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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.




Finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters'
Helen C. Smith Memorial Award!



Michelle Newby, from a review in Texas Book Lover: "I am reminded of Robert Frost and James Audubon. What a relief and refreshingly free of irony – classical, lyrical, romantic sonnets."

Joanna Weston, author of Summer Father: "I've just finished Scott Wiggerman's book, Leaf and Beak: Sonnets, which I absolutely love. He has a real gift for observing the minutiae of the world around him as he goes on his daily run round Mueller Lake. His ability with slant and half rhyme is phenomenal, so much so that the rhyme is almost unnoticed. I'm going to read it again, it's such a joy."

Justin Evans, author of Sailing This Nameless Ship: "I have for many years been a fan of Scott Wiggerman's sonnets, and I would not hesitate to side him with the likes of Ernest Hilbert and Steven Nightingale as a master of this particular craft. I am even more fond of these sonnets because of their subject matter, which make me see the natural world in a whole new way each time I pick them up and read."

Larry D. Thomas, author of As If Light Actually Matters: New & Selected Poems: "These sonnets are exquisite. They are as good as any I have read by contemporary American poets.”

Ann Howells, editor of Illya's Honey: "I read the book and was particularly impressed by the beginning and ending sonnet series! If you haven't read the book, do it soon!"

Watch the book trailer on YouTube: Leaf and Beak Trailer

Most mornings for the past decade, poet Scott Wiggerman has walked the trails at Austin’s Mueller Lake Park, an urban space created on land that once held the city’s airport. Awake to the landscape as he walked, Wiggerman stopped from time to time and jotted a word or phrase for a poem that would come later. Leaf and Beak is the product of these walks, of the poet’s ever watchful eye, of the discipline he learned mastering the sonnet. Readers are in good hands here. The sonnets—seventy-five of them—flow so smoothly you can forget you’re reading a sonnet and just let the images take you in, the rhythms move you forward. The poems of Leaf and Beak are quiet poems, reflective poems, poems that ask you to walk in stillness for moments at a time, to absorb “the hidden in full view,” to appreciate “a lone green leaf / that hangs on like a weekend birthday, deaf / to bitter winds.” Wiggerman moves from the observed image, letting some details turn him inward while others lead to meditations on his fellow beings, on the world he walks. “What will / tomorrow bring that now cannot be seen?” he asks. “What change, what wonders to discover?”

cover photo by Paul Licce Photography

cover design by Steven Schroeder

interior design by Forget Gutenberg

ISBN: 9780944048658

Purple Flag, 2015










Sarah Cortez, Texas Institute of Letters author of How to Undress a Cop, writes in Texas Books in Review, "One of the remarkable feats of this collection is the dual tasks the poet has accomplished: the precise communication of a fully realized life with its world of luminous revelations and the artful, effective claiming of so much inherently difficult territory—that of anger and that of eroticism, sometimes interwoven. If Scott Wiggerman isn’t already one of your favorite Texas poets, he will be after you read this book."

Laurie Kutchins, Pulitzer-nominated author of The Night Path, says, "Presence evokes the elements--palpable qualities of air, earth, water and fire, and more--the difficult-to-render textures of familial love, lovers, loss, renewal, memory, and what one needs to stay present to the elemental world. So many moments in Wiggerman's poems 'evaporate like broth into essence,' allowing us to feel absence become presence. And as the poet wisely notes, 'the juxtaposition is seamless."

Cyrus Cassells, Lambda award-winning author of Beautiful Signor states, "In Presence, Scott Wiggerman uses an intransigent stain as an emblem of buoyant integrity in the face of intolerance and exclusion. In this new book, nimbly arranged by the elements, the poet, brandishing his trademark sass, humor, and candor, glories in local nature and limns the joys and trials of being a lovingly irreverent Texas gadfly, a proud and forthright gay man."

Larry D. Thomas, Texas Poet Laureate, writes, "Scott Wiggerman has achieved a noteworthy reputation as a widely-published poet, editor, and poetry workshop facilitator. Presence, his long-awaited second book-length collection of poems, certainly solidifies his standing as a contemporary poet of seriousness and distinction. Presence is an ambitious, significant, and memorable collection of poetry. I give it my highest recommendation."

Anne McCrady, author of the Eakin Book Award-winning Along Greathouse Road, writes in a review in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, "These poems are honest and personal: a dialogue about the conflicted need we all have to be present in a family, present with a lover, present in our our bodies, present in the natural world, present as ourselves. These are substantial poems of longing to belong and of the pain of exclusion."

And Robert McDowell, author of the best-selling Poetry as Spiritual Practice, writes, "In Presence, we meet, in the poet's own words, 'the drumming of a buoyant heart.' It is a sound that will not defer to injustice. It is an intelligent and artful yawp that won't go quietly. It is a witnessing we need to hear in a world so full of babbling and duplicity. It's the sound of truth itself . . . . Through it all, Wiggerman's marvelous craft gives shape to his versatility and poignant insight. He is a must-read American poet. Share him with everyone you know who cares about words and the truth."

cover photo by Carol King

ISBN: 9781931247955

Pecan Grove Press, 2011











Judith Minty, distinguished author of Walking with the Bear says, "These well-wrought poems emerge from the physical garden of today and now. They are like the food of contemporary America in their wide range that satisfies the palate. From painful moments of childhood to silky erotica to delightful bursts of humor, Scott Wiggerman's faith in the power of human love and caring prevails to make Vegetables and Other Relationships a true feast."

Ric Williams, Austin Chronicle critic, says, "Wiggerman's poems are like depth charges shot into the churning seas of the cultural wars: some explore softly and deceptively near the surface; others plunge deep, sending seismic shock waves through complacent souls too long sleeping in the mud of declension; all are well crafted implements of personal and political disruption."

ISBN: 1891386131

Plain View Press, 2000

Only $10.00





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.







Coming up in 2016:

On April 23, I will host an open mic for the New Mexico State Poetry Society annual convention.

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.". Registration is now open.

In the Past Year or so:

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!