Overtime

Overview

Overtime, Joseph Millar’s first book of poetry, both traditionally elegiac and formally unexpected—aims at the overlap between art and the everyday grind of work and single fatherhood. Here we find poems of loss and grief, alongside poems of working-class celebration that hum with the sound of wind in the ladder racks and miles of telephone wire. Overtime is a book of poetry whose chief concern is not art for its own sake but rather the artistic visions the everyday struggles of life provide when paid the right ...
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Overview

Overtime, Joseph Millar’s first book of poetry, both traditionally elegiac and formally unexpected—aims at the overlap between art and the everyday grind of work and single fatherhood. Here we find poems of loss and grief, alongside poems of working-class celebration that hum with the sound of wind in the ladder racks and miles of telephone wire. Overtime is a book of poetry whose chief concern is not art for its own sake but rather the artistic visions the everyday struggles of life provide when paid the right attention. A poet deeply sunk into William Carlos Williams’ American Grain, Millar grounds his poems in the details and small mysteries of everyday life and labor. Whether the speaker is murmuring a song to the beloved in poems like “Love Pirates” or “Listener,” imagining the travails of a Native American war chief in “Sitting Bull in Canada,” or considering his own inevitable death in “Heart Attack,” Millar tells a story plainly, moving from lyric to narrative and back again in language charged with duende and force. As Yusef Komunyakaa has written, “Millar is a poet we can believe.”
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What People Are Saying

Barry Lopez
“No intellectual wink mars the poems, no one is pilloried, nothing manufactured. The forgiveness in this voice makes us feel brave.”
Madeline DeFrees
“Take a sensibility of remarkable delicacy and precision, immerse it in the abrasive, often violent, atmosphere of 20th century blue-collar America, and what you get is a chronicle of drink, debt, and divorce. Joseph Millar’s Overtime includes some of the best poems about work since Phillip Levine’s. This is a first book of unusual maturity and promise.”
Billy Collins
Millar can ride a poem into some wildly imaginative territory, and he knows how to sound the blue note at just the right moment. His impulse is to tell a story, and he never forgets, as a poet, to tell it one line at a time.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

JOSEPH MILLAR has won a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches in Pacific University’s Low-Residency MFA Program
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Table of Contents

ONE
Twentieth-Century Landscapes: 1 •Telephone Repairman: 3
Ed’s Auto Repair: 4 •Young Mother : 6
Oaks Card Club: 7
Fiber Optics: 9
Tax Man: 11
Spanish Blues: 12
Selling out at the Top of the World: 14
TWO
Sitting Bull in Canada: 18
The Wayward Carpenter’s Apprentice: 20 •Autumn Rainfall: 21
Strider: 22
After Listening to a Lecture on Form: 23
Names I’d Forgotten: 24
Lightnin’ Hopkins Returns Home: 25
Outside Monterey: 26
Deck Boss: 27
Heart Attack: 29
Keat’s Shadow: 31
THREE
Near the Continental Divid: 34
Kung Fu: 36
Filial Piety: 37
Midlife: 39
My Father and Thomas Wyatt in Hefka’s Bar: 41
Hansel and Gretel’s Father: 43
Sole Custody: 44
Family Therapy: 45
FOUR
Poem for a New Girlfriend: 48
Love Pirates: 49
Fat City: 50
Second-hand Clothes: 51
Work Songs: 53
At Bay Meadows with Robert Herrick: 54
Sunday Night: 56
Listener: 57
Dark Harvest: 58
Waking up After Reading Proust: 60
Acknowledgments
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