Abby Millager says this:
“I believe art is creativity unfettered by ulterior motive: it’s best not to know how your piece ends as you create it. My fundamental understanding of poetry—and to me, all the best writing is poetic—is that it should say the otherwise unsayable. If you can summarize it, it isn’t poetry. There is so much safety and same-old-same-old in poetry today, so much prose with line breaks. Poetry should not be discursive, but rather, incursive—like a sneak attack from the dark. To me, the best poems are those which, on rereading, yield new insights but never reveal themselves completely.
“I want my work—whether poetry, prose or drama—to leave an impression, and I’m interested in the mystery of everything and how humanity muddles through. One of the greatest pleasures as listeners or readers is to witness an author trying to dog-paddle through the same sort of chaos of thoughts and ideas that swirls around in our own heads all the time. I suspect, the revelation that someone else is as confused as we are, and this intimate view into another human being’s bare thinking, may be the most comforting and compelling thing about great literature.”
As a UN brat, Millager grew up all over the world. She earned a bachelors in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale, an MD from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She has received Individual Artist Fellowships from the DDOA in Poetry, Creative Nonfiction and Playwriting. She has received other grants such as funding for a stint at the Vermont Studio Center. She was Founding Editor of Doll’s Eye Press and Diner, a poetry journal. Her day job is freelance copywriting.
Millager has featured at poetry venues across the state, including Second Saturday, MOT at the Gibby, and Poets at the Beach. She has written poems commissioned by the Delaware Art Museum and read them in the galleries. She was a panelist at the Lewes Writers’ Conference. In addition, she has run workshops at the Gibby Center and the Wellness Community, Wilmington, and hosted the Newark White Clay Poets group for three years. Her satire of artist statements entertained the 2009 Wilmington Fringe.
She would be happy to consider any teaching, workshop, reading, commission or collaboration you have in mind. In the past, she has worked with groups such as Poets in the Schools, Poetry Out Loud, the Scholastic Youth Art and Writing Awards, and the National League of American PEN Women, for which she was National Letters Chair.
Her poems, reviews, interviews, translations and essays have appeared in numerous publications including: 5 am, Agenda (UK), Barrow Street, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cape Rock, The Flea (Australia), Fourteen Hills, Goodfoot, Icon, The Journal, Midwest Poetry Review, New Zoo Review, Prairie Schooner, RE:AL, Redactions, Seattle Review, Southeast Review, Terminus, The News Journal, Verse, and the William and Mary Review, and online at Verse Daily and Poets for Living Waters.
Newark, DE 19711