Life on the road led Americana singer-songwriter Rhett Miller to write his first book, a collection of children’s poems entitled “No More Poems” The poems, however, weren’t inspired by wild rock band escapades (except maybe for “Stinky Mouth You”). They were created as a way for Miller to extend his Facetime conversations with his two children.
Miller wrote the funny little poems to share with his kids, but he hadn’t considered a larger audience. “I would say that they were for publication, but I hadn’t really thought about doing that,” he says.
The resulting book reveals Miller as a clever, slightly twisted humorist. The subjects of his nearly two dozen laugh-out-loud poems range from families and parenting to siblings and just being human. Many arose from his own family life. For example, the little girl making her case for a new pet to her parents in “I Want A Dog” parallels the we-need-a-dog PowerPoint presentation that his daughter made (successfully) when she was 7.
When Miller decided to turn the poems into a book, he looked to a publisher who would “let me let it be dark,” and found one with Little, Brown & Company. “I believe in speaking to children with a level of intelligence,” he says, which may explain why parents will enjoy his book as much as their kids will.
Miller also praised his illustrator, Dan Santat, describing Santat’s first sketches as “better than anything I could have dreamed of.” The humor in Santat’s artwork is a perfect match for Miller’s words.