The Language of Phosphorescence

Original price was: $19.95.Current price is: $15.95.

Jeff Grieneisen
Jeff Grieneisen’s poems are the real deal.” —Antonio Vallone

SKU: 9781956921229-1 Category: Tags: ,


Jeff Grieneisen

The Language of Phosphorescence

ISBN 978-1-956921-23-6 (paperback)


120 pages: $19.95 (Sale price through June 1)
March, 2024


The poems in this collection examine the role of the individual’s relationship with place and with the evolving concept of “home.” The speaker, often autobiographical, struggles with the geographic and ecological sense of home and the passage of time as relates to the spiritual separation of body and soul.


More than the pleasurable strength of lovely, lyrical lines, Jeff Grieneisen delves into the absolute depth of themes (“Who heard the word / that began Everything”), encompassing origins, ancestry, braids of causality producing living identities, relations of history, all becoming a world we enjoy experiencing, all of it that matters. He shows us where words “lead to the earth.” That’s a great gift in a book of poetry.

—Nicholas Samaras, Hands of the Saddlemaker; American Psalm, World Psalm


Jeff Grieneisen is intimate and intense in his poems—he generously lets us move through his personal history as a human being on earth, with his people, his loves, his body. Yet, as we meander through this house of leaves expecting sketched stories, chance insights, and the magic of memory, we find something much more definite and permanent: a poet’s truth, an eccentric personage of many faces passing a doorway or sitting in a chair by the window. I imagine him half hidden among words as by a cloak and hat; he allows us patiently to come near and reverently pay him homage in moments of contemplation and wonder.

—Roxana Preda, University of Edinburgh


Reading Jeff Grieneisen’s latest collection, The Language of Phosphorescence, you’ll discover a poet who’s embraced other poets, especially the Imagists, and, at the same time, has embraced the world he lives in. Exploring Grieneisen’s poetic world, I’m reminded of one of my favorite Frost poems, “To Earthward.”  Its last two stanzas read:

When stiff and sore and scarred
I take away my hand
From leaning on it hard
In grass and sand,

The hurt is not enough:
I long for weight and strength
To feel the earth as rough
To all my length. 

The poems in The Language of Phosphorescence lean hard on the world and its images, so when we’re finished reading we feel their impressions to all our length. In a poetry world where “poets” sometimes spew out feelings better meant for personal diaries or journals, tee shirts, or hipster tattoos, Jeff Grieneisen’s poems are the real deal.

—Antonio Vallone, Publisher, Mammoth Books; poetry editor, Pennsylvania English 

Additional information

Weight 9 oz


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