Page last updated: November 23, 2018

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“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


Poems by Miles Waggener

MILES WAGGENER  is the author of Phoenix Suites (The Word Works, 03), winner of the Washington Prize. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife and fellow writer Megan Gannon and their son Manny.



“We know ourselves as two doors,

          fathers seeing the first from far away, . . .”


“Among sixteen horses on the western slope

    Weathering sleet and sunshine, reflecting field-lit . . .”


“So close, the sky

stopped as the clouds . . .”


Hayden’s Ferry Book Review:

“. . . In this poetry, the restlessness of the culture we live in, our always changing and unstable social environment, meets the landscape of the undeniable, immanent desert in this flight of memory and vision of days to come. . . .”


Arizona Public Radio, Southwest Book Reviews:

“. . . “A ghostly father leads his living son through weeds to an owl’s hiding place.  The owl spreads its wings, taking father and son in. . . . a reflection on life and death and place from the peculiar ungrounded state of a flyer caught between danger and home” . . . .”

“‘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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Spilled Milk

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Spilled Milk


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