Bryan Miller, Raleigh | Poetry Contest | Indy Week

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Bryan Miller, Raleigh

Runner-up

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Bryan Miller likes the process of "lifting up the ordinary" in his poems. In "Regret Finds Us," the speaker describes the pain of the past coming back to haunt him through a series of humble, echoing images and instants. "Regret always has a home in our psyche," says judge Luis Rodriguez. "It comes for us through 'hairline cracks' and 'waking's brief slit,' in the most mundane of moments."

Although Miller won the 1988 Kentucky Center for the Arts' Imaginative Writing Award, he speaks more about the craft that goes into poetry than the initial imaginative inspiration: "I have to be careful not to fall victim to the rhythm of the words themselves, letting myself become hypnotized by what sounds pretty." His lines, often ending in half rhymes, i.e. "sweat, spent," and "glue, June," reflect his attentiveness to sound, his desire to use the music of his words to enrich the meaning of the poem.

Miller holds a bachelor's degree in English/Creative Writing from Murray State University, and a teaching certificate in English education from Southern Illinois University, where he studied with the poet Rodney Jones. Recently accepted to the University of Kentucky's graduate program in English, Miller plans to return to school this fall. In addition to verse, he loves bluegrass, "old-style country music," and collecting vintage toys. He lives in Raleigh with his wife and dogs.

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