NC Literary Hall of Fame



Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers: Second Edition by Joseph Mills

Press 53
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0979304996
September, 2015
Available from your local bookstore or

"To Joseph Mills a glass of wine reveals a little of 'the almost infinite risk in being who we are.' Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers is, then, a collection of revelations, truths to be found in and about wine. Witty, mordant, melancholy, funny, these bright poems fix and illumine the many moods we may encounter in a bottle of happy red. I shall recommend this volume most heartedly, saying, 'Here, I think this / will help make things a little better.'"
—Fred Chappell, former North Carolina poet laureate

“ is a must-have for all wine lovers. No ideology here, just perspective. Mills has a keen sense for why wine is so improbably important to so many of us, and on page after page, the wine lover will say, 'Oh yes, that's me.'"
—Dave McIntyre, Washington Post

“In writing about wine, Joe's sensitivity, humility, creativity, and imagery are perhaps the closest I've come to experiencing wine, without actually drinking it.”
—Nikitas Magel from VintnerReviews


A full wine rack
is a Saturday morning,
the first day of summer vacation
a tank of gas,
a promise of good dinners
and future celebrations.

Look, the shelves say,
There's plenty,
Don't worry.
You're safe.

Joseph Mills grew up in Indiana, and, in the first thirty years of his life, he kept moving farther and farther West, earning literature degrees at the University of Chicago, University of New Mexico, and the University of California, Davis. He spent a year in Bordeaux where he met his wife, and, after living for a couple years in the San Francisco Bay area, they moved to North Carolina. Joe teaches at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he holds an endowed chair, the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities. In addition to his five poetry collections, he is the co-author (with wife Daniele Tarmey) of A Guide to North Carolina’s Wineries. He also edited A Century of the Marx Brothers.

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