This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.
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Karen Schoemer is a poet, writer and performer who works at Rodger’s Book Barn. In this interview Karen introduces her career and the types of work she’s engaged in throughout her life. She talks about what she refers to as the golden age of Hudson and the history of cultural institutions there. She describes her time working at the Spotty Dog and the changes she’s seen through gentrification. Karen historicizes Time & Space Ltd. and her involvement with the organization. She talks about her poetry and being a performer with a supportive community around her. She explains her writing process and describes a place she visits often to write. She explores her interest in birding and how it helped her cope with a difficult time in her home. Karen describes what it was like to be a parent in Columbia County. She talks about how national politics, like the election of Obama and Trump, affected her communities. She discusses local politics and who she’s voting for in the 2019 election cycle. She explains her hopes for Hudson, especially in terms of real estate prices and the low-income community. Karen talks about what the painter Earl meant to her.
This interview may be of interest to people who would like to learn more about the cultural institutions of Hudson in the late 20th and early 21st centuries; the experience of a writer and performer who moved to Hudson from the New York City area; politics of a liberal American city surrounded by conservative counties; the writing process of a female poet; the natural world in Columbia County and the effects of rising property values of a city in upstate New York.
Interviewer: Nicole Galpern is a video producer and language documentarian based in Ridgewood, New York. She has documented endangered languages throughout New York City and in the Pamir region of Tajikistan. Aside from birding, she is interested in her neighborhood, the public’s transition to the internet and what people regard as “wasted time.”
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”