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Poetry Salon with Claire Keyes and Guest Presenter Rod Kessler on Poet Malcolm Miller
May 21 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
On Sunday, May 21, the Poetry Salon will feature the poet Malcolm Miller, a public housing resident at Salem's Pioneer Terrace, who was found dead at age 83 of natural causes in September 2014. A talented iconoclast with a unique vision, he chose the simple life – living without telephone, television, dresser, or bed – preferring to sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor. For a sometimes – homeless individual, Miller was a surprisingly productive writer whose first two books, written between 1969 and 1978, were commercially published.
Turning his back on the literary establishment, he went on to self-publish fifty-nine more collections – over 3,500 poems in all -, in plain-looking booklets that he mailed to libraries, English professors, and acquaintances, inviting contributions of five or ten dollars. Born in Salem and educated at St. John's Prep, Miller served briefly in the Navy and attended McGill University in Montreal, where he became a lifelong friend of Poet and Songwriter Leonard Cohen. He is the subject of the new documentary Unburying Malcolm Miller by filmmakers Kevin Carey and Mark Hillringhouse, a film that follows retired Salem State English Professor Rod Kessler's attempts to get Miller's writing legitimately published and more widely read. Please join Claire Keyes and Rod Kessler to discuss the poetry of Malcolm Miller. The Salon runs from 2:00 – 4:00 pm, is free and open to the public.
The Library's monthly Poetry Salon is supported in part by a grant from the Marblehead Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.