E. Ethelbert Miller’s New Chapter

E. Ethelbert Miller

E. Ethelbert Miller

Willow Books is pleased to announce the addition of E. Ethelbert Miller to our house. The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller is slated for release in Spring 2016 as part of the Established Author Series. An upcoming 2015 Inductee into the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame, Miller is a writer, literary activist, and director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University. He is the editor of Poet Lore, the oldest poetry magazine published in the United States. A two-time Fulbright Senior Specialist Program Fellow (most recently in 2012), Miller holds an honorary Doctor of Literature from Emory and Henry College. Founder and former chair of the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., Miller is the author of several collections of poetry. He has also written two memoirs, Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer (2000) and The 5th Inning (2009). What was especially moving for us was Ethelbert’s reasons behind putting together this collection:

“I’m moving into a new chapter of my life,” he said. “My goal is to be more productive—like DuBois after he wrote Dusk of Dawn.”

An excerpt from a recent posting about the collection:

“We went through 2 boxes of my archives . . . She’s ahead of schedule in editing The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller. Many of my early poems written during the 1970s were dedicated to friends and people who influenced my thinking. We found a poem for Janet Gaillard, the talented Howard artist who was killed and left a hole in many of our hearts. A short poem for C.L.R. James dedicated to Paul Buhle. Oh, and so many poems for June Jordan including ‘Grand Army Plaza’ which she would respond back to . . . In my Collected Poems there will be a number of Bo Willie poems—a tribute to the writer Ahmos Zu-Bolton. All and more out in Spring 2016.”

Thoughts from editor and protégé Kirsten Porter:

“I don’t think I was aware of the magnitude of the task I was undertaking when I first agreed to edit Ethelbert’s Collected Poems! The responsibility of putting together a collection that represents a poet’s career (one that spans over 40 years) and shows the evolution of the writer, yet strives to bring cohesion . . . well, it has been a responsibility I have not taken lightly. Add to the stakes that I consider Ethelbert to be one of my most treasured friends. I have often said that I love his poems, almost as much as I love his heart.”

There’s going to be a lot more to love about him in the near future . . .