Laurel Mills launches latest book of poetry

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WILTON — Wilton Academy graduate Laurel Lothrop Mills launched her fifth book of poetry this month filled with love for her daughter, Beth.

Mills is a 1964 graduate of Wilton Academy and a retired English senior lecturer at the University of Wisconsin at Fox Valley. She now devotes her talents to writing. Along with the most recent book of poetry, “Hidden Seed,” she has written three novels.

“This tells the story of Beth and her journey with this genetic disorder,” she said.
Beth was born with a disorder that typically causes intellectual disability and sometimes behavioral disorders, she said.

“Writing can make sense out of chaos. This puts Beth’s and my journey in some kind of order,” she said.

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Mills recently read her poetry at the Wilton Public Library during Wilton’s annual Blueberry Festival.

“I’ve wanted to write those poems to honor Beth’s spirit,” Mills said. “She has a life of her own and loves to go bowling and swimming. She has a delightful personality and a sense of humor.”

Beth, now nearly 50 years old, lives in a group home in Wisconsin.

Mills’ poems about Beth begin on Pease Pond in Wilton and end with Beth at a shopping mall in Fox River. In between, Mills describes the challenges and joys Beth, and later, Beth’s sister Marissa experience as Beth grows into a woman.

“Hidden Seed,” and Mills’ other books, have won several prestigious poetry awards.

Mills is working on a novel about a woman police officer recovering from alcoholism.

She often chooses strong women as the themes of her books, she said.

“Hidden Seed” may be found at Devaney, Doak and Garrett Booksellers in Farmington, at Amazon.com, and through the author at www.laurelmills.net.

Some of her books are also available at the Wilton Public Library.

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