Fortune

Overview

Only someone who has a deep capacity to love and enjoy the music of life could have written these wonderful, troubling poems. There's a tenderness at the core of Fortune, where the commonplace becomes atypical and fantastical,a nd eazch poem possesses a voice that summons and reveals. Joseph Millar is a poet we can believe.—Yusuf Komunyakaa, winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for poetry "If you want the real news of how America lives, of what it's like to be here with us, Millar will tell you with exactitude and ...

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Overview

Only someone who has a deep capacity to love and enjoy the music of life could have written these wonderful, troubling poems. There's a tenderness at the core of Fortune, where the commonplace becomes atypical and fantastical,a nd eazch poem possesses a voice that summons and reveals. Joseph Millar is a poet we can believe.—Yusuf Komunyakaa, winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for poetry "If you want the real news of how America lives, of what it's like to be here with us, Millar will tell you with exactitude and delicacy in poems like none you've read before. He know a country, an America, that's been here all along waiting for its voice. It's time we listened."—Philip Levine, Ploughshares

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What People Are Saying

Yusef Komunyakaa
"Only someone who has a deep capacity to love and enjoy the music of life could have written these wonderful, troubling poems. There's a tenderness at the core of Fortune, where the commonplace becomes atypical and fantastical, and each poem possesses a voice that summons and reveals. Joseph Millar is a poet we can believe."
Anne Marie Macari
"Fortune grows out of ruin, out of the deep wounds of history: a young boy losing his mother, mental illness, alcoholism. Much blood—stained beauty here—lush singing—a fierce and tender voice. "
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597660266
  • Publisher: Eastern Washington University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

JOSEPH MILLAR grew up in western Pennsylvania and received an MA from Johns Hopkins in 1970. He spent most of the next twenty-five years in the San Francisco Bay Area working at a variety of jobs, from telephone repairman to commercial fisherman. His poems have earned him fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Montalvo Center for the Arts, and the Oregon Literary Arts. His first book, Overtime, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. In 1997 he gave up his job as telephone installation foreman and moved to western Oregon, where he lives with his wife, poet Dorianne Laux, and teaches at Pacific University's low residency MFA program.
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Table of Contents


1
Feeding Tristem's Snake     3
Hansel and Gretel's Father Explains     4
Twilight Summer Solstice in the Refuse Dump Outside Naknek, Alaska     5
Homemade Kiln     6
Junkyard     8
Widower     9
Letter to State Hospital     10
Losers and Winners     12
Environmentalist     14
Advent 2005, Seattle Airport     15
Mystery Tramp     16
2
Middle Age     21
Tools     22
Old Men at the Gym     23
Throne     24
Doomsayer     26
Sisters Rodeo     27
Pornography Kings     28
Lyrical     29
Widower 2     30
Harriet Matthias Wickersham     31
3
Fall Night     37
Doorway     38
Valentine Peace Offering     39
Red Wing     40
Fathers     41
Sockeye Delivery     42
Caroling     43
Georgia on My Mind     44
Bulbs     46
Fortune     47
4
Caliban, Caliban     51
Potter's Field     52
Slow Hands     53
Stones in My Passway     54
Dow Jones     55
American Wedding     56
Poem for Rembrandt     58
Coming Home     60
Last Supper     61
Sanding Floors     62
A Love Supreme     63
Notes     65
Acknowledgments     67
About the Author     69
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2009

    poet with a tactile sense that is like a memory

    Millar's lines move easily, but not glibly. Each one has a fullness to it, like a wave. Nothing is forced. The poet seeks nothing nor are there the bursts of insight, lesson, reflection, or culmination of so many poems presumably to make them of worth. The touchstone of Millar's poems is the tactile sense of a manual worker, no doubt developed from his years of work as a telephone installation foreman before he moved to western Oregon. This tactile sense, more than any philosophy or faith, provides an orientation. Routines and their paraphernalia are reliable and assuring enough, so that Vietnamese immigrants hunting for catfish and squirrels along the Mississippi River, 'cast...off in their four-foot skiffs/ten thousand miles from the place/they were born, never getting lost.' [from 'Middle Age'] In 'Slow Hands,' there's 'barked on rusted bolts/holding a bad starter motor [which have] scrounged what they could/ from the world's swollen margins....' For Millar, this tactility is a kind of memory.

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