Former Shows & Episodes

Word Patriots

Mark Seinfelt

Word Patriots – Rosaly Roffman’s “I Want To Thank My Eyes

Rosaly DeMaios Roffman, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Professor Emerita, still teaches courses in creative writing and myth and started a myth/folklore Studies Center at IUP. She is the co-editor of “Life on the Line,” author of “Going to Bed Whole,” “Tottering Palaces,” “The Approximate Message” and most recently “In the Fall of a Sparrow,” commissioned by the Pennsylvania Governor’s Institute for the Humanities, Harrisburg. She has collaborated on twenty pieces with composers and dance/theater companies in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, including “No More Masks,” a piece centering on archetypes of the feminine, “Homage to Vincent and Theo Van Gogh,” a piece for tape and voice which was also broadcast on the radio, “One Person Renga” for seven different instruments and voice, and “Clippings” a docu-theatre poetry mosaic based on George Orwell and newspaper clippings. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including “Macguffin,” “Zone 3,” “Centennial Review,” “Pittsburgh Quarterly,” “Sing Heavenly Muse,” and most recently in these anthologies “Along These Rivers,” celebrating the 250th anniversary of Pittsburgh, in “Only the Sea Keeps,” and in the books “Come Together: Imagine Peace” and “The Working Poet.” The recipient of a Distinguished Faculty Award in the Arts in Pennsylvania, and of National Endowment Grants, she was brought to England by the BBC for a broadcast (as “Writer from Abroad”) on her work as an American poet with an abiding interest in “the ordinary and the sacred.” She facilitates the Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop in Pittsburgh and has read her poems in Mexico, Israel, Ireland and Greece and at three World Congresses of Poets. Her latest book of poems “I Want To Thank My Eyes” will be published by Tebot Bach this month. Joan Bauer has called the collection an engaging blend of deep reverence, compassionate vision and quirky humor … food for the soul which makes us hungry for more.” And Jim Daniels says the collection “rings with tenderness and gentle wisdom, propelled by the quiet, intense urgency of a writer familiar with life’s complex physical and emotional landscapes.” This week Rosaly and I explore her lifelong fascination with myth and folklore and how that interest has empowered her work as poet, and discuss the transformative power of words, how language anoints us and permits metamorphosis. If you would like to know more about my books, please visit my website: See also the web page for Tebot Bach books: