Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314
Love and Other Collisions

8.5 X 5.5 paperback, 88 pages
​ISBN 978-0-9825760-8-3
Sending Christmas Cards to Huck & Hamlet

8.5 x 5.5 paperback, 100 pages
ISBN 978-1-935708-53-7
Somewhere During
the Spin Cycle

8 x 5 paperback, 80 pages
ISBN 0-9772283-6-3
Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers: Second Edition

ISBN 978-1-941209-22-6
9 x 6 paperback
78 pages

A professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills holds an endowed chair, the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities. He has published six collections of poetry with Press 53. His book This Miraculous Turning was awarded the 2015 Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry, and his collection Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers was called “a must have for wine lovers” by the Washington Post. His poetry has been featured several times on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac and in former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser's nationally syndicated newspaper column “American Life in Poetry.” In addition to his volumes of poetry, he has researched and written two editions of A Guide to North Carolina’s Wineries with his wife, Danielle Tarmey. He also has edited a collection of film criticism A Century of the Marx Brothers. He has degrees in literature from the University of Chicago, the University of New Mexico, and the University of California, Davis.
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. 

Joseph Mills
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. 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
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. 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. 

Discover more of Alireza’s fascinating world of art at

This Miraculous Turning

ISBN 978-1-941209-09-7
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.” 

Learn more about Kenneth Frazelle’s music and paintings at

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

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
(from This Miraculous Turning)

As my son swings
and says Daddy
                           look at me.  

              I’m magic!

a boy is shot for being
in an unfamiliar neighborhood

a boy is shot for asking
for help

           a boy is shot
for walking in the backyard
of a house his father just bought

a boy is shot for being
a boy

           like my son

curving into the sky
then falling towards earth

and again 
                        I must speak
with my mouth full

of fear
                        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.

Sample Poem
NEW! Second Edition with new poems!
Winner of the 2015 Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry
Press Fifty-Three

560 N. Trade St, Ste 103
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Exit, pursued by a bear
poems inspired by Shakespeare's stage directions

ISBN 978-1-941209-36-3
9 x 6 paperback
90 pages

Buy this
What an inspired collection! The lines between reality and the stage, between life and art, between past and present—they're all blurred into an exciting whirligig of poetry based on Shakespeare's stage directions. You don't have to be a Shakespeare nut to fall in love with this collection.

—Robert Lee Brewer, author Solving the World’s 
   Problems and editor of Poet’s Market

Also by Joseph Mills
Photo by Diana Greene
“Joseph Mills, who seems to have kindred spirits in Billy Collins and Robert Frost, takes on the business of making the connections between wine and the rest of life, and making the words sing in the process.”
— Lynn Hoffman, author The New Short Course in Wine

“…a must-have for all wine lovers. No ideology here, just perspective. Mills has a keen sense for why wine is so improbably important to so many of us, and on page after page, the wine lover will say, ‘Oh yes, that's me.’"
— Dave McIntyreWashington Post

“In writing about wine, Joe's sensitivity, humility, creativity, and imagery are perhaps the closest I've come to experiencing wine, without actually drinking it.”
— Nikitas Magel from VintnerReviews

“This brilliantly written body of work had us laughing out loud, realizing that Joseph’s razor-sharp wit and wisdom
was more than what the doctor ordered . . . It was insightful, inspirational, and extremely well-written entertainment.” 
— Jo Diaz, wine writer

“Joseph Mills writes some of the best poetry I've read in a long time, and with this book, he sustains a book-length topic—wines (from all possible angles)—and produces some very fine poetry. Yeah, sure, uncork a bottle, and then read fine lines till your head spins. I promise no hangover—from the poetry.
— Eric Shaeffer

The clock striketh
(from Exit, pursued by a bear)

If exiting you feel the same 
as when you entered,

go to the box office
and demand a refund,

run backstage 
to where the actors are
removing makeup,
and stand in the doorway,
an accusatory ghost,

keep the ticket stub,
so you can explain
your account is unbalanced, 
you’re owed those hours

because that’s the contract—
part of your life in return
for being changed

and maybe Death will listen,
after all he too was there,
as he is at every performance,
in the back, taking notes,

Introductions Made Easy
(from Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers)

If only people wore labels,
their foreheads clearly displaying
their appellation, their varietal,
their alcohol content,
think of the time it would save.
We could cut out the small talk,
the “Where are you from?”
and “What do you do?”
Appropriate pairings
would be more obvious. 
We might know if they met
government standards,
and we would have a better idea
who might improve with age
and who we should enjoy 
right now.