Nebraska, a name from the mid-1800s meaning “Flat Water,” derives from several Native American sources. There are various possibilities for the origins of the name: native Sioux, Omaha-Ponca, or Oto (part of the Siouan family), all of which mean “flat water” and refer to the Platte River, the shallow river that flows through the state. It has long been referred to as being “a mile wide and an inch deep.” The first Europeans to see the Platte were French explorers and trappers, who referred to the river as rivière plate" ("flat river”). - JBC
from Finishing Line Press
“Judy Crowe’s gorgeous poems detailing her Nebraska childhood, transport the reader to a simpler time when a little girl’s happiness is an evening on the porch swing with her grandmother, “….snapping peas, eating a few, humming along with the peas pinging in the blue speckled tin bowl…”
This collection of poems is a delight for the senses; each luscious image honors her Nebraska home. Evocative, heartfelt, and deeply moving, Judy Crowe’s work invites us in. “Welcome,” it says. “Sit down and stay awhile.” This collection not only reveals but revels in a way of life now sadly gone. —Judie Rae, poet—The Weight of Roses
“Judy Crowe has captured in this volume a full and detailed vision of her Nebraska childhood—the one-room schoolhouse where teacher and children told stories, played games, and finally slept in piles of blankets and coats, waiting for the men to come through the snow and save them; where a little girl rode out in the mornings in the sidecar of her young uncle’s silver Indian motorcycle to keep him company on his paper route; where the cousins jumped from the barn roof into the house-high hay to see if they could fly. It’s a world long gone and never to return, and we can be grateful that on these enchanted pages, it’s been so beautifully preserved.” Gail Rudd Entrekin, poet—Rearrangement of the Invisible
In Flat Water, Judy Crowe gives us back the memories of a midwestern childhood that many know only from fiction and dreams: homely delight, black-and-white mornings, fireflies, hollyhocks, corn stubble, silence. —Molly Fisk, poet—The More Difficult Beauty
Judy Brackett Crowe
A native Nebraskan, judy crowe believes that the right words in the right places are worth a thousand pictures, and, as other writers have said, she writes to discover what she thinks.
Eudora Welty Writes a Story
Miss Welty scatters snippets of a story
on the ancient Aubusson (which has tales
of its own to tell), cut-apart paragraphs—
a doddering uncle, a bright and troubled girl,
a gossipy village, a small mystery, southern heat.
She kneels, straight pins from the sewing
basket gripped between her lips, rearranges
the snippets, pinning and repinning them,
looking for the whole.
On the curvy-legged table are stacks
of her black-and-white photographs—
a blind weaver; barefoot, skinny children;
women wielding scythes and shovels;
women resting on old porches; dark fields.
She hums, reads passages aloud, pencils in
changes and transitions, pauses to flip through
the photos, nodding, smiling.
She borrows a bit of France from the carpet,
just the color for the evening sun. When the story
is right, and when she’s licked the last drop
of blood off her pricked fingers, she takes
the pinned-together sections to her desk, sips
a thimbleful of Maker’s Mark, and gazes out
at the gardens—Magnolias, of course, grandiflora,
and stately water oaks dripping with moss.
Beyond the trees and moss live the strong women,
the bright children, the dark fields. She rolls a sheet
of paper into the typewriter and listens to their stories.
[published in The Maine Review]