Nathanael Tagg


Lancaster, PA

Author's Bio

Nathanael Tagg has an MA in English from the University of Nebraska and an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers, where he was a Truman Capote Literary Trust fellow. His mentors have included the poets Rachel Hadas, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Rigoberto González. Tagg's first book, a collection of poems entitled Animal Virtue, was published by WordTech Editions in 2018. Praise for the book: 

“The charm of Nathanael Tagg’s Animal Virtue comes from its confident, unpretentious expression of curiosity about language and nature, its insights into everyday coincidences and encounters, and the daring to navigate the rocky waters between science and religion. His poems speak eloquently—and humorously—about the human impulse to search for greater meaning and connection. An exceptional debut!”—Rigoberto González  

“‘No, you need not give me a script,’ writes Nathanael Tagg. No indeed. Animal Virtue brims over with curiosity, observation, and sheer knowledge, whether of literature, art, or the animal kingdom; the resulting script is no one’s but his own. Urbane and controlled, his poems still seethe with restless wit.”—Rachel Hadas

His poems and reviews are published or forthcoming in Barrow StreetColorado Review, Cimarron Review, Confrontation, The Pleiades Book ReviewThe Journal, Chariton Review, Evansville ReviewTerrainSonora ReviewUnsplendidArts & Letters, The PinchThe Review ReviewInertia, The Midwest Quarterly, Hawk & Handsaw: Journal of Creative Sustainability, Cold Mountain ReviewThe Raintown Review, and other magazines. 

His poetry uses animal imagery, humor, biblical allusions, literary references, and various poetic forms to explore the challenges of living well in times of personal, political, existential, and environmental trouble. Among his influences are the poets Emily Dickinson, Thomas Lux, Carl Dennis, and Robinson Jeffers.

A full-time associate professor of English at Cecil College in Maryland, he teaches Composition, Introduction to Literature, World Literature, and Creative Writing. He has taught at Rutgers and the University of Nebraska and has lived in Webster City, IA, his hometown; Omaha, NE; Jersey City, NJ; and Iowa City, IA. He now lives with his wife and his daughter in Lancaster, PA.  

Publications & Prizes

Animal Virtue (WordTech Editions, 2018)

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Last update: Jun 10, 2019