Born in Dallas, Texas, Bryce Milligan has lived in San Antonio since 1977. Milligan is a prolific, award-winning author in numerous genres, ranging from children’s books to adult poetry and criticism. He is the publisher and editor of Wings Press, which was profiled in Poets & Writers Magazine in Sept. 2007. The local newspaper refers to Milligan as a "literary force." Bloomsbury Review called him a "literary wizard." Critic Paul Christensen wrote of Milligan as "one of the principal writers of the region and a force at the center of the literary art movements of Texas.”
Milligan, like many writers, has had numerous professions. Among other things, he has been a folksinger/songwriter, a maker of guitars, drums and dulcimers, a carpenter, a rare book bibliographer and appraiser, a college English and creative writing instructor, a poet-in-the-schools, director of the country's only 4-year high school creative writing program, an arts administrator, a book and magazine editor, a book designer, and a publisher. As a writer, he has been a newspaper columnist, a freelance journalist, a scholar, a novelist, a poet, a playwright, and an essayist. It has been an interesting life.
Milligan is the author of five collections of poetry, Daysleepers & Other Poems (1984), Litany Sung at Hell's Gate (1991), From Inside the Tree (cassette, 1990, 1994), Working the Stone (Wings Press, 1994) Alms for Oblivion (London: Aark Arts, 2003) and Lost and Certain of It (Aark Arts, 2006). Critic E.A. Mares compared Working the Stone to the work of Donald Hall, which is not surprising since Hall was a first reader on Milligan's poetry for some 20 years. As a poet, Milligan is regarded as a "contemporary Muse poet" (Edward Hirsch) in the mold of Robert Graves. Indeed, Milligan was featured in the journal Gravesiana on that basis. His major poetic work is Alms for Oblivion: A Poem in Seven Parts, which critic Paul Christensen called "an important poem." He went on to write: Milligan’s language is rich, dense, charged with the power of Eliot’s Tiresias in 'The Waste Land' and his more brooding voice in 'The Four Quartets.' Alms for Oblivion breaks new ground for the contemporary long poem, and shows us love as it evanesces into dreamworlds and underworlds of longing." The Dallas Morning News called it a "magical mystery tour of a poem."
Milligan is also the author of four historical novels and short story collections for young adults, beginning with With the Wind, Kevin Dolan (Corona Publishing, 1987), which received the Texas Library Association’s “Lone Star Book for Young Adults” award. Other works for young adults include Battle of the Alamo (Texas Monthly Press: 1990, re-issued by Eakin Press, 1999), Comanche Captive (Texas Monthly Press: 1990. re-issued by Eakin Press, 2004) and Lawmen: Stories of Men Who Tamed the West (New York: Disney Press, 1994).
In September 2002). Milligan's first illustrated children's book, Brigid's Cloak: An Ancient Irish Story, was published by Eerdmans in Sept. 2002, and gained a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which included the book in its “Best of the Year” list, as did the Bank Street College of Education. In March 2002, Holiday House published his second illustrated children's book, The Prince of Ireland and the Three Magic Stallions, which garnered a starred review in the American Library Association journal, Booklist.
Milligan is also the author of five regionally produced plays and well over 2,000 articles, essays, and reviews. He was the book critic for the San Antonio Express-News from 1982 to 1987, and for the San Antonio Light from 1987 to 1990.
He has written extensively about Latino/Latina literature. Milligan is the primary editor (co-editors are Angela de Hoyos and Mary Guerrero Milligan) of the anthology Daughters of the Fifth Sun: A Collection of Latina Fiction and Poetry (Putnam/Riverhead, 1995, paper1996). Daughters was the first all-Latina collection to be published by a major NY house, and spent three years on the New York Public Library’s “Best Books for the Teen Aged” list. He is also one of the editors of a CD Rom, American Journeys: The Hispanic American Experience (Primary Source Media, 1995). A second major anthology edited by Milligan was ¡Floricanto Sí!- U.S. Latina Poetry (Penguin, 1998).
The founding editor of Pax: A Journal for Peace through Culture (1983-1987) and Vortex: A Critical Review (1986-1990), he became in 1995 the publisher/editor of Wings Press, one of the oldest continually operating small presses in Texas. Books published by Wings have garnered numerous starred reviews in major trade journals. In 2007, books from Wings won two International Latino Book Awards.
In 1985, Milligan co-founded (with Sandra Cisneros) the Annual Texas Small Press Bookfair, which evolved into the San Antonio Inter-American Book Fair. Milligan was the director of the literature program at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio in 1986, and from 1994 to 2000. Besides the book fair, Milligan founded and directed the "Hijas del Quinto Sol: Studies in Latina Literature and Identity" conference (co-hosted by St. Mary's University) as well as a PBS-televised poetry slam for young adults which ran 1994-1998.
During 2000-2002, Milligan undertook the direction of the creative writing program at the North East School of the Arts in San Antonio -- one of the only four-year creative writing programs for high school students in the country. The program's literary magazine, FareForward, received the highest honors from the NCTE its first year out.
The author grew up playing folk music in the now-legendary Dallas coffeehouse, the Rubaiyat. After a short professional career as a full-time singer/songwriter, he has played sporadically ever since. Some of his songs were included on the recording From Inside the Tree (Calberg Productions, 1990, 1994). Milligan was a finalist in the Kerrville Folk Music Festival's songwriting contest in 1974 and 2002. A new CD is on the way from a regional label. A song cycle from this collection was included in the 2006 issue of the Langdon Review.
Princess, Priestess, Poet: Enheduanna of Ur
Holiday House, Eerdmans, Aark Arts
Almost anything that is not Republican. I am a pacifist, vegetarian, Green and Left.
© 2013 Red Room Omnimedia Corporation. All rights reserved.