Nebraska Center for Writers

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About Miles Waggener

PHOENIX SUITES
SKY HARBOR



Phoenix Suites
Copyright © 2003
by Miles Waggener
The Word Works

The desert of the Southwest is the heartland of this poet's meditations on time, civilizations, and the heart's painful lessons. Waggener wields language like a magician, language that excites, exults and leads to discoveries about ourselves and our relationship to the desert. Cover art by Matt Hamon. Winner of the 2002 Washington Prize. — from the publisher

Rare is the book and rarer still the first book, of poetry in which the I yields to the eye. Miles Waggener's Phoenix suites is such a book, casting a clear and steady gaze on what Oppen calls the "sad marvels" of the poet's world. These intelligent, elegiac love songs to the contemporary desert wasteland of Phoenix, Arizona, and to the poet's losts fathers, literary and literal, never steer the easy streets of sentimentality and irony. Rather, they lead through discrete and intimate back ways, such that "The eyes ... are my own. Now yours." — Jim Simmerman

No matter, world or stranger," Waggener says, "put your ears to my lips. Sing through me, and the song will be repeated." And it is — clearly and cleanly. Unto this poet even the most austere world reveals its lush beauty. The stranger and the strange — each is embraced at the crystalline moment. — Nancy Van Winckel

Collisions between desert landscape and air-conditioned condominium developments form a stimulating dynamic and an indelible backdrop on which the poet's major concerns — memory, the land's impression on the psyche, logos, spiritual longing — unfold, to distinct and brilliant consequence. — Chris Dombrowski, author of By Cold Water

One might slip into a cave without a torch and imagine a language of foot scuttle and wing whinny, imagine that one must make from these onsonants and vowels a lyric, a metaphysics — such is the poetry of Miles Waggener — hermetic, intentional, and of great necessity. — Sandra Alcosser, author of A Fish to Feed All Hunger and Except by Nature


Sky Harbor
Copyright © 2011
by Miles Waggener
Pinyon Publishing

One might slip into a cave without a torch and imagine a language of foot scuttle and wing whinny, imagine that one must make from these consonants and vowels a lyric, a metaphysics — such is the poetry of Miles Waggener — hermetic, intentional, and of great necessity. — Sandra Alcosser, author of A Fish to Feed All Hunger and Except by Nature

"Sky Harbor” is the name of Phoenix, Arizona's international airport, through whose automatic sliding doors — at one point in this fabulous collection of the same name — a sparrow flies. The human-constructed and the unconstructed abut constantly in Miles Waggener's second full-length collection, wherein collisions between desert landscape and air-conditioned condominium developments form a stimulating dynamic, and an indelible backdrop on which the poet's major concerns — memory, the land's impression on the psyche, logos, spiritual longing — unfold, to distinct and brilliant consequence. When all the clique-ish whisperings cease, we will come to poetry like Miles Waggener's Sky Harbor to regain a sense of what the genre can truly do. Rigorous and rewarding, brimful of craft and passion, this book emanates from a place — in the physical landscape and in the landscape of the mind — that is both longed for and exquisitely evoked. These poems shine the reader “through the lock's narrow way." — Chris Dombrowski, author of By Cold Water

Enter an earth dark with portents, some of which we have created ourselves: bird dead from a boy's rock, fetus unable to come to term. In this uncannily orchestrated book of poems, the earth, our familiar, is given back to us strange, a landscape caught between the violence of the past and impending apocalypse, where we, as humans, exist between danger and domain. Miles Waggener has written a narrative of last days in a language that staggers, turning corners, sometimes perilously, in a search for doors, gates, horizons which will open, “the last-ditch efforts in the inclement that you, that your children become.” Read this book slowly; it is as breathtaking and suspenseful as our time here. — Melissa Kwasny, author of The Nine Senses


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