David Wagoner

(5 June 1926 / Massillon, Ohio)

David Wagoner
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David Russell Wagoner is an American poet who has written many poetry collections and ten novels. Two of his books have been nominated for National Book Awards.

Early Life

Born in Massillon, Ohio and raised in Whiting, Indiana from the age of seven, Wagoner attended Pennsylvania State University where he was a member of Naval ROTC and graduated in three years. He received an M.A. in English from the Indiana University in 1949 and has taught at the University of Washington since 1954 on the suggestion of friend and fellow poet Theodore Roethke.


Wagoner was editor of Poetry Northwest from 1966 to 2002 and his play An Eye For An Eye For An Eye ... more »

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Comments about David Wagoner

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  • Rookie Mary Mitchell (7/27/2012 4:43:00 PM)

    I'd love to see Lost on here!

  • Rookie Mo. (6/14/2007 3:30:00 PM)

    I saw you on the cover of 'poetry.com'
    Congratulations on your past winning!
    Great Job!

Read all 2 comments »
Best Poem of David Wagoner

At The Door

All actors look for them-the defining moments
When what a character does is what he is.
The script may say, He goes to the door
And exits or She goes out the door stage left.

But you see your fingers touching the doorknob,
Closing around it, turning it
As if by themselves. The latch slides
Out of the strike-plate, the door swings on its hinges,
And you're about to take that step
Over the threshold into a different light.

For the audience, you may simply be
Disappearing from the scene, yet in those few seconds
You can reach for the knob as the last ...

Read the full of At The Door

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