Wilmer Mills

1969–2011
Wilmer Mills
The son of agricultural missionaries, poet Wilmer Mills grew up in Brazil and Louisiana. Mills earned both a BA and MA in theology from the University of the South, and worked at a variety of jobs during his life including carpenter, sawmill operator, baker, farmer, and white water raft guide. He also served as the Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 
Acclaimed as a careful practitioner of form and meter, Mills received praise for the dramatic monologues of his first book, Light for the Orphans (2002). Influenced by poets such as Robert Frost and Richard Wilbur, Mills evoked an older, pastoral landscape and its denizens with skill and sympathy. His poems were published in various journals, including New Criterion, Poetry, New Republic, Hudson Review, and Shenandoah, among others. With his wife and two children, Mills lived and worked in Sewanee, Tennessee in a house he built himself. He died in 2011.

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Audio & Podcasts

Poem of the Day The Poetry Magazine Podcast
  • Listen Meat Wants Sweet
    Poetry from Robert P. Baird, Wilmer Mills, Connie Voisine, Sandra Simonds, plus a libretto by Robert Pinsky, and psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist on poetry and the brain.

Poet Categorization

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

LIFE SPAN 1969–2011

Wilmer Mills

Biography

The son of agricultural missionaries, poet Wilmer Mills grew up in Brazil and Louisiana. Mills earned both a BA and MA in theology from the University of the South, and worked at a variety of jobs during his life including carpenter, sawmill operator, baker, farmer, and white water raft guide. He also served as the Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 
Acclaimed as a careful practitioner of . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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