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Poems by Michael Miller

Michael Miller’s poems are finely tuned meditations on war, nature, friends, and love. The cycles of light and darkness, of fear and hope, of life and death echo from poem to poem. One realizes reading these poems that one must climb to get to the light, that certainty is uncertain.

For “Corporal Sayers,” “The war is over, / The dead will not run across a ridgeline, / And he has returned, / Refusing to kill a spider.” And the spider survives to appear in another poem, “Cracks:” “My black coffee is cooling down, / Early light falls through the window / Where I sit beside the spider / Crawling out of cracks in the house. / I let it live.”

Even love must be earned, not something we can take for granted. In “Rose,” “A drift of beauty / Will fall with each petal / As permanence eludes us.” These are poems that can be read almost effortlessly yet offer new rewards with each reading.

“I read Michael Miller’s poems with great pleasure in their accurate seeing, their assured phrasing, their true and proportionate feeling.”—RICHARD WILBUR

“No other poet I know writes so beautifully about seasoned love—love within the context of a life-long marriage. In writing about people and the places they share, Michael Miller achieves in his poems a deep sense of emotional integrity. His poems value clarity, understatement, love in the context of its turbulence, and the accuracy of each detail.”—STEPHEN HAVEN

MICHAEL MILLERs first book, The Joyful Dark, was the Editor’s Choice winner of the McGovern Prize at Ashland Poetry Press. His poems have appeared in such publications as The Sewanee Review, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The Southern Review, Ontario Review, The American Scholar, Raritan, and The Yale Review. His play, Transplants, which won the New England playwriting competition, was produced by Oldcastle Theatre Company in Bennington, Vermont. Born in 1940, Michael Miller lives in western Massachusetts.
April, 2014, Yeats Poetry Prize Winner:
Miller won 1st Place for his poem, “The Different War” (which was also a finalist for the T.S. Eliot Prize.” Awarded by the Yeats Society, Judge Jessica Greenbaum said: “The internalization of war superimposes itself on the physical gestures of this veteran’s daily life, so that while lifting his son from the sandbox he replays his rescue of a war buddy ...” Learn More
August 21, 2013 A Word’s Worth Review:
“... Michael Miller’s Into This World rivals the latest blockbuster novel in terms of being a page turner–I read the 73-page volume in one sitting and closed the book with thoughts about Donald Hall’s evaluation of poetry: ‘Poems are not about anything because they are about everything.’ Michael Miller’s work encompasses that everything–love, war, the natural world, death … ladybugs, bumble bees, dogs, polar bears …” Read the Full Review


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Pinyon Titles


In the Mirror (2016): “I read Michael Miller’s poems with great pleasure in their accurate seeing, their assured phrasing, their true and proportionate feeling.”—Richard Wilbur

(6"x9" paperback, 80 pages, ISBN: 978-1-936671-39-7, $16.00).

Lifelines (2014): In these poems focused on the intricacies of love, family, self-awareness, and the cracks between dreams and waking life, Michael Miller continues to show his mastery of the human voice and heart, “the known leading to the unknown.”

(6"x9" paperback, 80 pages, ISBN: 978-1-936671-26-7, $16.00).

Waking in the Dark (2019): Michael Miller’s poems focus on the intimacies and complexities of love, family, waking life, and “the space between dreams.” He continues to show in another insightful book his mastery of the human voice and heart.

(6"x9" paperback, 80 pages, ISBN: 978-1-936671-39-7, $16.00).

Entering the Day (2020): “She remembered the birds singing / In Greek, the plane trees with / Asymmetrical windows opened wide / Between their bare branches,/ The secrets she looked for in / Her father’s beard.” (from “Virginia”)

(6"x9" paperback, 80 pages, ISBN: 978-1-936671-63-2, $16.00).