M.e. Miller, also known as Michael Ellis, was professionally published before he graduated from high school. His dialect poems, “Black shoes” and “What Ya Stealin for?” were enough to impress the University of Puget Sound, where he majored in English and minored in Journalism. Six years later Ellis went from the page to the stage, performing in more than a hundred readings. He became an orator, and a dramatist, teaching himself to perform in more than twenty different voices. He used his ability more often to help people who were victims of abuse and injustice. On stage he tells stories by combining prose and poetry, naming his style “Prosetry”.
Compared often to renaissance poet Langston Hughes, Ellis worked for years to expand his skill set. He wanted to be more than a dialect poet. The pressure of historical comparison began to take a devastating toll. In 1996 Pulitzer prize winning poet, Gwendolyn Brooks, wrote him the first of four times. She told him to calm down and that it would all make sense in time.
In 2006, he was invited on scholarship to Howard University for the first chapter of a novel, Dear Oprah. He performed at the Hurston- Wright annual convention. Months later he was also honored with a prize at Sacramento State University for that same novel. He was also awarded a second prize for his children’s short story, “The Legend of Sleepy.” In 2012 M.e. Miller returned to the poetry scene after many years away. His book, Goodbye Langston, a tribute to Langston Hughes, will be released later this year.
Read M.e. Miller’s Poems.