Desert Center

978-1-62288-158-1 Paperback
5 x 8. 88 pp.
Pub Date: 09/02/2016
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Desert Center embraces the complexities of the particular in place and person, from the deserts of the Southwest to his current home territory in Nebraska.  Indeed, Waggener’s heartland is wherever his poetic visions land, regardless if they are open, spare places or urban streets; they explore, as well, so wonderfully the characters who populate such territory, unnoticed people whose presence can only command notice from a poet such as Waggener.

As Jim Simmerman has noted about Phoenix Suites (2003), an earlier book, Waggener’s poems “never steer the easy streets of sentimentality and irony.”  Rather, he finds in the blank slate of his physical and intellectual regions matters of beauty, strange yet familiar, and brings them to resonate for us all.  Though Waggener is a recent arrival to the Great Plains—and specifically Nebraska letters—he is sure to be one of a number of contemporary voices to set the course for the region’s next generation of writers and poets, joining the company of such people as Kooser, Kloefkorn, Shapiro, Welch, Kosmicki as that path is laid.

Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press