Robin Muir-Miller POET
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ABOUT the POET

RobinMuirMiller-portrait

“Qui cantat, bis orat.”
- St Augustine.


Born in Sydney, Australia. Educated at Abbotsleigh, ADR Art School and NSW Conservatorium of Music. Attained A.Mus.A. diploma (Singing) 1957, with State's highest pass in Musical Perception. Successes in competitive singing were followed by soloist performances in Oratorio. She formed and was Director of the Arcady Consort, a baroque choral and instrumental group. She made a number of broadcasts for the Australian Broadcasting Commission, performing her own compositions in Young Australia. A feature of her poetry in The Poet’s Tongue was later broadcast by the ABC.

She has been admitted to Mensa.

She was previously known as Robin Gurr, this name being used for her earlier work, as well as her seven later poetry collections published in Australia and England. More recently, all her work bears the by-line: Robin Muir-Miller

Her first book, Red Pepper, the story of a horse, was written at age 14, and published 6 years later, being illustrated by the author. It was adopted by the NSW Education Department for required reading in schools, becoming a best-seller with 36,000 copies. This book has been favourably compared with the classic horse story Black Beauty. A later book- length animal story, Bush Outlaw, was serialised, followed by others such as Rebel, a Dog.

From an early age, Muir-Miller has written poetry. Much of it has been published by the Poetry Society of Australia, as well as in other Australian literary magazines, papers and reference books. She was one of a limited number of Australian poets whose work was selected by the late Howard Sergeant MBE for inclusion in his English literary periodical Outposts. Some of her work has been set and performed by the noted composers Nigel Butterley, Dr Calvin Bowman, Stephen Holgate and Dulcie Holland.

In recent times, Muir-Miller has worked as librettist/lyricist with her collaborator, New York-based composer Dr Robinson McClellan, on major works including the cantatas This Ravelled Dust (2010), Ascension (2012), and Trinity Dancing (2013, as part of The Cantata Project), and two a cappella choral works: They Worship Without Words (2009) and the 7-movement choral suite A Child in Nature (2012). She is currently engaged (2015) with composer McClellan in writing the cantata Crucifixions.

As a young woman, Robin Muir-Miller contracted progressive multiple sclerosis. For many years she has been confined to an electronic wheelchair.

 

Some critical remarks

“... a poet who displays supreme intelligence, who is highly articulate, and who is patently and equally at ease both with the complexities and force of language in its infinite variety and with its nuances, constraints and subtleties.”
“... very moving and occasionally sublime.”
— an Australian academic.

“One of our most brilliant, flexible, unusual and probably least appreciated poets.”
— Jennifer Maiden (eminent Poet and Critic)

“Like [Sylvia] Plath, she could be said to be writing with the imagination at the tips of the nerve-ends (to adapt Eliot).”
— Gordan Symes, Outposts Publications.

“A mature and experienced poet in whose work reflection and analysis are merged with high artistic skill.”
— Dr Elizabeth Perkins, James Cook University.

“the dynamic force of language....drives her vision ...A head-spinner.”
— Jeff Doyle, The Canberra Times.

“lovely eddying sounds.”
— Jeff Doyle

“(Her) poems are full of music.”
— Bruce Beaver, Poet.

 

N.B. Driftwood, the poem on the homepage, is from the collection Song is a Mirror (1963).

Site created by Robinson McClellan.