E. Ethelbert Miller
E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist. He is board chair of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). He is also a board member of The Writer's Center and editor of Poet Lore magazine. The author of several collections of poems, his last book How We Sleep On The Nights We Don't Make Love (Curbstone Press, 2004) was an Independent Publisher Award Finalist. Miller received the 1995 O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize. He was awarded in 1996 an honorary doctorate of literature from Emory & Henry College. In 2003 his memoir Fathering Words: The Making of An African American Writer (St. Martin's Press, 2000) was selected by the DC WE READ for its one book, one city program sponsored by the D.C. Public Libraries. In 2004 Miller was awarded a Fulbright to visit Israel. Poets & Writers presented him with the 2007 Barnes & Noble/Writers for Writers Award. Mr. Miller is often heard on National Public Radio (NPR).
E. Ethelbert Miller is available for readings as well as conducting poetry and memoir writing workshops. To contact him directly for interviews or to set up an event, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
E. Ethelbert Miller's website is updated daily with the wit and wisdom that only Ethelbert can provide. We encourage you to view it here: http://www.eethelbertmiller.com/ and while you are there, subscribe to E-Notes!
Photo by Farrah Hassen
E. Ethelbert Miller will receive the Mayor's Arts Award for Distinguished Honor at the 31st Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016. Admission is free and open tot he public. For more information, click HERE.
AWP awarded its George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature to E. Ethelbert Miller in March of 2016. For more information click HERE.
Check out E Ethelbert Miller on The Marc Steiner Show breaking it down about the forthcoming President Trump 1/6/2017
The Fifth Inning
By E. Ethelbert Miller
Publisher: PM Press/Busboys and Poets
Published: March 2009
Page Count: 160
Dimensions: 5 by 8
Subjects: Memoir, Politics
The 5th Inning is poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller's second memoir. Coming after Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer (published in 2000), this book finds Miller returning to baseball, the game of his youth, in order to find the metaphor that will provide the measurement of his life. Almost 60, he ponders whether his life can now be entered into the official record books as a success or failure.
The 5th Inning is one man's examination of personal relationships, depression, love and loss. This is a story of the individual alone on the pitching mound or in the batters box. It's a box score filled with remembrance. It's a combination of baseball and the blues.
Praise for Previous Works:
"Ethelbert Miller is one of the most significant and influential poets of our time." --Gwendolyn Brooks on Where are the Love Poems for Dictators?
"Not since Langston Hughes has an African American poet so ably combined the oral and literary traditions of his people to produce a collective poetic portrait of a singular Black man searching for love in a world gone awry." --Douglas Brinkley on Whispers, Secrets and Promises
"Ethelbert Miller brings an accomplished poet's stunning language to this important memoir, and no one writes more eloquently about the lives--the triumphs and dilemmas--of black American men than he does." --Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage on Fathering Words
For a calendar of speaking events, please click here
- Obamas War and God's other Eden
As we move out of August Summer into the Fall, look for the Antiwar Movement to launch their plans. Afghanistan is the new Iraq.It's not like Obama pulled a surprise from his hat. He told us he was going to focus on Afghanistan. The more troops we...
- Beating The Old Drum Again?
I just reviewed President Obama's speech to the Ghanaian Parliament. What he gave was almost an old campaign speech, in other words if it plays in America it might just play in Accra. Obama was in lecture mode. The Ghanaian Parliament reminded me ...
- Speaking on the Bob Edwards Show
Check here to hear the show, and my thoughts about The Fifth Inning. And don't forget I'll be on live on WPFW (DC Pacifica station) on Monday May 25th at 7pm to discuss my work with host Abdul Ali and take phone calls. You can listen online ...
- Speaking on NPR: How My Mother's Love Teaches Me
Weekend Edition Sunday, May 10, 2009 · In celebration of Mother's Day, writer and poet E. Ethelbert Miller reflects on the importance of mothers who have shaped our lives. Miller is director of the African-American Resources Center at Howar...
