Scott Wiggerman's Poetry Pages
H o m e
I am a poet and retired librarian who, after 35 years in Austin, Texas, resettled to a new home in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2015 with my husband, David Meischen, also a writer, and our cat Tawny.
I am a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, the Haiku Society of America, the Writers' League of Texas, and a long-time participant--twenty-five years?-- in an on-line poetry critique group, through the Internet Writing Workshop (IWW). I also served for seven years as a Board member of the Austin International Poetry Festival, for five years as the editor of di-verse-city, and for eight years as the Poetry Columnist for the Texas Writer. I have taught a number of workshops over the years, not only for AIPF and the WLT, but also for Poetry at Round Top, the Georgetown Poetry Festival, the House of Poetry at Baylor University, the Writing Barn, Southwestern University, etc., including "Jump-Start Your Creative Engines," "Jump Start Redux," "Poetic Forms for Today's Poets," "The Well-Seasoned Sonnet," Putting the Creative in Creative Writing: A One-Week Exercise Program," "Working Out Your Writing Muscles: A One-Week Exercise Program," and "Flex & Stretch: A One-Week Exercise Program for Writers," among others. For the past eight years I have taught in the WLT's Summer Writer's Retreat in Alpine, Texas, the latest class being "Radical Re-visioning for Poets." As poet and editor Sandi Stromberg told me, "I still feel the glow of the workshop in Alpine. You did a masterful job, and I'm one of the fortunate recipients." And guess what? I'll be back for the 10th anniversary of the Alpine Retreat in 2016 with a "best-of" workshop Something Bold, Something New: Best Poetry Exercises from a Decade of the Writers' Retreat, already SOLD OUT!
My poem "Origami" won second place in a 2016 love poem contest that Bookworks sponsored for Valentine's Day. Last year, I was judged a winner in the 2015 Great River Shakespeare Festival/Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest for my entry "Birding in Fog" in the Contest category, Laureate's Choice. The Festival Director wrote, "Mere words are insufficient to express my appreciation for your participation and for the quality of your sonnet submission."
My "Egret Sonnet" was nominated by Hobble Creek Review for the 2011 Sundress Best of the Net, as well as a Pushcart! "Formations," another sonnet, was nominated for a 2012 Pushcart by the very same Hobble Creek Review. Both of these sonnets are included in my new book, Leaf and Beak, which was a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters' Helen C. Smith Memorial Award.
My partner and I took over the publishing of the Texas Poetry Calendar beginning with the 2006 edition. To do so, we started a new press, Dos Gatos Press. Please take a look at the link to this site, and wish us luck with this venture! Better yet, help us out by either purchasing a copy of the calendar or making a tax-free donation, as we are a non-profit organization! We've also released six books: an anthology called Big Land, Big Sky, Big Hair: Best of the Texas Poetry Calendar's First Decade; Karla K. Morton's Redefining Beauty, winner of a 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award, Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry, Anne McCrady's Letting Myself In, the anthology, Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga, and Wingbeats II, all of which are available through Small Press Distributors (SPD). All Dos Gatos Press books--and calendars--are available on the Dos Gatos Press website, as well as through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Follett's.
The latest book I've edited, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, with Cindy Huyser, is the second in the "Poetry of the American Southwest" series from Dos Gatos Press. From the foreword by Carmen Tafolla: "The range of voices here is as beautiful and translucent as a rainbow—from Cochise to Calamity Jane, Navajo Code Talkers to Japanese internees, Devil Girl and Old Man Gloom, slaves and stunt pilots, Paiutes and migrant mothers, Annie Oakley and Georgia O’Keefe, security officers and French tourists, Gregorio Cortez, La Llorona, and Cynthia Ann Parker—all come to life here, speak their own truths and their own sacred space in these poems. The beauty of their lives shines through in a history that refuses to be erased, voices that refuse to be silenced. Such is the nature of persona poems drawn from the broad stroke of human experience." Now available on the Dos Gatos Press website!.
Coming up in 2016/2017:
On June 28, I will teach Ravi Shankar's exercise, "The Manipulated Fourteen-Line Poem," at Bookworks in Albuquerque at 6:00 p.m., the first of the Wingbeats summer series of free workshops.
On July 17-22, I will teach a week-long workshop for the 10th anniversary of the Summer Writers' Retreat in Alpine, Texas: "Something Bold, Something New: Best Poetry Exercises from a Decade of the Writers' Retreat.". This class is sold out.
On July 23, I will teach another class for Texas Writes, "Bearing the Mask: Discovering the Other through Persona," in Marfa, Texas, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. We will look at how persona is used in new poems from Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, including poems using the personae of artist Donald Judd and rancher Rebecca “Becky” Smith, local legends of West Texas. Then we will try our hands at using personae in writing exercises which will help us discover the “other” and make us appreciate that when we use persona we are responsible for bearing the mask.
On August 23, I will teach Andrea Hollander's "The Postcard Poem" at Bookworks in Albuquerque at 6:00 p.m.
On March 25-26, 2017, I will participate in the "Take a Detour from Route 66: Taos to L.A." event happening in City of Industry, California, at two Southern California historical sites: The Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum and the Rowland House, More on this exciting event in the months to come!
In the Past Year or so:
On April 23, I hosted an open mic for the New Mexico State Poetry Society annual convention, and I taught a last-minute workshop, "Words at the Speed of Sounds."
