Behind the Words: Kevin Miller

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Kevin Miller, "Casey Drops Blue"

Kevin Miller’s poem “Casey Drops Blue” appeared in the inaugural issue of Spry. Pleasure Boat Studio published his third collection Home & Away: The Old Town Poems in 2009. Recent poems appear or are forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, Crab Creek Review, and The Museum of Americana. Kevin lives in Tacoma, WA. Recently we were lucky enough to have a conversation with him about his poetry and writing in general.


Leigh Anne:Kevin, tell us a little about who you are outside of your writing self.

Kevin: I taught in the public schools of Washington State for thirty-nine years, thirty years as a high school English teacher, four years as an administrator, and five years in special education. Now I am a grandfather who transports and provides some care duties for his grandchildren. I handle swim lessons with the other-mothers at the Y, haul to soccer practice, and tennis, and whatever I can do to help out.




Who are a few of your favorite poets? Whose work has had a big impact on your writing?

Well, a short list for today, Robert Sund, Eavan Boland, Paula Meehan. Three young locals Casey Fuller, Derek Sheffield, and Allen Braden. Richard Hugo’s work has had a lasting impact.



Can you tell us a little about your most recent book of poems? Where did this collection come from?


My wife and I moved to Old Town in Tacoma in 2000. The last collection featured poems written in this new place. After twenty-five years in a cabin-like home near Puget Sound, we moved to the city. New place, new perspective. Home & Away: The Old Town Poems features poems after Everywhere Was Far(1998) from the first nine years in the city. Section one is pretty local, home-centered poems. The Away section holds those other people and places in our lives.



And what about your poem in Spry, ‘Casey Drops Blue;’ how did this particular poem come about? What’s your writing process like in general?

For the past six years I have exchanged poems on postcards with Casey Fuller, usually one a week, sometimes more. First from Olympia and then Portland, Casey’s poems have been a wonderful gift. I remember blue tarps surfacing in a couple of his poems. Of course the blue tarp is a major unnatural resource in the Northwest, and Casey worked wonders with it. So that’s where the blue originates. As for process, this is an example of how the image or a spot of color takes off and I follow.


Are you working on any projects currently? Where can we hope to see your work?

I have completed a couple of long pieces, say chapbook length poems. The first was twenty-six poems in response to a goddaughter’s question about marriage. It’s called Smoke and Miracles. The second about twenty-four pages on faith and loss of faith called No Doubt. A few of these have trickled out as single poems in small mags.



What do you hope for your poems after sending them out into the world?

Great question. Hope for my poems? I hope they land in someone’s lap, maybe laptop these days, or god forbid a phone. I like the way poems of others sometimes open us up to our stories. I would like them to do that, and maybe misbehave a little along the way.


Leigh Anne Hornfeldt, a Kentucky native, is the author of East Main Aviary (Flutter Press, 2012) & The Intimacy Archive (ELJ Publications, 2013) and the editor at Two of Cups Press. She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, as well as the recipient of a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. In 2013 her poem “Laika” placed 2nd in the Argos Prize competition (Dorianne Laux, judge) and in 2012 she received the Kudzu Prize in Poetry. Her work has appeared in journals such as Spry, Lunch Ticket, Foundling Review, and The Journal of Kentucky Studies.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this article, I was looking to write about some of the pieces that Mr. Miller has written. Would you happen to have any contact information that I could use?
    Thank you

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