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About this poet

In 1940, Pattiann Rogers was born in Joplin, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 1961. She received her MA from the University of Houston in 1981.

She has published numerous books of poetry, including Holy Heathen Rhapdosy (Penguin, 2013); Wayfare (Penguin, 2008); Generations (Penguin, 2004); Song of the World Becoming: New and Collected Poems, 1981-2001 (Milkweed Editions, 2001); Firekeeper: New and Selected Poems (Milkweed Editions, 1994); which was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; and Eating Bread and Honey (Milkweed Editions, 1997).

She has been the recipient of two NEA grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Poetry Fellowship. Her poems have won several prizes, including the Tietjens Prize and the Hokin Prize from Poetry, the Roethke Prize from Poetry Northwest, the Strousse Award twice from Prairie Schooner, three book awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, and four Pushcart Prizes.

She has been a visiting writer at the University of Texas, the University of Montana, and the University of Arkansas, and a member of the faculty of Vermont College and the low residency MFA program in creative writing at Pacific University. The mother of two grown sons, Rogers lives with her husband, a retired geophysicist, in Colorado.




Bibliography

Poetry

Holy Heathen Rhapdosy (Penguin, 2013)
Wayfare (Penguin, 2008)
Generations (Penguin, 2004)
Song of the World Becoming: New and Collected Poems, 1981–2001 (Milkweed Editions, 2001)
A Covenant of Seasons (Hudson Hills Press, 1998)
Eating Bread and Honey (Milkweed Editions, 1997)
Firekeeper: New and Selected Poems (Milkweed Editions, 1994)
Geocentric (Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1993)
Splitting and Binding (Wesleyan University Press, 1989)
Legendary Performance (Ion Books, 1987)
The Tattooed Lady in the Garden (Wesleyan University Press, 1986)
The Expectations of Light (Princeton University Press, 1981)


Prose

The Grand Array: Writing on Nature, Science, and Spirit (Trinity University Press, 2010)
The Dream of the Marsh Wren: Writing as Reciprocal Creation (Milkweed Editions, 1999)

Nearing Autobiography

Pattiann Rogers, 1940
Those are my bones rifted
and curled, knees to chin,
among the rocks on the beach, 
my hands splayed beneath my skull
in the mud. Those are my rib
bones resting like white sticks
wracked on the bank, laid down,
delivered, rubbed clean
by river and snow.

Ethereal as seedless weeds
in dim sun and frost, I see
my own bones translucent as locust
husks, light as spider bones, 
as filled with light as lantern
bones when the candle flames.
And I see my bones, facile,
willing, rolling and clacking,
reveling like broken shells
among themselves in a tumbling surf.

I recognize them, no other's,
raggedly patterned and wrought, 
peeled as a skeleton of sycamore
against gray skies, stiff as a fallen
spruce. I watch them floating
at night, identical lake slivers
flush against the same star bones
drifting in scattered pieces above.

Everything I assemble, all
the constructions I have rendered 
are the metal and dust of my locked
and storied bones. My bald cranium
shines blind as the moon.

From Eating Bread and Honey, published by Milkweed Editions, 1997. Copyright © 1997 by Pattiann Rogers. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

From Eating Bread and Honey, published by Milkweed Editions, 1997. Copyright © 1997 by Pattiann Rogers. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Pattiann Rogers

Pattiann Rogers

Born in 1940, Pattiann Rogers is the author of numerous collections of poetry.

by this poet

poem

The slender checkered beetle, pale
earth brown, sallies forth from among 
the bark canals of the oak, the eaten mar 
of the woody gall left dying.  Her spiny 
yellow hairs sparkle in the summer sun.

Lacewings, locust, and laurel loosen
cocoon, carapace, and bud, shimmy
poem

I remember you. You’re the one
who lifted your ancient bones
of fossil rock, pulled yourself free
of the strata like a plaster figure
rising from its own mold, became
flesh and feather, took wing,
arrested the sky.

You’re the one who, though marble,
floated as beautifully as

poem
This is about no rain in particular,
just any rain, rain sounding on the roof,
any roof, slate or wood, tin or clay
or thatch, any rain among any trees,
rain in soft, soundless accumulation,
gathering rather than falling on the fir
of juniper and cedar, on a lace-community
of cobwebs, rain clicking off the rigid