Milner Place started writing poetry in 1973 to divert his attention from a novel that he was struggling with to finish. The novel would never see the light of day. Instead, Place would become better-known for his poems than for his prose. His poetry has been published by various established presses since. His latest compilation of poetry, ‘The Road To Alta Mira’, was published by Moloko Plus in 2018. And like the first compilation of Place’s poems that Moloko Plus published 5 years ago, this new edition has been richly illustrated by German master Harald Haüser.
Milner Place was born in North Yorkshire, England in 1930. After having briefly followed an agricultural study Place led the family farm and worked as a forester and bartender. From the age of 23, when Place left for South Africa, much of his eventful life was spent at sea until he settled down in Huddersfield in 1987. Place captained various yachts and ships for 11 years, was involved in smuggling during the Algerian War and raced the Count of Barcelona across the Atlantic. His early poems were written in Spanish but since his return to the UK, Place has written his poems in English.
About his first poems, written to escape the toil of his novel, Place said:”It was relaxing to write something short that could be polished like a jewel”. The condensed and polished quality that Place strove after then is still typical of much of the later poems published in ‘The Road To Alta Mira’. Like this one, The third ear:
on autumn nights / he listens / to the fall of leaves / the song that death sings / to the moon
The Road To Alta Mira was published by Moloko Plus in 2018. Artwork: Harald Haüser. Design: Ralph Gabriel