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erika meitner

A bunch of Poets have already named many of the books that were on my first version of this list–Arielle beat me to three of my favorites: Museum of Accidents by Rachel Zucker, Deepstep Come Shining by C.D. Wright, and Fort Red Border by Kiki Petrosino. Eric Pankey listed Sightseer by Cynthia Marie Hoffman, which is a luminous first book, and J.J. Penna has my all-time favorite book on his list: The Incognito Lounge by Denis Johnson–and clearly J.J. and I are poetry twins separated at birth, because I also adore Nick Flynn’s Some Ether and Larry Levis’s Elegy. So on to some other books I’m digging right at this very minute:

Nox by Anne Carson—an exquisite art-book-in-a-box elegy for her brother, a collection that’s so beautifully constructed of fragments of letters and poems and textual objects that when you open it you’ll feel like you’re unfolding a one-of-a-kind sculptural experience that will make even the most diehard kindle fan believe again in the tactile power of the book.

String Light by C.D. Wright—this book is out of print, but all of the poems from the original book other than two of them are in Steal Away: Selected and New Poems. From String Light, I’ve learned about the sheer range of poetic forms and styles one book can hold. Plus it’s really fun to read.

Two books I’m anxiously awaiting: Clean by Kate Northrop (due out any day now from Persea Books) and Quan Barry’s Water Puppets (due out from U of Pittsburgh Press). Both women are formidable poets, and I go back and read their earlier books often (Northrop’s Back Through Interruption and Things Are Disappearing Here, and Barry’s Asylum and Controvertibles).

Book that’s currently on my nightstand: Bringing the Shovel Down by Ross Gay – I can’t wait to dig into it!

BIO: Erika Meitner is the author, most recently, of Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls (Anhinga Press, 2011), and Ideal Cities (Harper Perennial, 2010), which was a 2009 National Poetry Series winner. Her poems have appeared most recently in VQR, Tin House, Indiana Review, The New Republic, APR, and on She is currently an assistant professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she teaches in the MFA program.



August 27, 2009

Visit the 32 Poems website. We redesigned it. One day, I’ll move this blog over there.

I wish MacDowell would have their parties in Washington, DC. They have them in NY, which makes sense given all the artists live there. Yet and yet.


Congratulations to friend and 32 Poems contributor Erika Meitner. Her book, Ideal Cities, won the National Poetry Series and will be published by Harper Collins.


I still go back and forth about whether I should use italics online. What do you think?


Someone gave me good advice. Work on it (it=something I care about deeply) and everything else will fall into place. A few weeks after I was told that advice, an unusual email landed in my in box that is part of the everything-falling-into-place category.


I’m 9,000 words into my novel draft.


Erika Meitner attended Dartmouth College, Hebrew University on a Reynolds Fellowship, and the University of Virginia, where she received her M.F.A. in 2001 as a Henry Hoyns Fellow. She’s received additional fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009), the Blue Mountain Center (2006), and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference (John […]


YOU ARE INVISIBLE and everything is tucked in twice. It is night-time at the Waffle House. It is night-time and the Food Lion parking lot is mysteriously full. All our durable goods roll like marbles down truckers’ corridors: flashes of neon, void intervals, a clock that doesn’t keep time but loses it instead. Memory vanishes […]