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 April of 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 from MacDowell, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Blue Mountain Center, Bethany Arts Community, and Loghaven Artist Residency. She was the 2015 US-UK Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast, and a 2022 Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellow.

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 in Jewish Studies. Meitner is a first-generation American: her father is from Haifa, Israel; her mother was born in a refugee camp in Stuttgart, Germany, which is where her maternal grandparents settled after surviving Auschwitz, Ravensbrück, and Mauthausen concentration camps.

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 and MFA program director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.