Jay Robinson

The Czar’s Arrival


The Czar is in! It’s a crazy feeling to hold your first book in your hands, to open that box, to share it with close friends, family. I wrote about this on Facebook, so I don’t really want to retread on this post, but it’s been exactly what I thought it would be and more. The book is gorgeous, and the response to the book has been so positive and wonderful.

And not only is the book gorgeous, but its first public unveiling is on its way. We will be reading poems from the book for The Big Big Mess Reading Series on 08/13/16. Here’s a link to the event:

Cheers from Czarland.



Czar for Pre-Sale (Until 07/31)

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The Czar is still up for pre-sale, until July 31st. It’s hard to believe the book is coming out so soon. Ordering via pre-sale will save you a couple of bucks! Once pre-sales conclude the price shifts to 15.95$. Support your local Czar like your local Czar supports you. Here’s the link:

The Czar



Czar For (Pre-) Sale

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The Czar is currently up for pre-sale via Black Lawrence Press. The pre-sale price is $13.95 and ore-orders will stay at that price until July 31. Then, the price will shift to the retail $15.95. Support your local Czar!

Here’s the link:



A Czar’s Cover

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The Czar interrupts your fascination with the first new Radiohead album in five year with more pressing news, the cover image for the forthcoming book, designed by the incomparable Amy Freels. The cover image was first snapped by one of the Czars in Van Buren, Missouri. The design itself is the product of a Q and A with the designer:

Q: What does the book smell like?
A: Like cologne stolen by the czar from a department store that the czar actually owns, specifically Drakkar Noir all the boys in high school soaked themselves in.
Q: What does the book taste like?
A: Like the soft skin enveloping the clavicle.

Q: What does it feel like? Is is hard or soft? Smooth or gritty?

A: Hard, gritty.
Q: What color is it?
A: A regal purple or crimson, a faux-royalty vibe, as well as a kind of bombastically trashy quality, specifically Eurotrash.
Q: Is it warm or cold?
A: Warm, burning.

Q: What does it sound like?

A: Like your favorite on album, on vinyl, so loud nothing else can be heard.

The Blurbs Are In. All Networks Project the Czar as the Czar.

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The book blurbs have manifested themselves, and it is good.Such fantastic words from fantastic and admirable poets and people:


As a child, my mother taught me to zigzag Z to avoid getting eaten by an alligator. Mary Biddinger and Jay Robinson employ this technique here: in the clever curve of C around the subject, in the sharp switchback tack of Z for zealous. They commit to wordplay revolution, erasing origins, replacing narrative with wit, sound, and imagery so surprising it feels, by poem’s end, perfectly natural: the thing that waited, haunting, in the swamp. I don’t know how else to explain The Czar, whose unexpected becomes so expectant with meaning. This is a brilliant collection/collaboration.

–Carol Guess, author of Doll Studies: Forensics


This exquisite, feature-length project is the comic jam. But it’s no joke. You can thank Mary Biddinger and Jay Robinson later. For now, arm yourself with a few questions: What rules does this Czar follow? Which ones does he break? And just how many ways can you fold a Czar in the first place? Are you ready? The Czar demands your participation. Enter the parlor!

–Matthew Guenette, author of American Busboy


This book is not a book, it’s treatise on empire, a manifest destiny, a pack of wild peasants outside the gate, a mesmerizing tour d’effluvia in its Czar not Czar, throne not throne, overthrown mistresses, Lady Czar is no Czarina, cappuccino foam isn’t foam, revolution was a hoax, naming and renaming, unlearned cursive, unheard flute solo, empire under construction, not New York, not Sacramento, non-tabloids, non-violent non-women. Biddinger and Robinson rebuild our world and take it away piece by piece to show the conviviality of our destruction.

–Elizabeth Colen, author of They Could No Longer Contain Themselves


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The Czar is now on Spotify. Czarname: theczarofczars.

Hence, the Czar can now make playlists for his playthings and otherwise create the soundtrack to the Czar.

In other updates, consideration of cover art has begun. The book has an ISBN. And the manuscript will be delivered on 12/1/15.


Czar Day

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It’s official! We are happy to announce that The Czar is forthcoming in 2016. The inaugural ball is going to be most excellent. Here’s a link to some propagandist literature from Black Lawrence Press:

Under Construction

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The Czar, or this half of The Czar, now has an author page. Check out

To check out the other half of The Czar go to: 

Mary’s next full-length collection, Small Enterprises, debuts next month. It is her fourth full-length collection and third overall from BLP.


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You can follow the Czar on Instagram. Just search for @theczarofczars and send a request. Then you can view a boatload of abandoned storefronts; rural, urban, and suburban decay, neoclassical Americana, and anything Czarworthy in its imagery.

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