Book excerpts

Last week, a friend read my three books back to back in reverse order. She read FEM and said she could tell I was sad. Then jumped to Abandonment Issues and said I should be publishing for real (she just read “Okay Whitegirl”). She read passages from Back Like I Never Left aloud to a […]

Links to 3 poems included in my next book, JACOB’S HIP

I’m about to put out this collection of poems that are about my family–me, my son, and his dad. It’s ten pieces about fighting to stay together through pregnancy, prison, and heartbreak. There’s sex and bedbugs and jail visitation and more. The title Jacob’s Hip references an all-night biblical fight between Jacob and an angel […]

FEM is out now in paperback

Link is here. FEM is about coming of age in the new millennium. The Spice Girls taught me early on that femininity was fun and good. It was something to do. Then it became someone to be. From hair school to high heels, this book considers the function of beauty and fashion. First chapter is here.

Pre-order FEM

FEM is about coming of age in the Spice Girls Era, the nineties and early aughts. I knew fashion and beauty as fun and girly and therefore good. Bad things would happen, sure. But you could always dress it up. Just play it cool and keep it cute. No wonder I went to hair school […]

Performing Femininity

The following is the introduction of the book FEM–available at Ten Dollar Books: — I remember getting into a fight with a boyfriend (a real fight, not an argument) and fleeing the scene to buy two new pairs of heels. Two good ones too—gold leather gladiator sandals (not some obnoxious shit either) and a pair […]


My new book Abandonment Issues is available for pre-order. Abandonment is a collection of prose and photography about life in New Jersey. It’s a space narrative where the state is its own character. The pieces look to empty buildings, changes in the landscape, and garbage on the street to understand one’s state of existing somewhere […]

“Abandonment Issues” by Rachel Wagner

The following is an excerpt from the book Abandonment Issues, which is available for purchase here: The first night I moved to my apartment on Mount Prospect, I walked around with my friend looking for weed, as one does. He’s a guy from the Bronx who I’ve known forever—since I was like thirteen. This was […]


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