D.R. Wagner — Poet and Artist (1943-2023)

January 25, 2024 —

This morning, soon after a brief meditation and while doing some stretching on a yoga mat, I thought to myself, “maybe January 25the will the date for the anniversary of my death.” It’s a Thursday, I thought, so there’s a blending of Merwin and Vallejo. And it had been raining before dawn, when I first got up.

While I have no idea of course on what day I will die, I will remember this date as the one when a friend told me that D.R. Wagner, poet and artist, died a month ago, at age 80. I suppose I first heard of him over a half-century ago because of a magazine he edited called THE RUNCIBLE SPOON. Ah! Those were the glory days of poetry, when no one ever thought of it as a “career.” The AWP seemed like some obscure splinter group of a right wing political faction; it was of little relevance to the ever accelerating small press movement that D.R. Wagner was emblematic of.

Truly, may he rest in the muse’s dreams as one who spent his time on earth as only a poet can.

Some of Donald R. Wagner’s boos include:

The Lost Carnival and Other Places (Death Crater, California: Molly Moon Press, 1969. 22pp.)

Cruising’ at the Limit: Selected Poems 1968-1978 (1982)

April 15, April 16 : poems

Confessional poem to free the mind of its hang ups and keep the underworld free of its goofy
Cat’s Pajamas Press, 1970.

Round, earth, poems (Milwaukee : Gunrunner Press, 1969)

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