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Blue Rust (Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series) Paperback – January 4, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0887485497 ISBN-10: 0887485499 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Carnegie Mellon; 01 edition (January 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887485499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887485497
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,018,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

There's so much kindness and honesty in these poems . . . long spiraling sentences full of used cars and kung pao chicken, umbilical blood and rent money, lentils and sausage and death. . . . Blue Rust is a big beautiful book of poems--moving, sensuous, artful, full of courage and blessings. I love it.

--Tony Hoagland

This book is terrific. Whether it's the true grit of blue rust or the true reckoning of the "blue compass needle," Millar's poems show us the verities of our human journeys. This is truly a poet of the people, a voice for our time.

--Barbara Ras

Millar writes about people with grease on their hands, ordinary men and women trying to make it in a hard luck world. His poems always seem to be in motion, arriving or departing, true to the rhythm of our lives. He can be as consoling as a lucky red sweater, and as irreverent as your middle finger. He's a pleasure at every turn of the page.

--Peter Everwine

Joseph Millar's Blue Rust is one of the most beautiful books I've read in years. In the tender, unflinching spirit of James Wright and William Carlos Williams, Millar explores the marginal, neglected nooks and crannies of private and public life. These poems combine remarkable simplicity of means with an even more remarkable complexity of effect . . .

--Alan Shapiro

Review

"There's so much kindness and honesty in these poems . . . long spiraling sentences full of used cars and kung pao chicken, umbilical blood and rent money, lentils and sausage and death. . . . Blue Rust is a big beautiful book of poems—moving, sensuous, artful, full of courage and blessings. I love it." (Tony Hoagland)

More About the Author

JOSEPH MILLAR's first collection, Overtime (2001) was finalist for the Oregon Book Award. A second collection, Fortune, appeared in 2007. Millar grew up in Pennsylvania, attended Johns Hopkins University and spent 25 years in the San Francisco Bay area working at a variety of jobs, from telephone repairman to commercial fisherman. It would be two decades before he returned to poetry. His poems--stark, clean, unsparing--record the narrative of a life fully lived among fathers, sons, brothers, daughters, weddings and divorces, men and women. His work has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2008 Pushcart Prize and has appeared in such magazines as DoubleTake, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, APR, and Ploughshares. In 1997 he gave up his job as telephone installation foreman to try his hand at teaching. A new chapbook, Bestiary, is now available from Red Dragonfly Press, and a third collection, Blue Rust, will be published by Carnegie-Mellon in fall of 2011. Millar is now core faculty at Pacific University's Low Residency MFA and lives in Raleigh, NC, with his wife, the poet Dorianne Laux.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bob F. on January 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
So often a second or third collection by a poet I've greatly admired fails to match--let alone exceed--what I found so moving in that strong first book. "Blue Rust" is a gratifying exception: I keep going back to lines and single words to see what in them so moved me and how they so seamlessly produced a particular poem.

The poem "The Dutch Roll" is ostensibly about ice skating with the narrator's father, but the evocative language of the poem more than hints at what is unspoken. It is also a sort of clinic in how a few words can be used to go well beyond the ostensible:

Willow branches thin as whips/
hang down from the frozen banks/
blackberry canes and pieces of bark/
encased in the ice's dark rind/

and

so often the ice booms and cracks/
like a rifle going off in a vault/

And there are poems about the pains and joys of work and male camaraderie. Looking through the contents caused me to turn to page 58, perhaps from the years ago habit of leafing through Henry Miller or D. H. Lawrence to read the good parts, and my youth inadvertently asks, "where's the sex?" The description of the sea and the boat with the oncoming night's "dark veil's unwinding," the net's "loose skirt flaring down / over the stern roller's horns ... the mere suggestion of exhausted lone sex--such use of language more than compensates for, in fact enhances, the reading experience, and I join all the others who find so much pleasure in the language of poetry.

The playful, unexpected, final rhymes in "Women of Poetry" will take some back to the days of fast driving with the windows down, no one caring about a few untethered strands of hair.
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By K. Holjes on June 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had the good fortune to attend a poetry workshop with Joseph Millar's wife, Dorianne Laux, where he was also present. I was so impressed by his interaction with the workshop members that I immediately sought out some of his books. Blue Rust is decidedly masculine in tone, but it will also appeal to every woman who enjoys poetry. It's a glimpse into the mind of a man who loves life, and who loves mastering his craft.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Joseph Millar! His perspective on life, work, and love is unique and perceptive. One of my favorite poets, along with his wife, the wonderful Dorianne Laux.
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