About Shari Wagner
Shari Wagner was Indiana's fifth Poet Laureate (2016-2017) and the author of three books of poems: The Harmonist at Nightfall: Poems of Indiana, Evening Chore and The Farm Wife's Almanac. She is also the co-author, with her physician father, Dr. Gerald Miller, of A Hundred Camels: A Mission Doctor's Sojourn and Murder Trial in Somalia and Making the Rounds: Memoirs of a Small-Town Doctor. Wagner's poems have been featured by Garrison Keillor on The Writer's Almanac and by Ted Kooser in his column, American Life in Poetry.
Her poems have also appeared in North American Review, Shenandoah, Black Warrior Review, Indiana Review, The Christian Century, Poetry East, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and many other journals. Her poetry has been selected for the anthologies Best American Nonrequired Reading, And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana, and A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry. She is currently working on a book of poems in the voices of various men and women from Indiana history.
Wagner's work has been nominated four times for Pushcart Prizes, and she has been awarded two Creative Renewal Fellowships from the Arts Counsel of Indianapolis, as well as
twelve grants from the Indiana Arts Commission. In 2009, her essay, "Camels, Cowries & a Poem for Aisha," was co-winner of Shenandoah's "The Carter Prize for the Essay."
Wagner has taught creative writing and memoir writing to people of all ages and backgrounds, in grade schools, colleges, libraries, community centers, and nursing homes. She is the editor of Returning: Stories from the Indianapolis Senior Center and co-editor of I Remember: Creative Writing by Indianapolis Youth, 2012. She teaches with the Indiana Writers Center, where she has been a faculty member since 2008. She is also on the faculty for "Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts: A Program of Indiana University-Purdue University's Humanities Institute. In fall of 2019 she will also teach in Bethany Seminary's theopoetics and writing program.
Wagner was born in Goshen, Indiana and grew up in a ten-acre woods near the small town of Markle in Wells County. She earned a B.A. in English from Goshen College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Indiana University-Bloomington. She lives north of Indianapolis in Hamilton County with her husband Chuck, a poet and English teacher at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School. They are the parents of two daughters.
Additional biographical information is available on her Laureate website:
Through the Sycamores
Photographs of Pine Hills Nature Preserve in Montgomery County,
Indiana, by Shari Wagner