June 19, 2024

Exhibition: Mine - What Is Ours in the Wake of Extraction

Exhibition of Art & Video

(this exhibition includes my poetry video, My Geology, a poem from Night Train Red Dust: Poems of the Iron Range)

September 3-December 13, 2024

February 4- May 15, 2025

University of Delaware, Mechanical Hall Gallery


April 9, 2024

Image & Poetry


Images are a crucial component of poems. 

“Images are not concepts. They do not withdraw into their meaning. Indeed, they tend to go beyond their meaning….If the image that is present does not make us think of one that is absent, if an image does not determine an abundance—an explosion of unusual images, then there is no imagination.”

Gaston Bachelard, French philosopher, 1884-1962l 

April 4, 2024

Moving Words: Writers Across Minnesota

Join Us for Moving Words

Thursday, April 25, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. 

Aitkin Public Library 

110 1st Ave NE

Aitkin, MN 56431

Sheila Packa and Kao Kalia Yang 


The program will last approximately an hour and a half, with a conversation and/or reading followed by
a question-and-answer session.

Listen to the writers on these radio conversations: 



April 1, 2024

MINE: What is Ours in the Wake of Extraction Exhibition Opening September 4, 2024 University of Delaware

Good news! My Geology, a poetry video, has been accepted for the exhibition this year: MINE: What is Ours in the Wake of Extraction


Exhibition Opening: 
University of Delaware, Mechanical Hall Gallery 
September 4th, 2024 - December 13,  2024  

An interdisciplinary multimedia experience bridging art and science to address climate and environmental justice issues by amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities impacted by extraction.

MINE draws parallels between geographic locations with a shared extractive impact. 

January 17, 2024

A Song Cycle: Surface Displacements


The Weber Music Hall stage
Composer Wendy Durrwachter created a song cycle for the title poem in my book, Surface Displacements. It premiered on Saturday January 13, 2024 at the Weber Music Hall on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus.  

The songs were performed by soprano Jennifer Lien while Ms Durrwachter played the piano, and the music reflected the landscape of Lake Superior and the waters and landscape of northern Minnesota.  

photo of the creators


October 16, 2023

Twin Cities Book Festival 2023

The TCBF is sponsored by Rain Taxi, and it was held in the Progress Center at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Besides 80 exhibitors (Graywolf, Coffee House Press, Holy Cow! Press, Minnesota Press, Magers & Quinn Bookstore, St. Paul's Midway Books, the College of St. Catherine, the University of Minnesota MFA program, Hamline University MFA program, and many other writers and writing-related business, there were several authors reading excerpts of their work through the day's event.  Truly it was the literary event of the year!  

My photo was taken by David Beard for the Perfect Day Duluth website.  The photo of Mary Bode and Julie Gard was taken by me. The two were representing the Lake Superior Writers organization.   

October 13, 2023

A Song Cycle: Surface Displacements

 I'm so excited about the music that composer Wendy Durrwachter has created for the title poem from my book, Surface Displacements. She has preview concert in Grand Marais on October 21, and a premier at the Weber Music Hall this winter in 2024. To learn more about the composer, go to https://www.wendydurrwachter.com/

October 11, 2023

Refresh with Tranströmer

A playlist of Tomas Tranströmer: https://www.coppercanyonpress.org/the-blue-house-playlist-by-patty-crane/

by Tomas Tranströmer

I play Haydn after a dark day

and sense an honest warmth in my hands.

The keys are willing. Mild hammers strike.

The tone is green, lively and still.

The tone says that freedom exists

and that someone does not pay the emperor tribute.

I push the hands deep into my haydnpockets,

mimicking one who quietly watches the world.

I raise the haydnflag — this means:

“We do not surrender. But want peace.”

The music is a glasshouse on the slope

where stones fly, stones roll.

And the stones roll right through

but each pane remains whole.
Original poem in Swedish

Jag spelar Haydn efter en svart dag

och känner en enkel värme i händerna.

Tangenterna vill. Milda hammare slår.

Klangen är grön, livlig och stilla.

Klangen säger att friheten finns

och att någon inte ger kejsaren skatt.

Jag kör ner händerna i mina haydnfickor

och härmar en som ser lugnt på världen.

Jag hissar haydnflaggan — det betyder:

“Vi ger oss inte. Men vill fred.”

Musiken är ett glashus på sluttningen

där stenarna flyger, stenarna rullar.

Och stenarna rullar tvärs igenom

men varje ruta förblir hel.
From Den halvfärdiga himlen, Bonniers 1962
Copyright © Tomas Tranströmer 1962

And finally, this lovely and refreshing poem:  

Tired of all who come with words, words but no language
I went to the snow covered island.
The wild does not have words.
The unwritten pages spread themselves out in all directions!
I came across the marks of roe-deer’s hooves in the snow.

Language but no words.

Tomas Transtomer, Trans. John F. Deane from Selected Poems 1954-1986 – Ed. Robert Hass, The Ecco Press, 1987 p.159

October 4, 2023

2023 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award

"Surface Displacements dives deep into the author’s personal history growing up in Minnesota’s mining country and offers a meditation on the legacy left by decades of mineral excavation. Some poems are elegies to flooded mine pits, tailings ponds, and the scarred landscape, while others explore the timelessness of Lake Superior and the resiliency of nature. The book closes with an essay connecting the author’s Finnish roots, the region’s indigenous history, and the environmental impact mining has had on the Iron Range."

Read more about the NEMBA Awards and see all of the books that received awards in 2023.  https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/2023-nemba-award-winners/

I'm so happy to have this award that honors the landscape, culture, history and people of the northeastern Minnesota region. And I'm happy that the book has also been a finalist in the Minnesota Book Awards this year.  

At the University of Minnesota Duluth's Archive

I'm so pleased that the library at UMD created an archive for Duluth's poet laureates. Each individual poet laureate contributed time and talents to promote poetry and expand the reading audience. Now artifacts, video, and writings have been archived. 

This image is a placemat for my "Read It and Feast" project. I published the work of several Lake Superior poets on 4 unique placements.  Altogether 1500 placemats were printed and given out at the fundraiser for the Food Bank, "Empty Bowl," and also used at the Duluth Grill restaurant.  A set of laminated placemats are now at the archive! 

Read about the archival project here: