Patty Crane & Nicole M. Young

Please join us Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm, when poets Patty Crane and Nicole M. Young will continue the twelfth season of the Collected Poets Series! Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)

Patty Crane [Photo: Eric Korenman]

Patty Crane’s award-winning poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Bellevue Literary Review, The Massachusetts Review, Verse Daily, and West Branch. Her book, Bell I Wake To, won the 2018 Zone 3 Press First Book Award in Poetry and will be released in the fall of 2019. Her book-length poem, something flown, winner of the 2017 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Award Series, was released in October 2018. Her translations of Swedish poet and Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer have appeared in American Poetry Review, Blackbird, PEN Poetry Series, Poetry Daily, and The New York Times, among others. Bright Scythe, a bilingual volume of her translations, was published by Sarabande Press in 2015. Awards also include a MacDowell fellowship, Stanford Calderwood fellow, and Atlanta Review International Prize. She lives in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

Nicole M. Young [Photo: Samm Smith Design and Photography]

Nicole M. Young is a performer, poet, playwright, director, producer, musician, nonprofit manager and educator with over 25 years of experience as a practicing artist.  Nicole’s writing seeks to fill and complete the gaps for those whose presence is absent or misrepresented in mainstream media, especially women of color. Autobiographical in nature, Nicole’s poetry and plays reflect on personal experiences and how they’ve influenced the way she sees herself within the world around her.

Her play, get (t)his!, received a 2009 James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award from the Five Colleges Multicultural Theater Committee and has since been produced in Michigan and New York City.  Her debut, self-produced spoken word album, In/Put:  Live from the Valley, was released this past February.  Recorded live in March of 2018 at Click Workspace in Northampton, the performance poetry of In/Put explores the challenges of being a Single, Black, Plus Size woman while dating in the monochromatic Pioneer Valley.  Proceeds from album sales will be used to establish a fellowship program for emerging women and nonbinary writers of color hosted through Straw Dog Writers Guild (where Nicole is also a member).

Nicole earned a Bachelor of Theatre Arts from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Management from Wayne State University and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Originally from Detroit, Nicole has lived in Western Massachusetts for over 11 years.


WHITE BIRCH / Patty Crane

I’d forgotten how the curled bark blushes pink sometimes,
out of dampness I suppose, or a new angle of light.

A kind of blossoming, like spring come early to these woods.
It is the salmon-petalled poppy I dug from my husband’s

grandmother’s garden after her death. Dirt rained
through my hands, exposing the severed root. I thought

I’d killed it. But all these years it keeps coming back:
mouthful of sunrise, crinkled crepe tongues. The flush

of my daughter’s cheeks as she sits in the bath weeping,
steam rising off the pale buds of her breasts,

her hands cupped like leaves beneath her nose to catch
the bleeding. Rosettes blooming in the milky water

all around her. It is the sudden tree of her
standing beside me as I guide her from the tub,

the white towel I dry her legs with and drape over her back
to brush her hair. She lets me brush her hair.

It is the stained tissue I peel from her wet face
because she lets me. Pressing a fresh one there, I think

of the blood yet to come, her other flowering, wondering
if she’ll need me then. It is the color of her needing me.


HONEY (2017) / Nicole M. Young

Soul searching.
Mind jerking.
An empty space leads you towards wonder.
Heart aches.
Beats break.
The absence leads to questions one is
uncertain they’d want answered.
Minutes pass,
Hours pass,
Days pass,
Ours is the past.
From another;
The hardest to gain.
Love of another;
The hardest to remain.
Love for another –
The hardest to abstain.
It is sometimes easiest to settle
Rather than wait for acceptance.
Adequately, you might just let it be.
As betting on the love that you deserve
May be the furthest from your reach.