SPENCERTOWN, N.Y. >> Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents a poetry reading by film and television writer and producer Benjamin "Bernie" Kukoff at 4 p.m. on June 4.

Kukoff will read from his debut poetry collection, "What This Country Needs." The poems explore his journey from a Brighton Beach youth as the child of Russian immigrants, to the upper tiers of entertainment industry success in Los Angeles, to trial separation from his wife and dating, to getting back together, to settling in the Hudson Valley, along with digressions about major biblical characters.

Following the reading, there will be a reception with light refreshments and the author will sign copies of his book.

Admission is free.

Kukoff has written poetry for more than 21 years, working with Mary Stewart Hammond in her master class at the New York Writers Workshop. A graduate of Yale Drama School, he acted Off-Broadway, with Second City, and was in the founding company of the Williamstown Theatre Festival. In Los Angeles, he created, produced, and wrote TV series, specials and films over a span of 28 years. Among them were "Diff'rent Strokes," "The Cosby Show," and shows starring Steve Allen, Jimmy Durante, The Everly Brothers, Glen Campbell, Milton Berle, Jerry Stiller, and Howard Cosell. In New York, his first show as a theatrical producer was "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," which ran for 12 years and won a Drama Desk Award.