“Make praise your daily bread,” writes Kevin Miller in “It’s Like Weather,” one among many meditations on the intricacies of life between spouses in his eminently praiseworthy, award-winning fourth collection. In addition to a host of other topics, Miller’s poems on the breakdown that comes with age infuse the experience with warmth and humanity and redemptive good humor; read “Pull Dates,” page five, and “The Bureau of Wear and Tear,” page eight, to see what I mean. I praise Miller’s work for its fine fusion of heart, wisdom, humility and craft. The rewards and delights of this collection bring me back again and again. ~ John, Bookseller Emeritus— From John
Vanish is exquisite, painful, tender -- a book of ghosts - mother, father, friends, lovers, intermingled with the ghosts of the poet's earlier selves. Kevin Miller takes on difficult topics about family, aging, and love, his voice embodying a cherished privacy, while generously giving clarity to our own lives. These masterful poems feel like sacred stones, concentric, smooth, each word solid, needed. For anyone who has been in a long relationship, his poems on marriage are so honest they awaken us to, and we find humor in, our own daily reckonings on devotion. Vanish begins with lost memory "this tremor of fear/when the ripples left by the stone fail to reach the edge, and the pond is a space as dark as swallows...." However, it becomes the threshold where with heartfelt exploration, Miller gives us poems that are superb and passionate, as we search our way with him through his fine intellect and blazing images.
--Nancy Takacs, author of The Worrier, Juniper Prize winner
This collection teems with ghosts and their reckonings, and in their service Miller raises narrative to new elegiac heights in exceptional poems that both contain and release his quiet and unquiet dead. To the living he offers wisdom hard won; he celebrates the eternal verities of endurance, common decency and compassion, and unveils the mysteries behind the everyday interinanimation of friends, neighbors, family. This book, so rich with epiphanies, charts the songlines of Washington State, the magnificent watersheds and mountains and the memory held in her human communities. Clear eyed and visionary, this work is a triumph.
--Paula Meehan, 2013 Ireland Professor of Poetry
Turn the pages of Vanish, and you're met by beguiling surprises: quirky narratives, the heartfelt voice, jazzy soliloquy, and lyric meditation. These poems feel pressured into being by what remains peripheral: at the edges of memory, at the rim of experience.
--Nance Van Winckel, author of Our Foreigner
Kevin Miller's collection Vanish exists in the quiet certitude of lives lived moment to moment, hour by hour and generation to generation. The poems illustrate that it is the varied stuff of this life that makes us whole; farmhouses, sparrows and mackerel, smoke from a cigarette, candles in a window, a question asked over dinner; illuminating each small gesture and ache as they vanish into time, but permeate the living and the land they occupy.
--Tina Schumann. Author of Praising the Paradox