Trio House Press
publishing distinct voices in poetry
since 2012

Clay by David Groff

Winner of the 2012 Louise Bogan Award, selected by Michael Waters

David Groff’s book of poems, Clay, chosen by Michael Waters for the Louise Bogan Award and published in 2013 by Trio House Press, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. His book, Theory of Devolution, published in 2002 by the University of Illinois Press, was selected by Mark Doty for the National Poetry Series. He has co-edited two anthologies, the Lambda-winning Who's Yer Daddy?: Gay Writers Celebrate Their Mentors and Forerunners (University of Wisconsin Press), and Persistent Voices: Poetry by Writers Lost to AIDS (Alyson). For his friend, Robin Hardy, he completed the book, The Crisis of Desire: AIDS and the Fate of Gay Brotherhood (Houghton Mifflin/University of Minnesota Press). David’s poetry and prose have appeared in American Poetry Review, Barrow Street Review, Chicago Review, Court Green, Georgia Review, Inkwell, The Iowa Review, Margie, Phat’itude, Poetry, and other magazines. His poem “Her Grave” received the Editors’ Award from Meridian.  He has received residencies and fellowships from The Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, the Hall Farm Center, Hidden River Arts Foundation, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, Ragdale, the Santa Fe Art Institute, the Saltonstall Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Wildacres Retreat.


David received an A.B. from Princeton and an M.F.A. and M.A. from the University of Iowa. An independent book editor, he is a founder of the Publishing Triangle, the association of LGBT people in publishing. He has taught at NYU, and Rutgers University, and with the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. He currently teaches poetry, nonfiction, and publishing in the creative writing program at the City College of New York.


It reverbed beyond belief
to folk before the rood.
It colored the air like the glass.
The certifiers of God

pronounced it the sound of the soul
slipping the traces of plow,
promising great beyondness
beyond the sheep on the close.


The purified mouths of men,
the sound of absent organ,
the doubt of vibrato forgotten
like sketches of perspective,


exhort the stricken me
here in this beachside condo
that I was offered God
as naked before the window


I wrestle my angel of Clay,
their CD’d voices bleeding
their sated, unstained avowal,
to hell with my ocean howl.


Previously published in Barrow Street.