Can You Smell the Rain? Patricia Cleary Miller’s collection of poetry to be published July 7, 2020, by BkMk Press, poses the old theatrical question, Who wants what, and why can’t they have it? Her confused and deluded characters take themselves seriously as they yearn for love. With wit and gently biting satire, the poet presents their struggles. Beware: a snicker at these characters is a snicker at yourself.
Poet Mia Leonin writes, “Miller’s rapturous attention to detail and her deft sense of story conjure a poetic genealogy, swirling and swooning with ancestors, lovers, and earthly delights.” Poet H. L. Hix writes in his foreword, “This is a lyric memoir… lush with vivid and vivifying particulars…the objects of a lifetime.” Whether the scene is a French-speaking convent school in Kansas City or an Irish-American woman’s further coming of age as a Radcliffe student, wife, mother, poet, or world traveler, Miller’s true journey is an interior one marked by a radiant wit and a sensuous appreciation for life itself.
Patricia Cleary Miller is professor emerita of English at Rockhurst University, where she founded and edited the Rockhurst Review. She is the author of Starting a Swan Dive (Daniel L. Brenner Award) from BkMk Press, as well as the poetry titles Dresden and Crimson Lights, and the nonfiction title Westport: Missouri’s Port of Many Returns. Her work has appeared in Stand, Connecticut Review, New Letters, Cottonwood, I-70 Review, and elsewhere. Her secondary school was the French Convent of Notre Dame de Sion, which appears in the book. She is a graduate of Radcliffe College (where she also held a Bunting fellowship), the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Kansas. For eight years she was poet laureate of the Harvard Alumni Association. She is a past president of the Writers Place and won its annual Muse Award.