Featured photo by Richard Lovrich. Photos in story by Robert cooper. 

A couple of the area’s premier creatives, who also are officially a couple, are set to release two new works at Little Pecks in Troy on Saturday. Poet D. Colin, who was featured in our Creatives Under 40 issue this year, is releasing her second book of poetry “Said the Swing to the Hoop” and Robert Cooper is premiering two issues of his photography zine Mfoni. 

This will be the second joint release event for the couple who are a regular presence in the local arts scene. “This is something we want to do every year but it will be different every year,” says Cooper. 

Colin’s book is the follow up to 2015’s Dreaming in Kreyol a collection of poems that explores her connection to Haiti. “I’ve written a lot of poems since then,” she laughs. “That first book was all about Haiti this one is all about life experiences, evolution, things that helped me grow, vulnerable pieces.” 

Some of the poems will be familiar attendees of her Poetic Vibe poetry events at Troy Kitchen. Some of them are new, inspired by two recent writing retreats. 

The first of Cooper’s zines Nightseen: Kingston focuses on his photography of the dance hall scene in Kingston, Jamaica. The second, Unapologetic features photos of black women with natural hair who are “unapologetic in their blackness.” 

Robert Cooper by Richard Lovrich

Expect to see Cooper’s photography hanging on the walls and Colin to read from her poetry. There will be a discussion of their work and a signing. 

The pair who met at a poetry slam in New Haven, CT acknowledge that their relationship is a catalyst for their creative endeavors. 

“I think we both keep each other accountable,” says Colin. “We check in on how a project is going and we’re always bouncing ideas off each other.”

Mosaic: A Double Launch Event will take place at Little Pecks 211 Broadway Troy on Saturday from 5-8 PM. 

Here’s a taste of what you’ll experience at the event:

Said the Swing to the Hoop
I think we might be the best  
parts of the playground. We both make hearts  
fly a little. See the sky different. You see  
it’s all about perspective. We know what it’s like  
to have legs push for us  
on a swing, to a rim. We know about trash  
talk. Kids seeing who can go higher. We  
know about late nights & street lights. 
We know about emotions 
when they go wrong. See,  
no one goes to the slide  
when they’re sad. We got swag.  
We be a new way to see clouds  
before they rain. We just might be the best  
parts of the playground. We see dreams big  
as life. The ground on one side. The sky on the other. 
Only difference, they have to jump  
through hoops to get yours/swing a lot to get mine.  
We see sweat & pain & tears & scrapes—we see  
blood. Sometimes  
it’s not the kind from victory— 
sometimes it’s the kind we should never see,
that kind of play. Ground up. Like I lost  
my memory. Like I forgot the way laughter sounded 
on the way down. I just want to keep them lifted  
off the ground. Too many of them are laying  
on the ground. I just can’t swing  
that kind of pain. Tell me how do you  
keep them above the rim? Maybe I can  
keep them reaching for the sky.  
Real talk. We be the best parts of the playground.  
We be the only ones have them reaching  
for something bigger than themselves.

By D. Colin

From Robert Cooper’s Mfoni Nightseen: Kingston.

From Robert Cooper’s Mfoni Unapologetic

Check out D. Colin on The Collabcast.