CWRU Poets: Carlos Lewis-Miller

From the Writers House in the Department of English to literary art magazines and the opportunity to minor in creative writing, poetry thrives on Case Western Reserve University’s campus. April is National Poetry Month, and The Daily is putting the spotlight on members of the university community who are passionate about expressing themselves through poetry. 

Carlos Lewis-Miller
Carlos Lewis-Miller

Today we’re featuring Carlos Lewis-Miller, program manager for the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences. A native of Cleveland, Lewis-Miller has worked at Case Western Reserve since 2021. In his role, he’s developing a participant target audience and implementing research methodologies for finding, recruiting and enrolling participants in CWRU’s Minority Alzheimer’s and Dementia study

1. Can you share one of the poems you’ve written and talk a bit about it—what inspired it?

E V E R Y D A Y 

He holds the day in hand and night at bay

While liars speak against His name and say,

“There is no one beyond the stars or space,

And you’re wasting words when you bow to pray.”

And yet, He still supports the sky and waits

While sinners say “Well, I tried yesterday,

But evil lies in wait to pounce on prey,

And I like my life too much anyway.”

They say with broken thoughts and minds that fray

And souls that never may know price He paid

Or peace, or place to rest their hearts and lay,

But He’s seen every day ahead of way

And ordered steps so that you’ll trip on pride.

So, make straight your path and, in Him, abide.


This sonnet was written between Aug. 26 and Aug. 27, 2020. At this point in my life, sonnet-writing was a type of emotional healing for me. For context, I had probably written about 45 sonnets. Now, this was the summer that George Floyd and many others were murdered, and I was trying to reconcile a pretty toxic bag of emotions. Obviously, the racial injustice upset me, but my spirit was vexed by the lack of faith I felt around me. This sonnet is titled “E V E R Y D A Y” because I needed a way to vent and proclaim my faith that all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28 KJV).

2. Where do you draw inspiration in general?

The Bible, and my faith in Jesus Christ. My walk with God has had many highs and lows, and it’s often the subject matter of my sonnets.

3. Who are some of your favorite poets and why?

E. E. Cummings is probably my favorite poet. Since a sonnet’s structure is so specific (14 lines, 10 syllables each, with 2 common rhyme schemes), the trained eye can notice and appreciate when the author deliberately goes outside of this traditional structure. And E. E. Cummings does this beautifully. Sometimes it borders on unintelligibility, but that just makes you want to re-read his work!

4. When did you first get started doing poetry?

In 2016, I took a sonnets class during my senior year of high school (at Solebury School in Pennsylvania), and I never looked back. I’m not the most creative person, so the structured nature of a sonnet helped me start writing poetry. Once you learn and get comfortable with the structure, you can really play with the more nuanced features of linguistics. 

5. Why do you love poetry? Why should others?

As a man, it was one of the first ways I was able to freely express my feelings and reflect on my life choices. I also love poetry because it often makes its readers think critically!