Summer News

Look for new poems coming soon in Booth, The Antioch Review, Los Angeles Review, New Letters and New England Review.

Many thanks to Robert Hedin and the Anderson Center at Tower View for a fruitful writing residency in Red Wing, Minnesota.  Watching spring slide into summer along the Cannon River as the turtles appeared along the trail for mating was second only to the stellar company at the residency: composer Paul Brantley, poet Marianne Boruch, and fictionists Stephan Clark and Justin Quarry.  Yes, you can read about all of us in the Red Wing Republican Eagle.

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Patrick Nathan’s “Changed Note”

A very belated thanks to Patrick Nathan for his thoughtful essay, “Changed Note,” up at Mill City Bibliophine.

. . . What Miller’s collection does, however, is reveal that testosterone and masculinity are only problems inasmuch as life itself is a problem. Her poems look with horror upon the male propensity for destruction, but also breathlessly at its brief and opaque beauty. In “Cambiata,” she glances at the life of Jean-Baptiste Maunier, “the boy soprano who charmed / his way out of a wilderness of lack.” The poem’s epigraph, attributed to Andy Martin, is possibly the saddest thing I’ve ever read: “The male treble voice achieves its maximum power and resonance just as it is disappearing.” The title comes from the Italian nota cambiata, or “changed note,” a fittingly musical terminology that can signify a sudden dissonance, an interruption in the melody, or a loss of harmony. For boys, this metaphoric cambiata sounds somewhere between 11 and 14, all because – as Miller notes in the book’s title poem – of one “frizzy blot of genetic code directing the symphony / of a trillion sperm,” after which harmony is a thing of memory, overtaken by the body’s cacophony of desire. . .