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The Company We Keep: Words & Music

  • Poetry Barn 1693 State Route 28A West Hurley, NY 12491 USA (map)

With Maria Sebastian & Perry Nicholas

Poet Perry Nicholas and singer/songwriter Maria Sebastian are a couple whose partnership illustrates the prolific relationship between words and music. Join us for an intimate house concert/reading, where they'll each perform sets, alone and together, inspired by the other. 

While they cast their lyrical spell we’ll enjoy a communal indoor/outdoor picnic ~ please bring along your favorite dish to share! Afterward, those who would like to linger will gather by the firepit and share poems, songs, and stories of our own.

Maria Sebastian has opened and recorded for dozens of national acts. Among other honors, she has earned 12 Buffalo/Nightlife Music Awards, a People’s Choice Award, and a Buffalo Spree Album of the Year Award for her albumYellow Envelope (2009). Maria performs regularly in Buffalo, and plays select northeast venues—including opening eight times for Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, and touring across the US with 10,000 Maniacs as a backing vocalist and rhythm guitarist. A poet as well as singer/songwriter, she has collaborated with her husband on two poetry collaborations: The Company We Keep (2014) and Big Empty Calendar Squares (2016). More at

Perry S. Nicholas is an Associate English professor at Erie Community College North in Buffalo, N.Y., where he was awarded the 2008 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities, among many other honors. He has authored four full-length volumes of poetry: The River of You (2009), What the World Sees (2011), Small Crafts (2012), andBeginnings: Poems to Greece and Back (2012). Perry has been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize and has published approximately 150 poems in print and online.He has hosted the Lewiston Arts Café in Lewiston, NY, the Screening Room Poetry Series, Empire State College's Poetry Series, and the Center for Inquiry Poetry Series. More at

Pay-what-you-want. Suggested donation: $25

Spying on the Harvest Moon

—by Perry Nicholas, after David Baker’s “Phases of the Moon”


I didn’t know where to begin
until I saw you leaning, innocently,
in full orange dress against indigo backdrop
on a summer’s night when it wasn’t
appropriate to call it summer anymore.

Unworthy of describing it,
that display on a mythical mannequin,
I conjured a coquettish girl,
Victorian outfit, entertaining suitors
as she entered and re-entered the parlor
to greet them, soft folds teasing.  

I decided I should look away for awhile,
rather than be caught staring, but you
lifted your weight onto your toes,
like girls often do, and I spotted you again
through the half-bitten window of my room.

It made me wonder about autumn in England,
where I’ve never visited and never will,
so I’ll follow you through fall,
winter, spring, summer and more
to glimpse your prudent, ginger-colored gown.
Everything around you not new.

Earlier Event: July 22
Flower Power: War & Healing
Later Event: September 2
Dharma Bums: Hiking & Haiku