E. Ethlebert Miller Connects with Audience Through Emotion of His Poetry

This is a CSM Student News Article


E. Ethlebert Miller Connects with Audience

Through Emotion of His Poetry


By Aaron Buckler

The College of Southern Maryland hosted writer E. Ethelbert Miller to read from several of his literary works as part of the college’s Spring Connections Readings. Miller, who considers himself a ‘literary activist,’ is the author of two memoirs, “Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer” and “The 5th Inning.” In addition to his memoirs, he has written several poems, many of which were featured during his presentation.

Krista Foster attended the Connections literary event on April 5, headlined by Miller, to fulfill a requirement for her English class at CSM. She found Miller’s presentation to be enjoyable and entertaining. “He was very funny,” said Foster, who lives in Mechanicsville. “He knew which poems to share and would transition from a poem that dealt with emotion to a poem that was more lighthearted.”

Miller, who also serves as the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University, covered a wide array of topics in his readings, including issues concerning race, stereotypes, and the emotions of everyday life. 

Stories from the author’s own life added a personal touch.

“I began to know how many close friends I had at Howard University, because everybody ran out,” said Miller, speaking about the earthquake that impacted the eastern half of the U.S. in 2011. “I looked around, and I felt alone.”

Troubled by the words and actions of angry protestors over the years, Miller wrote “What Do They Do?” In the poem, Miller inquires about the lives of people who use anger and violence to voice their opinions. “What Do They Do?” was read in its entirety by the award-winning poet at the Connections event.

Miller is one of many writers who have been featured by CSM’s Connections program. CSM Professor Neal Dwyer, the editor of the literary magazine “Connections” and coordinator of the Connections literary series, said the program seeks out individuals who know their subject matter well.

“We contact writers we think will bring issues … to the attention of Southern Maryland audiences in an engaging way,” said Dwyer, who teaches English at the college and is a published poet himself.

For information about the Connections series, visit www.csmd.edu/Connections. To listen to Miller during his recent Connections reading, visit http://youtu.be/bzjng7SqVXk.


 Aaron Buckler is a CSM student enrolled in CSM Assistant Professor Michelle Brosco Christian’s “Introduction to Media Writing” course.