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E. Ethelbert Miller is a poet and the director of the African-American Resource Center at Howard University. He is the author of numerous books of poetry and a memoir of fatherhood.

When I contacted Miller about this portrait, we discussed the quality of the natural light in his office.

“Does your office face south?” I asked Miller. “In Washington, D.C., southern windows get good light.”

“My office faces Mecca,” Miller informed me.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Which way is Mecca again?”

“I’m just kidding,” Miller said.