Born and raised in Storm Lake, Iowa, Bruce Mills grew up in a working class family of seven children. When not caught up in the commotion of a large family or the seductive tales told by his British grandmother, he was dribbling a basketball or trespassing onto neighborhood driveways (or into gyms) to shoot baskets.
As a teacher, Bruce has a broad and deep fascination with storytelling. He has published on how writers such as abolitionists Harriet Jacobs and Lydia Maria Child sought to create more inclusive narratives of American democracy. His book Poe, Fuller, and the Mesmeric Arts: Transition States in the American Renaissance explores why Edgar Allan Poe and Margaret Fuller turned to early notions of the hypnotic state in their tales or essays.
Bruce has published creative nonfiction in The Georgia Review, New England Review, September 11, 2001: American Writers Respond, and Gravity Pulls You In: Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum. Along with Debra Cumberland, he co-edited Siblings and Autism: Stories Spanning Generations and Cultures. His advocacy in relation to autism has led to presentations at numerous conferences. His writing has also been recognized through reception of the B. Frank Vogel Scholar award to attend the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and a Pushcart Prize special mention. Bruce teaches at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.