David Miller, photo by David Menzies

David Miller 






David Miller was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1950, and has lived in London since 1972.

His first books were The Caryatids (Enitharmon Press) and South London Mix (Gaberbocchus Press), both published in 1975. He has since published many collections of poetry and prose, including The Story (Arc Publications, 1976), Unity (Singing Horse Press, 1981), Pictures of Mercy (Stride, 1991), Stromata (Burning Deck Press, 1995), Collected Poems (University of Salzburg Press, 1997), Art and Disclosure (Stride, 1998) and Spiritual Letters (1-12) (hawkhaven press, 1999). The Waters of Marah is due from Singing Horse Press (Philadelphia) in June 2003. His work has been included in a number of anthologies, including The New British Poetry, 1968-1988, ed. Gillian Allnutt, Fred D'Aguiar, Ken Edwards and Eric Mottram (Paladin, 1988), A State of Independence, ed. Tony Frazer (Stride, 1998), One Score More: The Second 20 Years of Burning Deck, ed. Alison Bundy and Keith & Rosmarie Waldrop (Burning Deck, 2002) and So also ist das / So That's What It's Like: Eine zweisprachige Anthologie britischer Gegenwartslyrik, ed. Wolfgang Görtschacher and Ludwig Laher (Haymon-Verlag, 2002). His writing has been celebrated in the Stride book, At the Heart of Things: the poetry and prose of David Miller (1994). Other discussions of his writing can be found in an essay by Robert Hampson in New British Poetries: The Scope of the Possible, ed. R. Hampson and Peter Barry (Manchester University Press, 1993), Michael Thorp's Breaking at the Fountain: A Meditation on the Work of David Miller (Stride, 1998), and Tim Woods' long essay, '"Thought itself, ruptured": The Spiritual Materialist Poetics of David Miller', The Poet's Voice, New Series, Vol. 4(2), 1998.

Miller left school at sixteen, subsequently working in unskilled jobs for over a decade. He returned to education when he was 28, studying for a BA in History of Ideas at Middlesex Polytechnic (now Middlesex University). He went on to gain a doctorate in English Literature at the University of London. His doctoral thesis was published as W. H. Hudson and the Elusive Paradise (Macmillan and St. Martin's Press, 1990).

He has worked as a librarian, primarily at University College London, where he was responsible for the Little Magazines and Small Press Collection, and is currently a Research Fellow in English Literature at Nottingham Trent University. He co-organised several exhibitions of small press books, poetry magazines and related publications at the Royal Festival Hall, Durham University Library, Staffordshire Polytechnic, University College London, workfortheeyetodo and Nottingham Trent University. Most recently, he curated 'A Guide for the Perplexed', an exhibition of poetry magazines at the Centre for Artist Books (University of Dundee).

Amongst his other activities, he has been an art critic, and an Associate Editor (with Origin and Poetry Salzburg Review) and Editorial Correspondent (with First Intensity). He currently co-organises the poetry reading series, Crossing the Line, at the Poetry Café in London.

His mentor as a writer was the late Robert Lax, and he also learned from his friendships with other writers, especially the late Edouard Roditi. He feels blessed to have known Lax and Roditi, as well as a handful of his contemporaries, such as Guy Birchard and William Cirocco.

More details of his life can be found in the essay he wrote for Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, Gale Research, vol. 30, 1999.


The Caryatids, Enitharmon Press, London, 1975 
South London Mix, Gaberbocchus Press, London, 1975 
Malcolm Lowry and the Voyage that Never Ends, Enitharmon Press, London, 1976 
The Story, Arc Publications, Todmorden, 1976 
Primavera, Burning Deck Press, Providence, Rhode Island, 1979 
Unity, Singing Horse Press, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, 1981  [spd]
Out of this World, Spectacular Diseases Press, Peterborough, 1984 [spd]
The Claim, Northern Lights, London, 1984 
Losing to Compassion, Origin Press, Kyoto, 1985 
Darkness Enfolding, Stride, Exeter, 1989 
Messages, Torque Press, Southampton, 1989 
W. H. Hudson and the Elusive Paradise, Macmillan and St. Martin's Press, London and NY, 1990 
Cards (with John Levy), Sow's Ear Press, Staffordshire, 1991
Pictures of Mercy: Selected Poems, with artwork by Graham Gussin, Stride, Exeter, 1991 [spd]
The Break, Trombone Press, Exeter, 1991 
True Points, Spectacular Diseases Press, Peterborough, 1992  [spd]
Tesserae, Stride, Exeter, 1993 
A path a lake the very breath, with artwork by Andrew Bick, RMG Publications, London, 1994 
Stromata, Burning Deck Press, Providence, Rhode Island, 1995  [spd]
The Book of the Spoonmaker, Cloud, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1995
Elegy, Oasis Books, London, 1996 

