Love and Other Collisions
by Joseph Mills
8.5 X 5.5 paperback, 88 pages
Sending Christmas Cards
to Huck & Hamlet
by Joseph Mills
8.5 x 5.5 paperback, 100 pages
Somewhere During the Spin Cycle
by Joseph Mills
8 x 5 paperback, 80 pages
by Joseph Mills
9 x 6 paperback, 78 pages
Joseph Mills grew up in Indiana, and, in the first thirty years of his life, he kept moving farther and farther West, earning literature degrees at the University of Chicago, University of New Mexico, and the University of California, Davis. He spent a year in Bordeaux where he met his wife, and, after living for a couple years in the San Francisco Bay area, they moved to North Carolina. Joe teaches at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he holds an endowed chair, the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities. In addition to his five poetry collections, he is the co-author (with wife Daniele Tarmey) of A Guide to North Carolina’s Wineries. He also edited A Century of the Marx Brothers.
Liliana Italiano was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She used to dwell in “La Boca,” a picturesque neighborhood of the capital city where she studied at the National Ceramic School. After finishing her art studies at the State School of Fine Arts Dr. Figueroa Alcorta in Cordoba Province, she taught pottery, sculpture, and painting at private and public institutions, and participated in several exhibitions in her home country. Later, she settled with her husband and children in Anisacate, a very small village in the hills. Liliana lived in Charlottesville, Virginia for four years, where she had the opportunity to share her art more widely in solo and group exhibitions. Some of her art works were exhibited (and still are) in XVI Iberoamerican Art Salon, Washington DC, Art Upstairs Gallery, Black Rock Gallery, and several art festivals around the states, as well as in her home country of Argentina, and across Latin America. Liliana returned to Argentina, to the hills of Cordoba, in 2007, and is now working on new projects.
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“This book stands as a chronicle of the speaker’s growth from a hopeful youth to a father carving out the best life he can for his own children to a man who is a helpless witness to his mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. In the words of one poem, Mills “show[s] how you [can] make something of your life if only you [can] stand enough punishment over the years.” Love and Other Collisions is at once ambitious, unflinching, and tender—It is definitely a must-read.”
— Shaindel Beers, author of A Brief History of Time
"To Joseph Mills a glass of wine reveals a little of 'the almost infinite risk in being who we are.' Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers is, then, a collection of revelations, truths to be found in and about wine. Witty, mordant, melancholy, funny, these bright poems fix and illumine the many moods we may encounter in a bottle of happy red. I shall recommend this volume most heartedly, saying, 'Here, I think this / will help make things a little better.'"
— Fred Chappell, author of Family Gathering
These are poems borne of the poet's heart and spirit as he gracefully spins fleeting moments into memories. Mills experiences life deep into the marrow and shares his visions with readers. The striking cover art, "Sudestada" by Liliana Italiano, entices the eye and prepares readers for the profound poetry inside the book. If you enjoy poetry, Mills' work is highly recommended.
— Laurel Johnson, Midwest Book Review
“I have been reading Joseph Mills’ work for years, but this, his fourth collection, is my favorite. Ultimately, his poems do what poetry should do: simplify the complicated and complicate the seemingly simple. You’ll never think of Rapunzel as a victim again.”
— Lori Ostlund, author of The Bigness of the World
Cover artist Alireza Darvish was born in Rasht, Iran and studied History of Art and Painting at the Fine Arts Institute in Teheran, Iran. He has worked as an illustrator for many art and literature magazines, and has taught painting and drawing. His art has been featured in solo exhibitions and his animated films have been shown and have earned awards throughout Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Africa, Spain, and the United States.
At the age of fifteen in Iran, Alireza says he was forced to avoid trouble by throwing into a river many books from his personal library that were prohibited by the Iranian government. Now living as a political refugee in Germany, Alireza creates art through illustrations and animations, many using books as a metaphor for the human being and his or her relationship to the world through books.
