken recalls, “About ten years later, I happened to see my neighbor, the poet (now Alameda City Poet Laureate) Mary Rudge coming down the street. When I tossed off a silly quatrain she suggested I come to a reading in Berkeley. She said she was pleasantly surprised and I received another compliment, as well. As Mary often needed transportation, I began going and reading regularly at various events.”

Hugh is an educated scholar. In addition to his undergraduate Language Arts background and further study he brings to poetry a further understanding of the Old Norse languages and sagas which are important components of the Old English language and verse forms.

In contrast, when Ken started doing poetry in his late forties, he was “about as flat ignorant as a person can be”, he says. He admits to writing slowly and with difficultly. Though he still got some compliments, Ken says he “really needed to learn some of the basics. As I went to the libraries and the readings, I was very confused. As I became less confused I began to understand why learning the basics is so difficult. It is difficult because the explanations and descriptions are often wrong.”

Though Ken and Hugh share a joy in the language and unusual approaches to verse, Hugh has his background in literature plus a depth of understanding of the development of English language and verse. Whereas Ken brings his curiosity, questions and impertinence while exploring a variety of forms.

This event is free and open to the public. For additional information contact the Brentwood Arts Commission at (925) 516-5376.

The mission of the Arts Commission is to promote, encourage and stimulate the development of and interest in the fine and performing arts, and to act in an advisory capacity to the City concerning its artistic and cultural development.

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