On February 9, I read with California writer Chella Courington at Bookworks in Albuquerque, New Mexico at 6:00 p.m.
On January 19, I taught a workshop, "Writing the Bad Sonnet" at Bookworks in Albuquerque at 7:00 p.m. This was a continuation of the Dos Gatos Press workshop series for Wingbeats II.
On January 9, 2016, I presented a workshop for the Albuquerque division of the New Mexico State Poetry Society called "Starting with Something." The workshop was on the poetic form known as the "golden shovel," and it had a record crowd. Expect more golden shovels ahead!
On November 22, 2015, Elizabeth Raby and I appeared together in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at Teatro Paraguas, to promote our Purple Flag books.
On November 7, 2015, I participated in an art & poetry reading in Taos, New Mexico, to kick off "Under a Common Sky," an invitational exhibit in the Mural Room of the Historic County Courthouse in the Taos Plaza running through February 2016. Exciting to be one of the poets involved in this ekphrastic event, which also included Karen Cordova, Max Early, Veronica Golos, Leslie Ullman, Dom Zuccome, Andrea Watson, and others!
On October 23, 2015, Elizabeth Raby and I launched our respective new Purple Flag books at Bookworks in Albuquerque, New Mexico at 7:00 p.m., Beneath Green Rain and Leaf and Beak.
On October 21, I taught my first workshop in Albuquerque at Bookworks--on the persona poem.
On July 18-23, 2015, I returned to the Summer Writers' Retreat in Alpine, Texas, where I taught a week of "Radical Re-visioning for Poets."
On April 18, I taught a workshop based on my Wingbeats II exercise, "Writing the Bad Sonnet," at Poetry @ Round Top, in Round Top, Texas.
On March 4, I read and talked about Leaf and Beak: Sonnets at Wildflower Terrace, 3801 Berkman Dr. (next to the old Mueller Airport tower).
On March 1, I had a multimedia book launch for Leaf and Beak: Sonnets at Malvern Books in Austin. Performer Joe Blanda provided music, cover-photographer Paul Licce displayed photographs, and I read from my new book of sonnets, Leaf and Beak.
On January 20, 2015, I was the monthly guest of the Ex Libris Book Club for Houston's Public Poetry, where we discussed the poems of Thomas James from Letters to a Stranger, live on GoToMeeting. To view the full book discussion, see: Public Poetry Ex Libris - Scott Wiggerman on Thomas James.
On December 20, 2014, I ran a workshop called "Tell It Slant: Extending the Metaphor" for the Austin Poetry Society's December meeting at 8863 Anderson Mill Road, Suite # 114, Austin TX 78729, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
On December 6, I hosted the final 2015 Texas Poetry Calendar reading at Malvern Books in Austin with over two dozen readers from all over the state. The entire reading--in several segments--is up at YouTube if you go to the Malvern Books page there.
On November 29, I appeared at BookWoman in Austin as part of its Indie Fair.
On October 5, I read at Malvern Books in Austin with Santa Fe poet Elizabeth Raby. My entire reading is up at YouTube at Malvern Reading, starting with a sestina and a crown of sonnets, and ending with the poem that earned my first Pushcart nomination, "Playing GI Joes."
On October 4, I was one of the featured poets at the Georgetown Poetry Festival, along with David Meischen, Sarah Webb, Elizabeth Raby, and Carol Hamilton. I also ran a Wingbeats II workshop, "Three Quick Exercises from Wingbeats II."
On September 12, I was one of the readers at the Feminist Poetry Fest, 8:00 p.m., at Link & Pin Gallery, 2235 E. 6th St #102, Austin, Texas. I also led a workshop for the Festival from Wingbeats II, "The Incredible Shrinking Poem."
On August 9, I presented a talk called "Tell It Slant: The Power of the Metaphor" at the Alpine Public Library in Alpine, Texas, along with Carol Dawson, with a panel discussion led by Becka Oliver.
August 2-8, I returned to Alpine, Texas for a seventh time for the Summer Writers' Retreat, where my sold-out workshop focused on new poetry exercises from Wingbeats II, "Wingbeats II: A One-Week Exercise Program."
On June 28, I presented a workshop at the annual WLT Agents' Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Austin. The workshop, “Jump-Start Exercises to Get Writing Flowing," ran 10:15-11:00 in the Hill Country Rooms A&B (first floor) and featured brief writing exercises from Wingbeats II.
On June 8, I read at Malvern Books in Austin, for the release of the new issue of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, along with several other poets, including Laurie Ann Guerrero, the new Poet Laureate of San Antonio. This is the 40th issue of this fine poetry journal!
On May 8, I read with Ken Fontenot and Carolyn Florek at the Round Top Library, as the three of us discussed "Why Read Poetry" in Round Top, Texas, 7:00 p.m.
On May 2, I took part in an ekphrastic poetry exhibit at OBLIQ Gallery at the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix, AZ called "Sacred Stories of the Southwest." The event was a unique collaboration of 15 artists and 15 poets from New Mexico, Arizona, California, Texas, Colorado, and one poet from Hawaii, who has spent considerable time in the Southwest.
Now that you've learned a little about me, I hope you'll take the time to visit my other pages through the menu on the left. I also encourage you to email me your comments at my email address:
swiggerman (at) comcast (dot) net
Thanks for stopping by!