UNREST by Chloe Yelena Miller

“The last, and longest, poem in this chapbook is called “Haunt Me. Repeat.” If Miller required me to “unrest” as a prerequisite for becoming her reader, then this may be my response. “Haunt me. Repeat.” Job done.” -Jude Marr in Ghost Ocean Magazine


Unrest illustrates the experience of loss through food, foreign language, travel, visual art, and more. This collection allows what once was to be resuscitated.


These poems rest easily in the world because they are so much of it: family, love and loss, mixed inextricably in the crucible of food, of consideration and preparation, literal and figurative, of artichokes and lemon water, tomatoes, figs, of guava paste on dry toast, foods that seduce and sustain us. Yet the unrest from which she draws her title is, indeed, present—because we are made of that as well. “There is a wanting,” she says, and we know exactly what she means. Miller recognizes the abundance of possibility in “earthly flavor,” and these poems are so precious to her readers because it’s that flavor that “binds us to what we understand.

— Renée Ashley, Basic Heart

Many lines of Miller’s lure me back: a bag coming “unhinged in transit,” a daughter massaging her father’s eyelids “as if petting a goldfish,” and the sore humor of, “She was no one’s first love.” At her side, we manage to navigate a memory without breaking its seal and then painfully must also admit with her that it is indeed we who “haunt the dead to bring them back . . . We write, selfish.” “Haunt me,” she conjures, while the reversals in grammar and syntax this poet enacts come back to haunt us.

— Nicole Cuddeback, The Saint of Burning Down

Unrest is the perfect title for this collection of haunting, edgy, spare-to-the-point-of-great-expansiveness poems. This is an exceptional debut by a young poet unafraid of being understood while at the same time writing with utter originality. Read this book!

— Thomas Lux, Child Made of Sand

I love how this poet obsesses over language, caresses it, plays with it, exposes it.  Mangos, Duccio’s gold, Roman artichokes, peach-faced lovebirds are just a few of the vibrant moments that will stay with me for a long, long while.
– Maya Pindyck, Locket, Master



Chloe Yelena Miller is a published poet and freelance writer with an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in NY. She studied Italian language and literature at Smith College. Her poetry chapbook, Unrest, is published by Finishing Line Press.  She teaches creative and composition writing online at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Northampton Community College, Thomas Edison State College and University of Maryland University College. She also works individually with adult students as a writing coach.