How I Found Behind the Catcher's Mask

How I Found Behind the Catcher's Mask

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Author: E. Etherlbert Miller

Publisher: City Point Press (2022)

Well-known Washington, D.C. poet, former Howard University professor, and literary activist, Ethelbert Miller is personal and political when writing from the batter’s box or pitching mound. Here are poems that tip their caps to Joe DiMaggio, Ken Griffey Sr., and Emmett Ashford.

Miller's book does not duck from examining the Black Sox Scandal, the career of Glenn Burke or the tragedy of Carl Mays. Miller’s own life at times is a playing field for sadness and what

Ellington called “mood indigo.” But his love for baseball is a complete game and continues to reflect the hard heat of pleasure. After If God Invented Baseball and When Your Wife Has Tommy John Surgery and other Baseball Stories, this book, like a triple play, is a thing of beauty.

“Baseball should create a new position, poet laureate, and give it to E. Ethelbert Miller. In his third collection of baseball poems (‘a double turning into a trilogy,’ as he writes), Miller weaves knuckleballs and pickoff throws with universal themes of family, race, relationships—and the issues of our time, like rioting and voting rights. With allusions to Monbouquette and Giacometti, Henderson and Danticat, How I Found Love Behind the Catcher’s Mask will make you laugh, think and feel a whole new way about baseball and the world around it.”

–Tyler Kepner