“To the House of the Sun”: Review

The historian, medievalist, and poet Jeff Sypeck has just published the most thorough review yet of my long poem, To the House of the Sun. The highlights are pasted below, but I encourage anyone to read the entire review here. And while you’re there, check out the rest of his blog, where he writes about other long…

Green waves of long old life (3 New Poems)

Many thanks to Sam Smith, editor of the Welsh magazine The Journal (formerly Of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry), for publishing three of my poems from Old Europe. Those outside the UK cannot subscribe, so I include a screenshot of my page below, but I would UK readers to check out the print edition. Other poems from…

Empathy & Ultraviolence

For all of my talk about people being seduced by culture and violence, it’s worth saying that I’ve fallen under the spell many times. From late gradeschool on, when I first discovered writing, oftentimes I tried to sum up my sense of loneliness, and later actual depression, by writing fictional accounts of school shooters. One…

There is Only the Trying: Some Thoughts on Fame & Failure

1. When Derek Jeter retired from baseball in the fall of 2014, those who followed his last season heard the unsurprising story that he’d wanted to be shortstop for the New York Yankees since he was a little boy. And as I watched his last home game at Yankee Stadium, and watched how his last…

To the House of the Sun: A Poem by Tim Miller

Buy the book here Visit the publisher’s website here Signed copies are now available at a steep discount, directly from the publisher—only $14.95. Order them from Amazon here, and choose S4N Books as the seller. December 16 The poet and historian Jeff Sypeck participated in Via Negativa’s year-end Favorite Poetry Book survey, and kindly wrote…

To Criticize the Critic

What use does criticism serve, if any? I’m thinking here of the reviews of books, movies, or music, whether the smallest notices in newspapers on up to book-length studies. Do some of us genuinely enjoy a good suggestion? Have we found a handful of voices that we trust, that feel like a friend, and so…

Civilization Does Not Civilize

There is a remarkable moment in an interview with the writer George Steiner. That familiar question about the Nazis comes up, of how someone who listened to Bach and Beethoven by day could put people in gas chambers by night: Steiner: “[there are those who are] certain that the cultivation of the sensibility of beauty,…

Home is Where One Starts From

Last week I spoke about the tendency of many, including myself, who discover a sense of belonging far from where they’re actually from. Such an experience of home is intense but also fleeting, a two-week trip or a series of later returns; or it lives on just as an immensely powerful memory. But I was…

On the Road

Does anyone else feel a kind of intangible attachment, even nostalgia, for the road? One day and long into the evening I remember driving from El Reno, Oklahoma, to Holbrook, Arizona; just hoping to cross out of New Mexico, there were fewer hotels than I expected, so during that last hour of trying to find…

Classic Jam Hits

Going through my computer the other day, I found the .pdfs of these classic book sets, and thought to post them here for whoever wants them: Frazer’s The Golden Bough, The Mythology of All Races, and Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Whatever their limitations now, they are still great resources. I…

Go Ahead and Fuck Up

Not sure who the equivalent is for you, but Albert Camus was one of the first authors I found outside of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. The high school teacher who introduced me to him also laid an egg it took years to get over: the apparently insurmountable gulf between “popular” and “serious” literature; and…