Ohio Apertures (Paperback)

Ohio Apertures By Robert Miltner Cover Image
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Robert Miltner's Ohio Apertures is a collection of brief pieces of creative

nonfiction that turns its attention to northeast Ohio's position as both a Great

Lakes state and the north coast of America. Its two dozen selections, which

include flash memoir, lyric essays, narrative nonfiction, literary nonfiction,

travel writing, and historical excavations of place, trace the author's life from

early childhood onward, offering a template for understanding the impact

of place, region, family, literacy, and cultural influence on the shaping of a

Midwest identity.

About the Author

Robert Miltner is the award-winning author of two books of prose poetry, Hotel Utopia and Orpheus & Echo, and a short story collection, And Your Bird Can Sing. A professor emeritus of English at Kent State University Stark and the Northeast Ohio MFA in Creative Writing, Miltner lives in Northeast Ohio.

Praise For…

“Ohio’s true beauty is the trick of its commonness. With its gray-brown birds, flyover skies, and the smallest of the Great Lakes, it fools one into thinking it unworthy of note. Then along comes a poet canny enough to summon its charms. In Ohio Apertures, Robert Miltner mines his homegrown memories and vernacular landscapes, reanimating lakeside taverns and riverbank afternoons, Wonder bread and tater tots, the Indians on the radio and the Eagles on the jukebox. With warmth and lyrical ease, these essays and reflections grant dignity to the commonplace.”
—David Giffels, The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt and Barnstorming Ohio: To Understand America

“Following the advice of James Thurber to ‘look around with awareness,’ Robert Miltner’s Ohio Apertures is an album of perfectly-focused poetic takes on his remembered and actual Ohio. A native of the North Shore, he describes his boyhood in Cleveland and then Avon Lake, and his academic peregrinations elsewhere in the state. Along the way, his brief but fully satisfying narratives celebrate the birds, trees, and rivers of his part of Ohio, as well as his own family and heirlooms, and their long connections to the past. Wonderfully, as he reminisces about his grandmother’s home-baked bread, he bursts into a paean to the croissant.
Writing in The Long-Legged House, Wendell Berry warns, ‘a man can be provincial only by being blind and deaf to his province.’ Ohio Apertures is a notable response. Robert Miltner has followed his sentences to places sharply remembered, brilliantly rendered, and wisely understood.”
—Richard Hague, Earnest Occupations: Teaching, Writing, Gardening, and Other Local Work

“Exploration, discovery, and a sense of wonder animate these tightly crafted lyric memoirs. Whether a memory is recounted from the adolescent or adult looking-back perspective, the writer’s lens deftly pans backdrop, then zooms in to capture key details; his aperture fully open and focused. The writing shimmers on the continuum between poetry and prose: powered by the engines of both narrative and that of rhythmic language and imagery. Situated squarely in space and time—Cleveland in the ‘50s—these pieces are small marvels of shared adventure. The reader is drawn into each scene, each revelation, engaged by Miltner’s flowing speech lines. In this collection, the writer clearly communicates his ‘ability to remain astonished’ while astonishing the reader with personal history and insights. Ohio Apertures represents storytelling at its lyric best.”
—Barbara Sabol, Solitary Spin and Imagine a Town

“When I think of poetry that moves me, Robert Miltner’s poetry is what I think of, and Ohio Apertures, his first book of creative non-fiction, is as poetic as anything he’s written. Miltner softens the line between prose and poetry, and his skillful non-fiction acts as escort through the Ohio of his youth and beyond. With flawless language, this book does two things: As it reaches deep into the author’s past, it artfully widens the aperture for me to reach into my own childhood, my own lost youth.”
—Bob Kunzinger, The Iron Scar and A Third Place: Notes in Nature

Ohio Apertures is a volume aglow with specifics: a Datsun B-210, an orphaned diamond cufflink, the color of the sky over Lake Erie. Miltner’s gorgeous essays are rooted in a life lived locally but never provincially—confirming again and again that Ohio is itself the world and that ‘what was under the surface of the Jordan River was also what was under the surface of the Rock River.’”
—Angela Sorby, Bird Skin Coat and The Sleeve Waves
Product Details
ISBN: 9781733308656
ISBN-10: 1733308652
Publisher: Cornerstone Press
Publication Date: March 18th, 2021
Pages: 130
Language: English