Brenda Miller's Books

Telephone: Essays in Two Voices

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Telephone is, for me, a stellar example of what can be achieved in collaborative work where two voices figure out how to link connective threads that bring out the best in each of their words, images, and narrative flourishes. This is a real gift of a book, one I hope to keep learning from.”
—Hanif Abdurraqib

“Miller and Wade’s Telephone is a polyphonic emergency. These divinely nostalgic and politely oracular essays—are they essays? watch them essai—pursue the maximum boundaries of genre, and there, in the peripheries, together, we reach into our pockets to read their decoded message: I love.”
—Lily Hoang

A Braided Heart: Essays on Writing and Form

Buy it on AmazonBuy it from U of Michigan Press

“Brenda Miller’s A Braided Heart is a thoughtful exploration of not only why and how we write, but also why we pursue the artist’s life. What a pleasure to spend time immersed in the intimate workings of such a generous, gentle, and brilliant creative mind. The perfect book for any writer, at every stage.”
—Dinty W. Moore, author of The Mindful Writer

The Daughters of Elderly Women

Buy it from Floating Bridge Press

The Daughters of Elderly Women occupies the liminal space between growing up and growing old, shock and aftershock. With the repeated titles of her poems functioning as a mantra, Miller inhabits a narrative mindfulness, focusing on the maturing relationship between daughter and mother. She explores ‘what happens to a body / when you make it hold on // beyond its expiration date.’ These poems speak to the quiet suffering of the human condition and remind us we only mourn what is loved.

An Earlier Life

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Winner of the Washington State Book Award 2017

“Further proving herself as the master of the short essay, Brenda Miller’s latest collection deep dives into her past, taking a sepia-tinged world and offering it anew in Technicolor. Each essay’s a revelation, an untangling, an epiphany whispered in our ears. Listen carefully or you’ll miss it: the way our lives expand when we distill them.”
—B.J. Hollars

The Pen and the Bell

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The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World is a needed reminder that to be fully alive and alert is a prerequisite to writing well. Brenda Miller and Holly Hughes are the perfect guides for helping us all slow down and see the world around us. What a wise, warm, wonderful book!”
—Dinty W. Moore, author of The Mindful Writer

Listening Against the Stone

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Listening Against the Stone explores Miller’s life-long spiritual journey through essays that span the breadth of her work, including six Pushcart Prize winning pieces.

“What exactly does the spiritual life look like?  Here are spiritual essays with their feet on the ground.  Brenda Miller is a modern contemplative, weaving the essential longings of the heart into ordinary, very human struggles.  With lyricism and grace, Miller demonstrates for us what Rilke meant by ‘living the questions.’”
—Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, author of Home, Hardwood, and Holiness

Blessing of the Animals

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In Brenda Miller’s second collection of award-winning essays, the reader is drawn into a conversation on topics ranging from new dogs to old stained glass, from a walk in Portland’s Japanese Garden to a sojourn in Jerusalem, from model airplanes to Magic 8 Balls. As in her acclaimed first collection, Season of the Body, Miller leads us on a pilgrimage through her life as a woman driven by spiritual yearning.
The Seattle Times book review of Blessing of the Animals

“In Blessing of the Animals, a new dog leads Brenda Miller to explore the blurred edges between the physical and the spiritual, to probe the connective tissues of magnetism, memory, and mysticism.”
—Judith Kitchen

Season of the Body

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Season of the Body is calm and lovely, occasionally brokenhearted, always clear-eyed, about loss and the primordial importance of touching one another while recovering… This book is a gift both useful and beautiful. Brenda Miller should be thanked for it every day.”
—William Kittredge