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On My Father's Garden by David Wagoner
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David Wagoner
Photo: Robin Seyfried

David Wagoner

In 1926, David Wagoner was born in Massillon, Ohio. He is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Good Morning and Good Night (University of Illinois Press, 2005); The House of Song (2002); Traveling Light: Collected and New Poems (1999); Walt Whitman Bathing (1996); Through the Forest: New and Selected Poems (1987); First Light (1983); Landfall (1981); and In Broken Country (1979).

His Collected Poems, 1956-1976 was nominated for the National Book Award in 1977. His collection Who Shall Be the Sun? (1978) is a collection of poems based on the folklore, legends, and myths of indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast and Plateau regions. Other collections of poetry include Sleeping in the Woods (1974); Riverbed (1972); New and Selected Poems (1969); Staying Alive (1966); The Nesting Ground (1963); A Place to Stand (1958); and Dry Sun, Dry Wind (1953).

Wagoner is also the author of ten novels, including The Escape Artist (1965), which was adapted into a movie by Francis Ford Coppola. He is also the editor of Straw for the Fire: From the Notebooks of Theodore Roethke, 1943-63 (1972).

About Wagoner's poetry, critic Harold Bloom said, "His study of American nostalgias is as eloquent as that of James Wright, and like Wright's poetry carries on some of the deepest currents in American verse."

He has received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Sherwood Anderson Award, the Fels Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Eunice Tjetjens Memorial and English-Speaking Union prizes from Poetry magazine, and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

A former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, he was the editor of Poetry Northwest from 1966 until its last issue in 2002. He lives in Bothell, Washington.


From the Image Archive

Poems by
David Wagoner

The Junior High School Band Concert
The Shooting of John Dillinger Outside the Biograph Theater, July 22, 1934
This is a Wonderful Poem

Prose by
David Wagoner

David Wagoner on Adrienne Rich

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