- 5th Inning Named Best Memoir of Spring
Book Review Editor Grace Cavalieri has named The Fifth Inning as the best memoir of Spring 2009! To see who else made the list you can go to the The Monserrat Review. And to buy your own copy? Just click on the image!
Interviews and Articles
- E. Ethelbert Miller in the Washington Post
- Ethelbert Miller and Paul Buhle discuss CLRJames and more on WPFW's On the Margin
- E. Ethelbert Miller on Writerscast
- Ethelbert Miller on The The Jerusalem Post
- Ethelbert Miller on The Marc Steiner Radio Show
- Video of Miller at the Center for Black Literature
- Dancing to the New Music: The Nation
- The Importance of Holding Onto Personal History: NPR
- Black and Universal: Speaking of Faith podcast
- Remembering King And The 'Fierce Urgency Of Now': NPR
- How Will We Refer to the Next Ten Years?: NPR
- E. Ethelbert Miller on the Kojo Nnamdi Show: Wamu 88.5
- Remember: The Ball is Your Friend: NPR
- Q&A with E. Ethelbert Miller of Poet Lore: Drunken Boat
- Literary Advocates Redefine Their World Without Books: Alan W. King blog
- Interview on NBC's Pier Review
- E. Ethelbert Miller on blogtalkradio: February 17, 2012
- The Fifth Inning: A Review on Swans.com
- Video review and reading: Jeerawat na Thalang
- Distinguished poet/author Ethelbert Miller to address W&M
- Stealing Third: Writer's Chronicle
- Download E. Ethelbert Miller featured in DC Arts Council Newsletter
- Poets at the Crossroads: Neworld Review
- Featured Artist: DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
- Off Season Pastimes: SimmonsField.com
- E. Ethelbert Miller's 5th Inning: Joseph Ross
- A Poet's Confession: Jonetta Rose Barras,The Washington Examiner
by Lavanya Ramanathan
July 27th, 2017
(Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
Poet, author and former commissioner for the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He has received several fellowships and awards, including the D.C. Mayor’s Arts Award.
If you’re an engaged citizen, you stay engaged, regardless of who wins an election. My poem (“This Is What I Want to Tell You”) was an outgrowth of me just happening to see an old friend who happened to be an immigration lawyer. And as we were talking about what was going on, he made reference to a case he was handling in Virginia. They are arresting people right here.
by Paul Buhle
January 28th, 2013
Ethelbert Miller spent so much of his life taking care of other people, from his mother to the poets and fiction writers visiting Howard, and, naturally, also his family, that perhaps he never appreciated how much we, who saw him in action only from time to time, appreciated him for what he was doing. It looked so natural because he was obviously so good at it.
Now he's afraid -- not ashamed like the rest of us to admit being afraid -- that he's the shortstop who failed to touch second amidst a double play. Even if the umpires didn't notice. He also thinks (slipping back into the role that I remember best) that he should now contemplate his very last pitch. Fastball, curve, knuckler? What would Satchel Page throw if he had one more pitch to throw?
Unanswered questions. But beautifully proposed. This is real E. Ethelbert Miller and a little book to treasure.
by David Wilk
June 21, 2012
Filed under Non-Fiction
Poets' memoirs are sometimes brittle and too carefully built to sustain a personal story. Ethelbert is not that kind of poet. He's active and alive in every moment, and brings his readers right into his head and heart. This is a beautifully constructed and written piece of personal writing that I hope will find a audience far beyond the literary community. What Ethelbert has to say about being human and growing older is important for all of us to hear.
By Carl Hoffman
The Jerusalem Post
May 31, 2012
Well, as I say in one of my poems, whenever you wake up, you need to commit yourself to fixing something that’s broken. Even if it’s just an electric coffee pot. But you’ve got to live your life that way, even if it’s just small things you do. You have to believe that today is going to be better than yesterday. And always have hope for tomorrow. I did two classes at Bar-Ilan today. In one class, I was talking about the writer James Baldwin, who had visited Israel back in the early 1960s. And I was talking about some of the things he saw when he was here. The problem of having to bring people together does not disappear. We just have to be sure that we’re always up to discussing them and making things better. James Baldwin was here as a guest of the government. He not only visited Israel, but also spent a lot of time writing in Turkey.
