The Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center was filled with lyrical verse and open ears Monday evening for a poetry reading celebrating the life and newly published work of Peggy Freydberg, who died this spring at 107.

The final line of The Dance, read by Ms. Steenburgen, elicited a reaction from the audience. — Mark Lovewell

Several speakers gathered to read selected poems from Mrs. Freydberg’s book Poems from the Pond, in recognition of a woman whose career as a poet seemed to have just begun despite being a centenarian.

“Creativity truly has no age limit,” said Laurie David, the book’s editor, in opening remarks, noting that Mrs. Freydberg began writing poetry in her 90s.

While the poet did not live to see the book’s release, she was able to see the early markups and galleys of the book along with its photo artwork, giving her a small preview of the book her late in life effort would produce.

“She was thrilled at the prospect that her poems were on their way to reaching a wider audience,” Ms. David said. “And she also knew that all profits from the sale of the book would go to a scholarship in her name for Vineyard writers of all ages.”

Meg Ryan read the poem Falling in Love. — Mark Lovewell

Mary Steenburgen began the reading with the poem The Dance, whose final line, “Take her hand/and lead her to the center/where the dance is,” produced a chorus of “ohs” from the audience.

Novelist Geraldine Brooks followed with Getting There, a poem that exhibited the more lighthearted touches of Mrs. Freydberg’s work and personality and included a comparison of wild turkeys to tenured professors marching in procession at graduation.

Actress Meg Ryan read Falling in Love. She was followed by journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who prefaced her chosen selection of Bare by saying: “My husband couldn’t understand why I was so insistent that he come today and hear me read this poem. By the time I finish, I’m sure he will know.”

Charlayne Hunter-Gault read the poem Bare. — Mark Lovewell

Journalist Paula Lyons and actress Brooke Adams read their chosen pieces of Mrs. Freydberg’s work, titled Transformation and Preparing Oneself for Dying, before Tamara Sloan, Mrs. Freyberg’s granddaughter, approached the stage to speak about the quietly remarkable poet’s writing abilities and humility in the face of success.

“She really struggled with a constant sense of not feeling worthy, as you can hear in many of these poems,” Ms. Sloan said.

She underscored the fact that her grandmother, whom she called Gran, was not only an inspiration to her but to many on the Island.

“When you spoke with her, she made you feel like you were the most important person in the world,” said Ms. Sloan. “She made it feel like there was more to you than you even knew yourself.”

Brooke Adams reads Preparing Oneself for Dying. All proceeds from the poetry book go to scholarships for Vineyard writers. — Mark Lovewell

The evening concluded with the event’s only male reader, former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins, who came on the stage after Ms. Sloan to read Restoration. Mr. Collins was reportedly Mrs. Freydberg’s favorite, poet.

“When I heard that in a rare moment she claimed me as her favorite poet, I realized I had a new fan base, which was really smart women over one hundred,” Mr. Collins began.

Restoration focused on Mrs. Freydberg’s creative life, inviting comparisons by the poet to Wordsworth and early Romantic verse. Mr. Collins saw it as a fitting dedication to a creative life that had lasted well into old age, and ended with the publication of her first book of poetry.

His voice commanded rapt intention from the audience as he read, some of whom shed tears as he closed on the final words:

“So what was there to live on,/between now,/and finally,/then?”