Lily Poritz Miller in Eastern Europe
Photo by Olga Zabludoff, 1998
Lily Poritz Miller began her career as an editor at Macmillan in
New York, where she worked with such distinguished writers as
Jane Yolen and the Irish storyteller and poet, Padraic Colum.
She credits Colum, who wrote a poem for her, as being a major
influence in her publishing career. During this time she also
produced a revised and updated edition of the Jennie Hall
classic, Buried Cities. She was brought to Toronto by Jack
McClelland in 1972 as senior editor at McClelland and Stewart.
During her 18-year tenure at the company, she worked with
some of the most gifted Canadian authors, including Roloff
Beny, Austin Clarke, Leonard Cohen, Sylvia Fraser, Alistair
MacLeod, Farley Mowat, Michael Ondaatje, Mordecai Richler
and Gabrielle Roy. This era in Canadian publishing is
documented in James King's biography Jack: A Life With
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Lily Miller moved to
Massachusetts with her family when she was fifteen. She has
taught creative writing at the City University of New York, and
her short stories have been published in the anthology
American Scene: New Voices. Her play My Star of Hope was
performed off-Broadway and The Proud One received a Samuel
French national award. The play was produced in Toronto and
published by Playwrights Canada and the International
Readers' Theatre. Her play A Greater Love appeared as part of
Alumnae Theatre Company's New Ideas Festival 2004.
She became involved in her family's ancestry when she first
traveled to Eastern Europe in 1992. In 1998 she and Olga
Zabludoff edited If I Forget Thee - the destruction of the shtetl
Butrimantz. In 2005 her program "Journey to My Boba's Shtetl"
was presented during Holocaust Education Week at the
Workmen's Circle and the Al Green Theatre in Toronto. In
2007 she was featured in the TV program "Israel Today" which
was broadcast nationally in Canada.
She co-edited an English-language translation of letters from
the Yiddish chronicling the quest of a young man from a small
Lithuanian shtetl to reach America via Cuba in the 1920s.
Entitled A Thousand Threads: a story told through Yiddish
letters, it was published by Remembrance Books, Washington,
DC in 2005. A staged reading from the book was presented at
the Leah Posluns Theatre in Toronto. Her screenplay, Paved in
Gold, inspired by this material, was showcased in Toronto in
2006 under the direction of Anthony Furey.
Her novel In a Pale Blue Light was published by Sumach Press
on October 5, 2009. A sequel, The Newcomers, was released in
the fall of 2013..
She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America,
International PEN, and Women in Film and Television Toronto.
She divides her time between Toronto and Mexico..
|Lily Poritz Miller