Press and Interviews
Reviews of Jay Rogoff's Work
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"In the Orbit of Venus: A Review of Jay Rogoff's Venera" by Mary Kathryn Jablonski. Numéro Cinq 6.2 (February 2015).
"[Rogoff's] emotional, intellectual, acrobatic play weaves a tapestry that is quite thrilling. Venera is split exactly in two, and . . . the first section, titled 'Only Child,' a variety of poems in theme and in structure, is not unlike a seduction, a type of foreplay. It beautifully prepares the reader for the second half of the book, which unfolds as measured, steady and strong. Section one shows the range and versatility of the poet, . . a display comparable to the astounding mating dance of the Bird of Paradise of Papua New Guinea: at times elegant, elaborate, perfected; other times, humorous, yet powerful, in your face even."
The Art of Gravity (2011)
"The Union of Art and Gravity," by Renée E. D’Aoust. Notre Dame Review 34 (Summer/Fall 2012).
"This beautifully wrought collection shows passions inflamed and tamed, never suppressed. Rogoff is refreshingly honest about the male gaze, his male gaze, and the experience of watching a Balanchine ballerina onstage, but his reaction doesn’t have to be only a male phenomenon. I swoon, too, when I watch Maria Kowroski, who graces the cover of The Art of Gravity."
The Art of Gravity, reviewed in Satia's Reviews, Janury 30, 2012.
"Rogoff uses an image and then uses variations of the same image, creating an emotional resonance reinforcing a coherence that too many collections lack. Can you tell I how much I love this collection?"
The Art of Gravity, reviewed by Stephen Kampa in The Hopkins Review 6.4 (Fall 2013).
"Rogoff . . . has presented a collection that embodies that tension in its very architecture, the first half yearning for the transcendence of art and love, the second acknowledging the immanence of violence and death, and all this while making the most of his gifts: his excellent ear, his dark wit, and his imaginative sympathy."
"Museum," from The Art of Gravity, discussed by Rachel Hadas in her essay "Attention," from Talking to the Dead (Sputen Duyvil, 2015).
“I turn the page; turn back; read it again, slowly. This poem, ‘Museum’ by Jay Rogoff, has something to say to me about concentration. Poems about painting often admonish us to be more attentive; they’re about looking or trying to look, with all that action’s attendant distractions and digressions. Rogoff, charmingly, even loopily self-aware, watches himself in a museum watching a young woman who looks like a Degas dancer studying a Degas painting of a dancer. Finally, whether because she feels his gaze or because she has come to the end of her own attention, she leaves the room and vanishes ‘into the next gallery.’
“What do the gazer and the two dancers (live and painted), or alternatively the two gazers and the painting, have to do with me? A poem can console you if you let it; one often needs consolation. . . .
“Jay Rogoff’s ‘Museum’ [is] a poem which triply observes and celebrates (in an expansive use of the second person which also embraces the reader) the goofy speaker/gazer, the absorbed young woman, and the painting they are both studying: ‘you haul / your attention back to the work / of art from the work / of art. Yes. / Yes the forms.’ Those forms—of dance, of painting, of poetry—have an eternal, Platonic quality which in its serenity and austerity can be, if not precisely consoling, then at least satisfying. . . .”
"Poetic Inventiveness on Display in Collections," by Andrew Burstein. Baton Rouge Advocate, September 27, 2011.
“Jay Rogoff’s The Art of Gravity is immersed in the character of dance. His poetry takes a visible art of movement and translates the feelings it evokes and the history it records into delicate words. Introducing his dancer to the audience, he writes, enraptured, in ‘The House’:
to watch a ballerina in a hush
This is Suzanne Farrell of New York City Ballet fame:
rippling up through the dark while ushers blush
at the elongate angle of her ankle
The Gothic architecture of her body
obliterates all sense of ours
But Rogoff also has an amazing knack for the humor in humanity, as a slew of death-defying poems demonstrates. Here, in a homage to poet Wallace Stevens’ great line, ‘Death is the mother of Beauty,’ he carries the story forward:
... Beauty endlessly would bitch
about each bruise, about the jealous watch
her mother kept.
Rogoff’s ‘Death the Mother’ just ‘couldn’t act her age.’ She, ‘clad in Beauty’s lace bra, cocktail frock, black stockings,/lay in wait all night to jump my bones.’ Perfect.”
Interviews with Jay Rogoff
Joe Donahue talks with Jay Rogoff about Venera. The Roundtable, WAMC Albany, April 21, 2014. Click here to listen.
"Five Questions for Jay Rogoff," by Kathryn Caggianelli. The Saratogian and the Troy Record, April 12, 2014. Click here to read.
Paul Elisha talks with Jay Rogoff about The Art of Gravity in this Bard's Eye View segment of The Roundtable, WAMC Albany,
July 9, 2012. Click here to listen.
"An Interview with Jay Rogoff," by Stefanie Silva, about Twenty Danses Macabre. storySouth 31 (Spring 2011). Click here to read.
"Making Something Happen." Jay Rogoff, Poet of the Month, September 2008. www.poetrynet.org. Click here to read.