This Miraculous Turning
by Joseph Mills
9 x 6 paperback, 82 pages
Cover artist Kenneth Frazelle is an accomplished and acclaimed composer who teaches at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in both the Music School and the School of Filmmaking. His music has been commissioned and performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Jeffrey Kahane, Jan DeGaetani, Gilbert Kalish, and many others. Frazelle first received international acclaim with his score for Still/Here, a multimedia dance theater work for the Bill T.Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co. Frazelle has received awards and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy in Rome, and Columbia
University, and he was the winner of the 2001 Barlow Prize, the international competition administered through Brigham Young University. He has held residencies with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Frazelle was a pupil of Roger Sessions at The Juilliard School and attended high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Robert Ward.
Also an accomplished painter, of his untitled watercolor, he says, “It’s a miniature, postcard-sized painting, a quick depiction of the rounded meadow above our garden in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. I'm intrigued by the precarious gravity suggested by hilly places. The way the gold and brown pigments dissipate into a corona near the trees was unplanned—one of the ‘happy accidents’ of the watercolor medium.”
This Miraculous Turning is a book that turns from nothing—the daily, the domestic, the little epiphanies. These poems are conversational, profound, narrative, and leavened with inimitable humor, often wry, often wistful. But these are also tough poems, thrumming with a quintessential helplessness that is so quintessentially human—what ultimately leads us to poetry to obtain “news that stays news,” but to also restore our faith in the small things as the source of wholeness. You’ll go back again and again to this wonderful book, and you’ll tell others to get their hands on it. The poems become truer, more indispensable, with each reading.
— Joseph Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina, author of Concertina
In general, poets are not saints, yet in his quiet but unapologetic intelligence, his passion, humility, and wisdom, and his understanding of good and evil, Joseph Mills gives us poems that could change the world. Deeply affecting, these poems show us how to live with one another. "I'm searching," he says, "for the right forms for these poems, ones as simple and solid as wooden bowls." Everything here is true: measured, faultless. You do not want to miss this book. This Miraculous Turning is a bona fide miracle.
— Kelly Cherry, former Poet Laureate of Virginia and author of The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems
Joseph Mills writes the best kind of poems about family. These are unsentimental, frank pieces that open from the private to the public, reminding us that we are more than parents and children, but are members of a world that we create and inhabit together. Beautifully crafted, sometimes humorous, and often heartbreaking, This Miraculous Turning is a poignant meditation on family, race, religion, and identity in modern America.
— Kelly Davio, author of Burn This House
In these poems, Joseph Mills portrays a world that is both startling and heart-deep familiar. His words simultaneously inflict wonderment and consternation, revealing both how beautiful and how wanting this human life can be. I was sad to come to the end, but eager to begin again, to relive Mills' precise rendering of the lessons of parenthood and the particular joy and ache of living in a diverse world where so much comes down not to understanding one another, but in trying to do so. Throughout these poems, it is the heart that rings clear through soft, purple-skied spring evenings, poignant and funny car-trip conversations, and sun-drenched afternoons in cemeteries and battlefields.
— Susan Woodring, author of Goliath
Disturbingly brilliant, breaking boundaries with shocking immediacy, This Miraculous Turning lays bare a trail of poems that navigate extreme terrain. These poems sear, disfigure, dismantle and reconstruct the truths of a history that informs otherness and taboos. Joseph Mills offers lyrical beauty inside a turbulent storm of history, memory, and hope that dances the bones of the nameless child free and gives flesh to the spirits in an explicit celebration of love and grace.
— Jaki Shelton Green, author of Breath of a Song: New and Selected Poems
Praise for This Miraculous Turning
WHAT PARENTS EAT
As my son swings
and says Daddy
look at me.
a boy is shot for being
in an unfamiliar neighborhood
a boy is shot for asking
a boy is shot
for walking in the backyard
of a house his father just bought
a boy is shot for being
like my son
curving into the sky
then falling towards earth
I must speak
with my mouth full
the daily bread
I will eat
until one of us dies
and I try to swallow
and I say
Yes, you are.
Yes, you are.
(from This Miraculous Turning)
NEW! Second Edition with new poems!
Winner of the 2015 Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry