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Erika Meitner: Useful Junk
April 4, 2022 @ EST 7:30 pm - 8:15 pmFree
In this new collection, Meitner explores memory, passion, and the various ways the body sees and is seen. With dauntless vulnerability, she taps into the metaphysical, the ekphrastic, the sensual, and the ordinary moments of life, remaining porous and open to the world, and always returning to the desires rooted deep within the self as a way forward in a damaged world. Boldly asserting that pleasure is a vital form of knowledge, Useful Junk reminds us that our selves are made real and beautiful by our embodied experiences, and that our desire is what keeps us alive.
“Useful Junk is indisputably addictive, graced by the poet’s signature clutch on quirky, her dazzling and exhaustive range, and a dexterity with lyric that consistently upends the ordinary. An Erika Meitner poem is not only enviable art—it’s a loosening of what ties us to the ordinary. And the long-anticipated arrival of this new work is cause for unbridled celebration, a necessary reminder that great poetry always arrives just when we need it.”
—Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary Art
Erika Meitner is the author of six books of poems, including Holy Moly Carry Me (BOA, 2018), which winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Copia (BOA, 2014); and Ideal Cities (HarperCollins, 2010), a 2009 National Poetry series winner. Her poems have been anthologized widely and have appeared in such publications as Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and Poetry. Meitner lives in rural southwest Virginia and is currently a Professor of English at Virginia Tech.