What Fire

BookWhat Fire

What Fire

Pavilion Poetry


April 19th, 2021

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What Fire is about how to continue as catastrophe crawls in, when the climate crisis has its grip on us all, the internet has been shut down, and the buildings are burning up. What happens when the philosophers never arrive? What songs are still worth singing? In her third collection, Alice Miller takes a fierce, unflinching look at the world we live in, at what we have made, and whether it is possible to change.

‘Miller is a poet of concept as much as rhythm and sound, who is unafraid to stand in the naked light of artistic insufficiency, and ask her questions, and leave behind her declarations of love and goodness.’
Juliano Zaffino

'Alice Miller takes a critical lens to our current malaise, tackling the current decline of our climate and planet to the way technology has both advanced and stunted human civilizations. A collection which feels as if it’s somehow speaking to us all.'
Anthony Anaxagorou

'Everyone has a hand in the fire, everyone is responsible for the flames that will come to ‘each’ town. Miller’s poetry subtly calls to individual agency and what we stand to lose by making selfish choices. [...] What Fire is concerned with our capacity to change while examining the world on the point of a precipice. [...] The end is not the end, but a chance to start again.'
Charlie Baylis, Wild Court

'You can write pessimistically but still produce great poetry. That's the message to take from Alice Miller's third collection, What Fire. The title poem is a nightmarish fantasia, with sinister overtones of "night and fog" resonating with recent European history. As with much of Miller's work, it is both chastening and brilliant.'
Nicholas Reid, The New Zealand Listener

Author Information

Alice Miller is the author of two poetry collections and a novel. Her previous collection, Nowhere Nearer (Pavilion, 2018) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and her novel, More Miracle than Bird (Tin House, 2020) was a New York Times Book Review summer reading selection. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the International Institute of Modern Letters, Alice is on the faculty of the MFA programme at Cedar Crest College. Born and raised in New Zealand, she lives in Berlin.