Book Giveaway! ROLEPLAY by Juliana Gray

September 4, 2012 — 23 Comments

It’s been a little quiet here at Ph.D. in Creative Writing. Let’s liven things up with another Book Giveaway!

Juliana Gray, from the most recent interview, How Juliana Gray Became a Writer, is giving away three copies of her new book of poems, Roleplay. Contest runs until midnight Friday. Winners will be announced and contacted Saturday shortly after the contest closes.

Here is what superduperpoet* Mark Jarman says about the book:

To find such wit and canniness about self and sex in American poetry, we have to look back to Dorothy Parker. Of course, we can look across the Atlantic to Wendy Cope. Juliana Gray has their sense of style but something else, too, which is all her own.

She has located the ferocious tension in the undercurrent of society, which comes out as slapstick in comedy and violence in tragedy, but in either case is the same thing: human desire in conflict. Gray’s inimitable humor is dark, indeed, but brilliant.


It’s super easy. Post a comment on this post before this Friday, September 7, 2012 at Midnight (Eastern time). (Don’t know what to say in a comment? Tell your favorite summer vegetable. Juliana probably grows it in her garden. See picture and poem below.)

Your comment number will be your entry number. A Random Number Generator will select the THREE winners.

One comment per person, please. With one exception: If you reblog this post or mention it on your blog, your pingback counts as an eligible second entry.

Juliana’s Labor Day Weekend harvest.

And a garden poem from Roleplay:

Late Blight

Mornings in late May, dew ascends
in smoky plumes from sunstruck rooftops, while I
bend low, my hands deep in fresh-tilled earth.
Wrinkled beet seeds nestle in rows beside
the garlic and spring onions’ tender spears.
The last of fall’s potatoes have gone crazy
in basement isolation, shooting out
identically pale roots and stems.
I cut them into soft, bristly chunks
and bury them in furrows mulched with hay.
I leave plenty of room for kale and chard,
nudge the climbing peas toward the fence.
Tomato seedlings, toughening against
a late frost, bask in greenhouse sun.
I straighten, arch, pull against the ache.
Warmth, light, calls of chickadees
around the feeder, smells of earth and grass—
mornings such as this are reason enough
to go on living.  Tonight I’ll have to cut
my fingernails to rid them of the dirt.

Then, one day in August, a single Roma
overloaded with green fruit wilts
as if it alone were kissed by early frost.
Then all the Romas turn limp and spotted brown.
Then the cherries.  Heirlooms.  Early Girls.
And all my plants must be uprooted, bagged,
denied even the humble dignity
of compost, hauled away with the rest of the trash.
I gather up the fallen, blighted fruit
so there may be no seed of return.
And I was not wrong before: these small
earthly pleasures are all that we are offered.
And they shall ever come to such an end.

*Editor’s note: formerly “superpoet,” corrected to “superduperpoet”


23 responses to Book Giveaway! ROLEPLAY by Juliana Gray


    I love tomatoes of all kinds.


    I dislike both summer and vegetables, but I love books. 🙂


    very vivid images. I could almost feel the sun on my back and the dirt between my fingers. Loved the poem, would love to get the book and read the rest.


    Oohh…tomatoes would have to be my favorite! I love the taste of a fresh-picked tomato. I eat them straight! 🙂


    I’ve been looking forward to Juliana’s new book for a while. Her first, The Man Under My Skin, is terrific.


    This is fantastic. I love the way you’ve captured both sides of gardening – the beauty of its plenty and decay. As for my favorite summer vegetable? I’d have to say it’s a tie between zucchini and cherry tomatoes. 🙂


    I miss Juliana even more than her amazing poetry classes! If I don’t win one of the books, I will definitely purchase one.


    I adore cucumbers and yellow summer squash! And like others have said, if I do not win one, I hope to purchase a copy of Roleplay.

    Victoria Flood Lanikova September 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I love this. It’s both beautiful and disquieting. Now I want to go check on my tomatoes . . . and maybe write a discussion paragraph 😉


    I loved the interview with Juliana, the way she wrote and illustrated a volume of the Hardy Boys and Dr. Who at age 8. And her garden produce looks amazing – sadly, gardening is one of those things that I never seem to have time for, although I love a beautiful (and bountiful) garden.


    First: great blog traffic, Kelcey! Second, I want this book, so I’m going to say eggplants on the grill. If you cook them whole they deflate and turn to mush and you can make baba ganouj!


    Definitely zucchini, especially when Juliana slices it into amazingly thin pasta-like strips! Nothing wrong with being good in the garden AND the kitchen.


    Love tomatoes, and that ever popular veggie/fruit: pumpkins


    I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes, but I do sympathize the blight of those in the poem.


    You just can’t beat a beautiful heirloom.


    An excerpt from her interview has become the lock screen wallpaper for my iPad, on which I do quite a bit of writing. I would love to read more of her works.


    Your words definitely nourished the unconscious seeds in my soul
    Or it may be the aroma or the smoky plumes from your garden that excited my heartbeats
    Spring onions always remained as villain when chilies are out of question
    I close my eyes and listened to my heart’s deep murmurings
    Somewhere in the past I used to be my gardens good friend
    Following the deep roots of enlightenment spicy garlic perfumed an awkward
    It can’t be used alone but if you try him merge with other earthly pleasures he will be a hero
    Potatoes and tomatoes seem to be from a same family, are they French?
    May be it is because of that heavenly music of chickadees or the touch of an angel,
    There were humbleness, dignity, respect, kindness and offerings
    Peas, cherries, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, kale and chard and all other earthlings
    Kissed the green grass in such a warm morning gathered to a heirloom
    And you are not wrong these small earthly pleasures are all that we are offered.
    And they shall ever come to such an end.

    (just an attempt!, couldn’t able to make an another comment than this, as they comes automatic in response. Thanks & All the best.)


    Well, I’m not sure if Juliana likes or grows Brussel Sprouts, but I do know they make excellent fare at a Giant Party! Just roast ’em up, eat a bunch, and pretend you’ve eaten twelve whole cabbages…


    Oh, geez, the pressure! Reading the above comments only fueled my indecision…tomatoes! cukes and zukes! pumpkins! Je regret, I cannot pick one! But…I would like to read your book of poems, regardless of whether or not I receive a free copy! Bon Appetit!


    pattypan squash or garlic or both together heated slightly with a little olive oil

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Book Giveaway Reminder – ends tonight! « ph.d. in creative writing - September 7, 2012

    […] But you can’t enter here! You have to go HERE. […]

  2. Winners of Book Giveaway: Roleplay by Juliana Gray « ph.d. in creative writing - September 8, 2012

    […] to these THREE winners of the latest book giveaway! Each winner receives a copy of Juliana Gray’s […]

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