About Erika

Erika Meitner is the author of six books of poems, including Ideal Cities (HarperCollins, 2010), which was a 2009 National Poetry series winner; Copia (BOA Editions, 2014); and Holy Moly Carry Me (BOA Editions, 2018), which won the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in Poetry, and was a finalist for the Library of Virginia Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. Her newest book, Useful Junk, was published by BOA Editions in 2022.

Meitner’s poems have been anthologized widely, and have appeared in publications including The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Poetry, Orion, Ploughshares, Oxford American, The Believer, and elsewhere. She also creates larger-scale documentary photo/text projects on urban environments, with photographers. These include “This is Not a Requiem for Detroit” and “RNC CLE” for Virginia Quarterly Review with Ryan Spencer Reed, and an ongoing project on Miami and sea-level rise with Anna Maria Barry-Jester, part of which was featured as the cover story in the Summer 2021 issue of VQR (“Reimagining Magic City“).

Other honors include fellowships and residencies from MacDowell, Loghaven Artist Residency, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Hermitage Artist Retreat, T.S. Eliot House, Blue Mountain Center, Bethany Arts Community, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Marble House Project. She was the 2015 US-UK Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast, a 2022 Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellow, and is currently a Mandel Institute Cultural Leadership Program Fellow (2023-2025).

Meitner was born and raised in Queens and Long Island, New York. She attended Dartmouth College (for an AB in Creative Writing and English Literature), Hebrew University on a Dartmouth Reynolds Fellowship, and the University of Virginia, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing as a Henry Hoyns Fellow, and her MA in Religious Studies as a Morgenstern Fellow.

As part of her commitment to student mentorship, she is also the creator and steward of the Post-MFA Resources Tumblr. Meitner is currently an English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also directs the MFA program in Creative Writing.