by John L. Miller
Olympic is collection of personal, persona, and pandemic poems inspired by various Greek mythological tales, guided by Robert Graves’ The Greek Myths. Throughout the book, John Miller masterfully employs this mythology as a creative vehicle to both witness and contemplate the current realities of life against a backdrop of history and legend.
ENJOY A VIDEO OF JOHN READING FROM THE BOOK:
John Miller— A Featured Poet on The Poetry Box LIVE (May 2022)
About the Author
John L. Miller’s poetry was featured at the Elisabeth Jones Art Center’s 2021 Festival of Feelings. His poetry has also appeared in West Trade Review, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Wingless Dreamer, Wax Poetry and Art, Third Wednesday: A Literary & Arts Journal, Not a Pipe Publishing’s anthology Shout, River Heron Review, catheXis northwest press, The Esthetic Apostle, the 9Bridges anthology Over Land and Rising, and Glass Facets of Poetry. His short fiction has appeared in Tethered by Letters.
John is a founder of Portland Ars Poetica, a literary poetry collective serving the U.S. Pacific Northwest and when virtual, anywhere. Portland Ars Poetica’s activities include generative workshops, a book club and performance events. More information can be found at https://www.meetup.com/Portland-Ars-Poetica/.
John has lived in Portland, Oregon since 2012, where he started to write poetry after writing almost nothing in verse for 20 years. A writer from as far back in childhood as he can remember and has files on, John was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He wrote his first poem at fifteen, on the New York City subway, on a bookmark that he placed in a copy of Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory, which remains on his shelves. He has a degree in English from Amherst College.
Early Praise for Olympic:
“Olympic offers a vision of the past enfolded into our burgeoning future, in the form of the intimate whisper of a secret witness to the inner lives of the gods who happens to have a time machine, allowing the poet and his readers to slip through a portal to Ancient Greece and back again, sometimes before we’ve reached the end of a single line of poetry.”
—Christopher Luna, Clark County, WA Poet Laureate 2013-2017 and author of Exchanging Wisdom: A Guide for Parents of the Autonomous.
“Olympic captivates with poetry of Greek mythology; in the voices of deities, different views of the myths, and parallels between them and current, real-life happenings and contemplations. As in the poem “The Wedding of Perseus and Andromed,” the voice is hers, Forgive me, I say to him—/ it may be too long before I feel. John Miller has a gentle way to invite the reader to ponder vulnerabilities alongside him. John’s writing holds great depths and layers as in “Perseus” “why anyone believes the future/belongs to them/must make the gods laugh.” In the poem “Icarus,” John asks, Have I gone along too far, too high,/ too late see in a sun the price of missing/what could be asked, what could be given? This collection serves as an incredible and indirect view of hard truths anyone can ask themselves.”
—Rebecca Smolen, author of Excoriation and Womanhood and Other Scars
“Through the lens of Greek mythology, John Miller questions the assumptions and realities of today’s world. The answers are sometimes clear; often the reader is left to contemplate the meaning of the silence after his questions have been put, a silence as resonant as that after a bell has been struck. There is pleasure aplenty in these troubling, lyrical, and probing poems.”
—Bruce Parker, author of Ramadan in Summer