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Binding: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-57131-435-2
Pages: 96
Publish Date: January 2009
Genre: Poetry

The Book of Props

BY Wayne Miller

The speakers in The Book of Props often desire to hold time still—especially in moments of love, but also when feeling ideally or fully located in a particular place or experience. They nonetheless also must acknowledge the paradox that to hold time still would mean the death of love, the death of experience. Thus, the grounding and locating sensory images that surround us—and the eye that apprehends them—become greatly important.

Elegant, learned, sensual, The Book of Props ripples with dense and mesmerizing images of light and shadow in its varied scenes of modern love.

The Book of Props is an artistic and philosophical endeavor to place oneself in the world. What emerges is a whole-hearted embrace of being, where technique and subject match. With its fluid combination of personal lyric and formal innovation, The Book of Props engages readers with its fundamentally humanistic perspective.

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Editorial ReviewGoodreads Review

“The mystery of sleep, the way a lit candle makes one the center of the dark: Wayne Miller's an investigative reporter of consciousness, examining subjectivity as if there were no maps. And he's right, there aren't; every I awakes to its own peculiar presence—here given compelling form in rewarding, elegant lyrics.”

—Mark Doty, author of Fire to Fire

“These poems are not about the world. Rather, they are the world put into words. The outside world is visible in and through these poems, which are thrilling in their metaphysical questioning and deeply satisfying in their perceptions. I can’t resist lying down in the snowprint these poems make . . . Miller’s language is irresistibly sensual. Lush, lavish, and achingly accurate, Miller’s words have an almost corporeal realness to them—a kiss that becomes an object pressed between lovers, a ‘room that will be the ghost of right now / for as long as we carry it.’ I was transfixed by this book.”

—Rachel Zucker, author of Eating in the Underworld

“Wayne Miller's poetry is entranced, luminous, supernaturally poised. He drifts through a world that is twilit, looming, strangely stilled, and somehow in need of his care, as if he had stayed up till some record late hour to watch over dreamers and scenes disarmed by sleep, a sad, fond ghost coaxing them to ‘surface into themselves.’  He is the purest kind of lyric poet, neither narrating nor explaining but saying over and over their beauty and poignance and power.”

—James Richardson, author of Interglacial

“Transformations—from the everyday to the wondrous and/ or haunting—are everywhere in Miller’s elegant second book. The poems are at once dreamlike and fervent in their will to cleave to the material world. . . . Miller remains a poet to watch, and one who strives to 'separate / the seeing from what's seen.'"

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“A mesmerizing and elegant inquiry into the physics of being. . . . His lyrics are steeped in longing, stoked by tender irony and luminous with heightened receptivity. Akin in spirit to the works of Wallace Stevens and Charles Simic, Miller’s poems are profoundly human in their philosophical puzzles.”

Kansas City Star

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wayne Miller

Wayne Miller is a poet, translator, and editor living in Kansas City, Missouri. He also teaches at the University of Central Missouri, where he co-edits Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing. His verse has won more awards than can comfortably fit in a single sentence.

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