Book Review: Ghosts of Old Virginny by Milla Van Der Have


Author: Milla van der Have
Publisher: Aldrich Press (imprint of Kelsay Books)
Pages: 42
Genre: Poetry



Virginia City, Nevada has been drawing the adventurous for over 100 years. It has been the home of gold-miners, businessmen and writers. After the bonanza, Virginia City reinvented herself and became a ghost town that draws travelers and artists. And, as it happened, a Dutch poet.

Milla van der Have visited Virginia City in 2014, on a writer’s residency to finish her novel. But once there, something happened: the Comstock got to her. In Ghosts of Old Virginny, Van der Have explores the legends and history of the Comstock by reimagining them. These poems deal with being uprooted and leaving the known behind. They speak of miners, ghosts and horses and throughout of the comfortable tension of love, that greatest journey of all.

You can purchase your copy of Ghosts of Old Virginny at Amazon.


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Ghosts of Old Virginny is a book of poems about the old Virginia City. They’re about miners and mining, the Gold Rush, legends, history of pioneers, and love. They’re full of beautiful descriptions and history.

Any lover of poetry and history will enjoy these poems. One of my favorites:


A Boomtown Love

They’ll settle in on anything, old legends.
Like mountain ghosts. They’ll take
hold of you. Say that night we broke

our bottles like vows upon the path.
All was silent except for your silver
laughter and that sudden rain of glass.

We sat down amidst the shards, counted
their sparks as blessings and the way
the moon swindled off their light edges.

And I remember thinking, this is it,
this is all that will come to mean
something in our days of rest.



About the Author

Milla van der Have (1975) wrote her first poem at 16, during a physics class. She has been writing ever since. One of her short stories won a New Millennium Fiction Award. In 2015 she published Ghosts of Old Virginny, a chapbook of poems about Virginia City. Milla lives and works in Utrecht, The Netherlands.








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