David Miller, Collected Poems, University of Salzburg Press

Collected Poems, University of Salzburg Press, Salzburg, 1997
Spiritual Letters (1-10), with artwork by Andrew Bick, EMH Arts/Eagle Graphics, London, 1997 
Appearance & Event, Paradigm Press, Providence, Rhode Island, 1997 [spd]
Art and Disclosure, Stride, Exeter, 1998 [spd]
Spiritual Letters (1-12), hawkhaven press, San Francisco, California, 1999 [hawkhaven or spd
Commentaries, tel-let, Charleston, Illinois, 1999 
From: Commentaries, Kater Murr's Press, Piraeus, Greece, 1999
Dark Ground, Wild Honey Press, Bray, Co. Wicklow, 2000
Commentaries (II), Runaway Spoon Press, Port Charlotte, Florida, 2000 
Spiritual Letters (Series 2, #1-5), with artwork by Denis Mizzi, Nyxpress, Sydney, Australia, 2001
The Waters of Marah, Singing Horse Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 2003.  Available from Singing Horse Press or spd.

Spiritual Letters (I-II) and other writings is now available from Reality Street Editions (63 All Saints Street, Hastings, Sussex TN34 3BN). The book sells for £6.50 per copy (please add £1 for postage & packing for a single copy if ordering direct from the publisher). For further details please see the Reality Street web site: http://freespace.virgin.net/reality.street/ or spd.


Books marked [spd] are available for purchase from Small Press Distribution, www.spdbooks.org  

The Waters of Marah brings together various of Miller's prose writings - in particular, his poetry in prose - from 1973 to 1995.
"These eighteen texts, published in tiny editions over the past thirty years and many long out of print, have been prized by poets and readers on both sides of the Atlantic."  (Gil Ott)

"Miller is a scholar-poet, a reader of both Book and World, a seeker of truth whatever the enormous semantic and philosophical problems associated with such an enterprise...." 
Kris Hemensley, Post-Neo

"David Miller's work extracts a quintessence of existence; sifting and resifting the lessons of perception, of 'raw' experience, in order to define just what it means to be alive, and think." 
Norman Jope, Memes

"In all of Miller's work there is this precision and fullness, the act of writing becoming a way of dreaming more fully.... Of all the present writers in English... Miller is the closest to Mallarmé, not in any formal or recognisable imitation, but in the way both behave when they write. What Julia Kristeva learned from her analysis of the great Symbolist poet could probably be discerned as easily from Miller's poetry. This is high praise indeed." 
Tim Allen, Terrible Work

"These two directions in Miller's poetry - the critique of the material world and the approach to the spiritual - are intricately interconnected, and by no means mutually exclusive. Indeed, they seem to form part of a deeply felt ethical imperative at work in his poetry: an imperative which forges its social critique on the basis of an ethical spirituality." 
Tim Woods, The Poet's Voice

"...a kind of poésie noire, an urban poetry of shadows and glimpses, street lamps and whispers. The crucial relationship between word and life is ultimately mysterious, inimitable and unknowable, yet its existence surfaces most convincingly in the poem." 
Fred Muratori (on Stromata), American Book Review

"If  'experiences at the limit of what can be apprehended' be the working definition of 'sublime', then Miller's is and is not a sublime work, since it hovers within and beyond the limits of what can be apprehended, and in this is a speculative and phenomenological poetry." 
Norma Cole (on Spiritual Letters (1-12)), First Intensity


© photo of David Miller by David Menzies

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