Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore

Anhinga Press, 2003

“Erika Meitner’s is a vertiginous art—full of flash and dazzle, fire and speed, the offbeat and the upbeat, the buoyant bob and weave. She’s a poet of perpetual motion, cataloguing pockets of turbulence, gospels of lust, the hours before happy—and after. Erotic, comic, quirky with wordplay and double entendre, her poems embrace the everyday, teasing the miraculous from the mundane. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Meitner casts a wry, empathic eye on the sanctities and subterfuges that keep us human. She is a true original, her affectionate attention resonating in poems that “make the world sing on cue.”
Ron Wallace

“In Erika Meitner’s Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore, we enter worlds marvelously realized, our intrepid narrator an unerring guide. Whether we navigate the initiatory mysteries and indignities of adolescent urgencies, the perils and pleasures of the adult sexual quest, or the vital chaos of teaching in a Brooklyn public school, we are in the care of a poet who cares: feisty, funny, and ever alert to the telling details of a life lived in the rush and anguish of the post-modern world. These are poems like the tattoos she hymns and ponders—they mark our being with their delicate, indelible patterns, their swoops and utterances and wild surmises.”
Greg Orr

“The reader takes an unpredictable, exhilarating trip with the subject matter of Erika Meitner’s poems—from memories of a hormone-charged adolescence in the big city, to adult affairs of love and lust and loss; from learning to teach in a classroom filled with pubescent fireplug mirrors of oneself, to confronting one’s Jewish history at the hands of an equally fiery grandmother. But riding heard on all this range is Meitner’s distinctly snappy voice, a blend of assertiveness and vulnerability…”
—Stephen Corey, Judge of the 2002 Anhinga Prize for Poetry