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Erika Meitner

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Erika Meitner
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Erika Meitner was born and raised in Queens and Long Island, New York. She received her AB in creative writing from Dartmouth College and an MA in religious studies and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Virginia.

Meitner is the author of four books of poems: Copia (BOA Editions, 2014); Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls (Anhinga Press, 2011); Ideal Cities (Anhinga Press, 2010), winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series; and Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore (Anhinga Press, 2003), winner of the 2002 Anhinga-Robert Dana Prize for Poetry.

She is the recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, among others. Meitner is an associate professor of English and director of the creative writing MFA program at Virginia Tech.


Copia (BOA Editions, 2014)
Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls (Anhinga Press, 2011)
Ideal Cities (Anhinga Press, 2010)
Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore (Anhinga Press, 2003)

by this poet


after Anthony Haughey’s “Settlement”

              Garden of rock.
Garden of brick and heather.
              Garden of cranes with their hands raised
as if they know the yellow answer:
              to gather together—safety in numbers.
Garden of drywall frames, holes for


and the moon         once it stopped         was sleeping

in the cold blue light          and the moon          while the wind snapped

vinyl siding apart          slipped around corners          whipped the neighbors'

carefully patterned bunchgrass          our snow-

You ask about the leaves and I tell you it’s been so dry here
the leaves are just giving up, turning brown, falling off the trees,
which all look dead. This might be a metaphor for the election or
might be a metaphor for nothing—it’s hard to say. Each morning