The Rock in the Middle of the Road by Edward D. Miller


About the book! The Rock in the Middle of the Road describes a series of encounters: with new places and uncovered memories; the politics of the moment and the legacy of history; and falling in love in the here and now. Set in Brazil, Argentina, France, New York City, Cape Cod, and in the virtual homeland of a remembered childhood, Miller’s poems ask the reader to disembark from the ordinary. On this journey, the reader attends to the rhythms of phrases and the playfulness of words. Also, one is called to pay attention to the details in a cityscape or a seascape, suggesting different ways to measure distance and nearness.

Even as the poems border on the philosophical, they are also awash with emotion. Some, like the titular poem, tell complex stories with remarkable brevity. Others demand that the reader resists narrative and instead indulge in a perception. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself laughing out loud at Miller’s off-key wit and unlikely fixations.

All but one of the poems have been published in journals previously, most in the last five years. Appearing together in this chapbook, they form a collage of a borderless imagination tousled and re-ordered by experience, working hard to find connections between the outer world and the inner realm.

What are others saying? "With characters who threaten to choose memory to the event or to cannibalize aesthetics, lovers who diagnose each other or rue the Victorian scent of an elusive love letter, chockablock metropolitan oases where even silence brings no respite, and tourists who are lost in the euphoria of learning a phrase or two of rural dialects, Edward Miller's poems are replete with grace, compassion, the simmering ardour of faith and the tenderloins of dry wit, that an entire generation has quite mindfully disowned. The Rock in the Middle of the Road will be a gigantic obstruction to the hounds of self-indulgence, greed, dispassion, disgrace and historical amnesia that plagues our poets of the world, and this world of poets. An achievement to remember for very long!" ~Dr. Arup K. Chatterjee, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Coldnoon: International Journal of Travel Writing & Travelling Cultures and author of The Purveyors of Destiny: A Cultural Biography of the Indian Railways and The Great Indian Railways

About the Poet: Edward D. Miller graduated with a doctorate from the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts/NYU in 1998 and he was hired as an adjunct professor in the Department of Performing and Creative Arts in 1996. He is a founding member of the Department of Media Culture and served as Chair and then as Coordinator of its MA Program in Cinema and Media Studies. He is a former fellow at CUNY’s Center for the Humanities and the Center for Place, Culture and Politics. Currently he is the Acting Coordinator of the Film Studies Certificate Program at the Graduate Center as well as Co-Curator of the Gallery of the College of Staten Island.

Professor Miller is the author of Emergency Broadcasting and 1930s American Radio (2002) and Tomboys, Pretty Boys, and Outspoken Women: The Media Revolution of 1973 (2012). He has published numerous reviews and analyses of screen and audio culture in scholarly journals, edited books, and other publications as well as poetry and creative nonfiction for many literary journals. He is currently a Contributing Editorial Associate for Coldnoon: International Journal of Travel Writing and Travelling Cultures.

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