David Miller's Spiritual Letters

David Miller’s Spiritual Letters (Series 1-5) has recently been published by Chax Press (Tucson, Arizona).

Previous selections from the ongoing Spiritual Letters project have appeared from Reality Street Editions (Spiritual Letters (I-II) [i.e. Series 1-2] and other writings) and Stride Publications (Spiritual Letters (Series 3) ) as well as in small, limited edition publications. The present collection is easily the most comprehensive to date, a 104 page book comprising all of the first five series. Spiritual Letters is, for the most part, an exploration of poetry in (as) prose.

The word “spiritual” is, in this volume, ripped away from the New Age and returned to its sources in Kabbalah and early Christian (gnostic) writings. But it carries with it the world as we have it now. A heap of horrors, remnants, a sense of the feminine under assault, and the drive to love. Therefore the dimensions are multiple and unstable. To be human is to be a spiritual entity more aligned with nature than with culture, and therefore to rebel. I am happy to have and to hold this book.

Fanny Howe

If “experiences at the limit of what can be apprehended” be the working definition of “sublime”, then Miller’s is and is not a sublime work, since it hovers within and beyond the limits of what can be apprehended, and in this is a speculative and phenomenological poetry.

Norma Cole

What the text of these Letters suggests, in part, is a meditation on the (im)possibility of a rationally conceived aesthetics of writing which would represent us in our moments of transcendence, in our acts of remembrance, in our experiences of poverty and isolation....

Benjamin Hollander
It takes a strong writer to insist on the prose element in prose poetry. Miller succeeds by enjambing the stylistic signs of prose (direct speech, a narrator, even devices of plot) with parts that are poetry (sometimes lineated as such, more often as images and lines that simply by their referential and unhurried quality are poetry).

Giles Goodland

Spiritual Letters (Series 1-5) is available from the Chax Press website (www.chax.org) – enquiries can be made to the publisher, Charles Alexander (chax@theriver.com). The book costs US $17.00 and can be ordered from either the Chax Press website or from Small Press Distribution (www.spdbooks.org. ). It can also be purchased from the author for £10.00 (cheque payable to David Miller – please send to 99 Mitre Road, London SE1 8PT).


  1. Clauda,

    there are probably enough "spiritual writers" to form a viable opposition to the prevailing Language poetries. I'd call this, after Samperi, an "other shore poetics": the place that was wilfully overlooked by Samperi's own Objectivist contemporaries. As I've said before, Language poetries are the successors to what Samperi called in "Lamentations" a "form of economy" poetics that amounts to no more than "propagandizing".

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  3. Replies
    1. No comment is, I guess, still a comment.

      I am amazed at how little Frank Samperi's work is still known. Perhaps it is a good idea if we keep this in mind and work together on getting it better known.

  4. Hi David,
    I think he just did not have the connections to market his work to the public but with the help of everyone on this blog we can bring Frank Samperi's work to light again.
    I am very hopeful that with the printing of the Trilogy in the Fall by Sam Ward this will happen.
    Thank you David for keeping Frank in your heart,


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