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)

In General

Pattiann Rogers, 1940
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
leaves of oaks or magnolias, any kind
of rain, cold and smelling of ice or rising 
again as steam off hot pavements
or stilling dust on country roads in August.
This is about rain as rain possessing
only the attributes of any rain in general.

And this is about night, any night
coming in its same immeasurably gradual
way, fulfilling expectations in its old
manner, creating heavens for lovers
and thieves, taking into itself the scarlet
of the scarlet sumac, the blue of the blue
vervain, no specific night, not a night
of birth or death, not the night forever
beyond the frightening side of the moon,
not the night always meeting itself
at the bottom of the sea, any sea, warm
and tropical or starless and stormy, night
meeting night beneath Arctic ice.
This attends to all nights but no night.

And this is about wind by itself,
not winter wind in particular lifting
the lightest snow off the mountaintop
into the thinnest air, not wind through
city streets, pushing people sideways,
rolling ash cans banging down the block,
not a prairie wind holding hawks suspended
mid-sky, not wind as straining sails
or as curtains on a spring evening, casually
in and back over the bed, not wind
as brother or wind as bully, not a lowing
wind, not a high howling wind. This is
about wind solely as pure wind in itself,
without moment, without witness.
Therefore this night tonight--
a midnight of late autumn winds shaking
the poplars and aspens by the fence, slamming
doors, rattling the porch swing, whipping
thundering black rains in gusts across
the hillsides, in batteries against the windows
as we lie together listening in the dark, our own
particular fingers touching--can never
be a subject of this specific conversation

From Generations by Pattian Rogers, published by Penguin. Copyright © 2004 by Pattian Rogers. Reprinted by permission of Penguin. All rights reserved.

From Generations by Pattian Rogers, published by Penguin. Copyright © 2004 by Pattian Rogers. Reprinted by permission of Penguin. All rights reserved.

Pattiann Rogers

Pattiann Rogers

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

by this poet

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

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
Elf owl, cactus wren, fruit flies incubating
In the only womb they'll ever recognize.
Shadow for the sand rat, spines
And barbary ribs clenched with green wax.
Seven thousand thorns, each a water slide,
A wooden tongue licking the air dry.

Inside, early morning mist captured intact,
The taste of drizzle sucked