Books of Poetry
Louisiana State University Press, 2014
Venera explores varieties of love, both sacred and profane, in poems drawing from the natural world, personal intimacy, and the human imagination as evoked in biblical narratives and art. In these poems devotion’s many guises collide to startle us: a husband consoles his wife after she is awakened by an imaginary child, a man daydreams of his kindergarten crush, Abraham’s fear of God perplexes his love for Isaac, and the Virgin Mary, stunned by the angel Gabriel’s inhuman beauty, contemplates the decades of purity that stretch ahead. Includes the complete twenty-four-sonnet title sequence.
"Rogoff’s poetry is, . . even in the same erudite, elegant, complex poem, playful, erotic, and at occasional moments, raunchy. . . . This emotional, intellectual, acrobatic play weaves a tapestry that is quite thrilling.”
Mary Kathryn Jablonski, Numéro Cinq
The Art of Gravity
LSU Press, 2011
The Art of Gravity takes poetry dancing. As the great choreographer George Balanchine strove to make music visible through dance, the collection extends this alchemy into poetry, discovering in dancing of every kind, from visionary ballets to Lindy-hopping at a drunken party, the secret rhythms of our imaginations and the patterns of our lives. The poems unfold in a rich variety of forms, both traditional and experimental, exploring the artifice and artistic self-consciousness of ballet while illuminating how it creates rapture. The Art of Gravity investigates dance’s translation of physical gesture into allegorical mystery and pays tribute to superb dancers who grant audiences seductive glimpses of the sublime, but also to all of us who find in dance a hopeful and redemptive image of ourselves. Includes the complete thirty-four sonnet Danses Macabres sequence.
"Quite simply I love the gravitational, poetic pull of Rogoff’s work.”
Renée E. D’Aoust, Notre Dame Review
Twenty Danses Macabre
Spring Garden Press, 2010
Winner of the Robert Watson Poetry Award
Selected by Camille Dungy
The ancient Dance of Death motif explodes into the twenty-first century in this chapbook of stunning, shocking, and often darkly funny sonnets. Collector's edition with handsewn binding and color added by hand to the cover, a reproduction of Michael Wolgemut's 1493 woodcut printed by hand on a Chandler & Price platen press. Text handset in 14 pt. Perpetua metal type and printed on 70 lb. Cool White Mohawk Vellum with an Original Heidelberg Cylinder Press in Ivan Son's rubber base black ink. Typesetting, printing, and design by Birch Book Press, Delhi, New York.
The Long Fault
LSU Press, 2008
The Long Fault explores how the disasters of human history scar the individual psyche and how our creative acts of art and love help us to resist this damage. After opening with Cain launched into exile—"from the good book hurled / out to beget the world"—Rogoff then sweeps us along in his imaginative wanderings, pondering our mortality through the means and powers poetry makes available. The poems explore sacred and secular history, including wars as ancient as Troy and as contemporary as Iraq, and incidents of mass violence from the Middle Ages to modern times. They simultaneously enlist the
power of all forms of art as an ally in confronting disaster and helping us resist the encroaching dark with imaginative sympathy, strong lyricism, and strange humor.
SPECIAL OFFER on rare, out-of-print cloth edition!
Contact Jay Rogoff for further information and price.
How We Came to Stand on That Shore
River City Publishing, 2003
River City Poetry Series
In poems both narrative and lyrical, How We Came to Stand on That Shore spins a fantasia on family history and immigrant experience, and also confronts modern love and loss. It includes Rogoff's award-winning dairy farming sequence, First Hand. Andrea Hollander Budy writes, “In a series of compelling narrative and lyric poems, How We Came to Stand on That Shore examines not only the lives of Rogoff’s European forebears who emigrated to America, but also the circumstances and depths of his own life—he is both ‘the best thing’ his father has done and nothing . . . going nowhere.” Ronald Wallace says the book “embraces a past that enwraps and enraptures us, a past replete with scatter and leakage that is nonetheless comforting and bright.”
Venera: "The Fountain," "The Reader," "The Daughter"
Limited edition artist's book
Poems by Jay Rogoff
Handmade book and hand-printed etchings by Kate Leavitt
Green Eye Press, 2001
This collaboration between Rogoff and printmaker and book artist Kate Leavitt resulted in a rare and beautiful artifact. Each of Rogoff's three poems, in handset letterpress, faces a hand-printed photo-polymer etching by Leavitt. Each poem-and-print pair comes individually bound in its own pamphlet, printed on Rives BFK paper and covered in Fabriano Roma paper, a different color for each pamphlet. The pamphlets are housed in an exquisite box handmade by Leavitt, lined with handmade paper and covered in green silk.
For further information and availability, please contact Jay Rogoff.
Mica Press, 1997
Winner of the John Masefield Award, Poetry Society of America
As a young man spends a season as dairy farmhand to his future father-in-law, he comes to imagine his work as a trial to prove himself worthy of his beloved. This handsome chapbook displays range in a variety of poetic forms, as well as depth of feeling. Like Ferdinand in The Tempest, Rogoff's hero learns from this rural Prospero the commitment and sacrifice love demands.
Out of print. A few copies still available. Contact Jay Rogoff.
The Cutoff: A Sequence
The Word Works, 1995
Winner of the Washington Prize for Poetry
Set in the world of minor league baseball, Jay Rogoff's debut collection, The Cutoff, follows an outfielder through a key season: he turns thirty, his wife gives birth, and he wonders how long he can continue making a living playing the game he loves. Wandering like Odysseus, seeking cosmic order like Dante, he finds in baseball a fresh understanding of America, family, and love. "For readers who love baseball, poetry, or another human being," says Andrew Hudgins, The Cutoff is rich in pleasures."