"Studies for a Self-Portrait is an intimate look into the thoughts, observations, and experiences of a man recalling his life. LeGrand reflects on life with a keen eye and skillful use of unique imagery and metaphor. The opening poem laments the passing of time while the final poem rejoices in discovering words written by strangers as he rediscovers himself. 'Who I am now comes from having met you, line by syllable by line by breath.'”
~ Sandy Benitez, Cherry Blossom Days
“You might expect a book titled Studies for a Self-Portrait to be a fairly introspective work. In this new collection by prolific poet Rodger LeGrand, however, the gaze of the narrator is most often directed towards the external. They observe the world around them, taking in everything from the grandeur of nature to the mundane poetry of the everyday. By the end of the collection we’ve travelled through many worlds, witnessed many lives, and examined many fragile and beautiful stories. And through these, we discover, we have after all been reading a self-portrait. Tied together by the broad and complex lexicon of the poet, the poems in Study for a Self-Portrait present us with a frame – a way of seeing the world that is as unique and nuanced as any painting.”
~ Neon Books
“It’s either ironic or brilliant that the best poems in this new collection are about somebody other than the author himself. Indeed, although his title indicates that he’s composing—or at least preparing to compose—a picture of himself, it’s his portraits of others that are most arresting. LeGrand does what only a seasoned poet can do—catches readers’ attention while also calling on their empathy. So it is that this deft volume, purportedly about the self, delivers wise, timely messages about the other, as well. Unpredictable, poignant verse that asks readers to look—and think—deeply.”
~ Kirkus Review
Studies for a Self-Portrait
"Rodger LeGrand is an excellent poet whose work keeps getting better and better."
~ Stephen Dobyns, Next Word, Better Word: The Craft of Writing Poetry
"Poetry instructors could spend entire sessions on what makes [LeGrand’s poetry] so right. Many of these poems reek of death, and they accomplish one of poetry’s goals: to tell us how to live until we die."
~ Dannye Romine Powell, The Charlotte Observer