Books Submit About Contact

Television by Claire Millikin

Poetry, 69 pages, $18. 6.125" x 8.00" softcover, Smyth-sewn binding.
ISBN 978-0-87775-802-0. Published Spring 2016.

Poetry, 69 pages, $25. 6.25" x 8.25" hardcover, Smyth-sewn binding.
ISBN 978-0-87775-803-7. With dust jacket. Published Spring 2016.

Poetry, 69 pages, $35. 6.25" x 8.25" signed hardcover, Smyth-sewn binding.
ISBN 978-0-87775-803-7. Signed and lettered by author. With dust jacket. Published Spring 2016.

“In this remarkable collection, Claire Millikin has made her own persistent music of a fully felt, fully experienced life in which ‘what's broken never heals completely.’ Often edging into what seems unspeakable, she finds a language that remains plain, steady, scrupulous, unsentimental and unshowy. Poem after poem registers the poet's ‘battle for the moral world’—illuminating not only a single life but its human and environmental surroundings. As a motif draws us to the heart of a piece of music, Millikin's recurrent emblem is the centering fact and force of television: its role—fractured, phantasmagoric and familiar—in home and family, and in the wider world, where it may exercise its ‘balm of blue light.’ What I find especially admirable is how these poems offer such a palpable and persuasive sense of a rich—if sometimes thwarted—inner life pushing its own boundaries of perception into the luminous and illuminating zones of the articulate. Always deeply reflective, the poems look inward and outward at once, allowing us to see and sympathise with the kinetic activity of a consciousness grasping—in every sense—the world that is shaping it. It can be a world of hunger, tattered clothes, rusted chassis, bewildering motion, ‘parking lots smeared with ice,’ a world in which the child, the growing poet, has ‘no house but this watchfulness.’ But in this watchfulness she abides and makes stubborn and dignified sense. Confronting in her own way ‘time that swallows all things,’ she asks ‘How shall I build myself from words.’ Well, in Television, she, simply, has.” —EAMON GRENNAN, author of Still Life with Waterfall

With family roots in Georgia, Claire Millikin grew up in Georgia, North Carolina, and overseas. She graduated from Yale with a degree in Philosophy, and later earned her doctorate in English literature from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has worked as a janitor, a waitress, and a copywriter, and now teaches as a lecturer in Art History at the University of Virginia. Before coming to Charlottesville, she lived for many years in rural coastal Maine. She is the author of three full-length books of poems including Motels Where We Lived, which was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award in Poetry, After Houses—Poetry for the Homeless, and Museum of Snow, as well as a chapbook of poems, The Gleaners.