By Shonda Buchanan
The Writer's Chronicle
E. Ethelbert Miller is a well-known chronicler of black literary life in Washington, DC and across the country. He is a consummate documenter, as well as a writer of poetry and nonfiction....
E. Ethelbert Miller has found himself in the role of storyteller for his father, brother, and several friends simply by outliving them. In essence, writing The 5th Inning is tantamount to stealing third base, and entering certain moments and people into the record books for good.
Poets at the Crossroads
By Brenda M. Greene
Although many youthful baby boomers may beg to differ, Miller believes that life begins a trajectory toward the end at around 50. On aging, he reflects that: ”Someone might ask about your diet or mention how you don’t look your age. But you know your age. You’re more aware of it each year when you complete an application. There are fewer boxes to check where it says ‘list age.’" And he ponders, “When do you stop reading horoscopes or simply accept the cards handed to you? How many times can you avoid death?”
He also says that as he gets older “the poems appear less and less. The personal is prose.” And he riffs on the lyrical nature of his memoir: “This memoir has a jazz feel to it. Is it BeBob? Parker and Diz? I like the energy that flows from one chapter into another.”Read more | Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Back to reviews | Back to top
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." (Rogers Hornsby)
Still 148 days until the 2010 season begins. What can the avid college baseball fan do in the off-season to stave off the dreaded baseball-deprivation blues?
Read a Baseball Book: The 5th Inning, by E. Ethelbert Miller
Read more | Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Back to reviews | Back to top
E. Ethelbert Miller's 5th Inning
Poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller’s new memoir “The Fifth Inning” is now available. Simply put, it’s beautiful. Ethelbert, who I am honored to call my friend, tells a story we all need to hear. He reflects on his own journey toward the end of life. He considers loss, death, memory, that long look back when most of one’s life has already taken place. He faces all these realities without flinching-- but also without heaviness. He brings his characteristic hopefulness, the intricacies of baseball and the blues, which have enriched his life for years.
He tells stories from his adulthood in Washington, D.C., his home since coming here to college at Howard. He remembers various places he lived, how those places made him the father, husband, and poet he is. He remembers friends who have sustained him, those still living and those who are gone. He considers the difficulties and joys of fatherhood and marriage. He tells stories from which all of us can learn. He considers what effects 9/11 and the Iraq War have had on our society and he considers aloud what it means to write during a “time of war.”
Ethelbert’s prose is as tight and rich as his poetry. I sometimes sit stunned at what he can do in a poem, in ten lines! Here, in a relatively brief work of prose, he raises good questions and thoughtful, unsentimental insights. As one who has just reached 50, I know something of what he writes. “When a person becomes 50 or approaches the years that follow, his story is almost over.”
None of us wants to think of our time as “almost over” but in truth, it’s always slipping away. No reason to be sad or depressed, although those feelings might come at times. Rather, it makes sense to reflect on the richness of life. He writes at the end of the memoir: “Too many of us confine ourselves to boxes and cages. Even if the sky is gray, refuse to give into the darkness.” Ethelbert’s telling of these stories is a beautiful and magnificent refusal. I’m grateful he continues to pitch, to play, and to write.
The 5th Inning is published by Busboys and Poets and PM Press.
A Poet's Confession
By Jonetta Rose Barras
3/31/09 9:23 AM
I know this man, I assert, picking up E. Ethelbert Miller’s new memoir, The 5th Inning (PM Press/Busboys and Poets), released earlier this month. I have known him since I first arrived in the District wearing a wild Afro hairstyle and an attitude to match.
But after reading the book, I realize the fallacy about the breadth of my knowledge. Everyone has secrets, deep and personal, aggressively protected from others’ discovery. And then, there is the soul, a shy, intensely private creature...