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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Visiting writer gives tips on how to get published

Michael Miller, author of two books of poetry and longtime reporter and editor for the Los Angeles Times spoke at the Wilshire Auditorium about his career and life as a writer last Tuesday.


Miller is the owner of Mood Tide Press, has published nearly two dozen books and organizes the poetry series at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center. His first book of poems, “College Town,” came out in 2010. His second book, “The First Thing Mastered,” came out in 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of East Angila and has taught at Golden West College, Chapman University, Cal State Fullerton and the Orange County School of the Arts.

Many faculty members from the English department helped organize this year’s Visiting Writer event.

Around 50 people showed up to the event, most of the students were there for extra credit but there were also a few writers who had dreams of being published one day.

Diana Torres, a student in English 204 attended the reading.

“I liked that he read poems from different parts of his life, like his childhoold and adult life,” Torres said. “It was a nice little range from his life but the audience was small. I wish it would have been bigger.”

Miller read 16 poems from his newest book, “The First Thing Mastered.” This book deals with themes of growing up and the process of going from infancy to middle age.

The fourth poem he read titled, “Awake” explained his memories of listening to the Angel’s game.

“When writing this book I had to tap into a lot of memories from my childhood growing up,” Miller said. “Growing up obviously has its ups and downs but you get a lot of happy memories too. I realized that the happiest I was as a child was when I was 12 or 13, laying in bed with all the lights out listening to Angel’s games play out on the radio.”

A few members from the audience found the event to not be what they expected.

“It kinda misled me,” said Damien Mojarro, a student in English 204. “I thought most of it was gonna be poetry but a lot of it was just the presentation telling us how to submit certain poems. It was more like a class than a poetry reading.”

Miller ended the event by giving tips and advice on how to make a student’s chances of being published better.

“When you have anything published… you’re always going to have that select group of people who buy your work,” Miller said. “For example, your parents and close friends. This is the core group who you can really count on.”


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