"People appreciate the balance of flavors, as opposed to the 'put some hair on your chest! It's the most bitter IPA.""Full disclosure: This is a book I had to read for class last week."Beer: Tears of my Enemies by Monday Night Brewing (Atlanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama)Poetry: Erika Meitner's book Holy Moly Carry Me (2018, BOA Editions)Girl Crush: Ruth Bader GinsburgWe're 34 episodes in, and we're still surviving and balancing work and school and the podcast and the minimal fun you can have during a global pandemic. But sometimes, we'll just take a few shortcuts, such as reading poems from a book assigned for class or enjoying a small beer before a Zoom class gets going. It's called ~balance~.But even if we're working on crunched schedules, we're not short on fun things to talk about. This week, Erica enjoys her first beer from a physical Monday Night Brewing, as opposed to the grocery store, and compares it to an apple fritter with breakfast. Alyx reads select poems from Erika Meitner's book, "Holy Moly Carry Me," and we discuss Meitner's ability to balance normalcy and the mundane with beautiful imagery and subtle messages. It's a good one, folks. So put on your sweaters, hold a book close and crack open a beer. It's fall, baby!
Ayyye—look at us here together again! I'm sure you know by now, love, but last week we talked it up with Erika Meitner on whiteness, witness, and weathering trauma. This week, she brought us the poem "Night Travelers" by Campbell McGrath for us to be mesmerized by. Check it out! ERIKA MEITNER is the author of five books of poems. Her first book, Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore, won the 2002 Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and was published in 2003 by Anhinga Press. Her second book, Ideal Cities, was selected by Paul Guest as a winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series competition, and was published in 2010 by HarperCollins. Her third collection, Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls, was published by Anhinga Press in 2011. Her fourth collection of poems, Copia, was published by BOA Editions in 2014 as part of their American Poets Continuum Series, and her newest collection, Holy Moly Carry Me, was also published by BOA Editions in September 2018. Holy Moly Carry Me is the winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in poetry, and a finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle award in poetry. CAMPBELL MCGRATH has published numerous collections of poetry, including Spring Comes to Chicago (1996), which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. McGrath’s many books of poetry include Capitalism (1990); American Noise (1994); Florida Poems (2002); Pax Atomica (2005); Seven Notebooks (2007); and In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys (2012). McGrath’s work typically works as a kind of catalog; its long lines attempt to look at the vast complexity of America and penetrate its paradoxes and attractions. McGrath is also the co-translator of Aristophanes’s The Wasps (1999). He has won a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Cohen Award from Ploughshares literary journal, and a Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been widely anthologized, including in The New Bread Loaf Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (1999), The New American Poets (2000), and Great American Prose Poems (2003). McGrath has taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Florida International University.
Dear ones: we were blessed for this week's episode to have Erika Meitner come through. We chatted it up about documentary poetics, political rhetoric, pop culture detritus, saviors, and more. But before that conversation, your cute hosts waded into the *poetry plagarism* discussion. ERIKA MEITNER is the author of five books of poems. Her first book, Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore, won the 2002 Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and was published in 2003 by Anhinga Press. Her second book, Ideal Cities, was selected by Paul Guest as a winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series competition, and was published in 2010 by HarperCollins. Her third collection, Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls, was published by Anhinga Press in 2011. Her fourth collection of poems, Copia, was published by BOA Editions in 2014 as part of their American Poets Continuum Series, and her newest collection, Holy Moly Carry Me, was also published by BOA Editions in September 2018. Holy Moly Carry Me is the winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in poetry, and a finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle award in poetry. HIBISCUS ON THE SLEEPING SHORES “Shut to the blather that the water made / Rose up besprent and sought the sleeping red… all the stupid afternoon” —Wallace Stevens, “Hibiscus on the Sleeping Shores” This drink glows a bright, hypnotic pink in the light, making it a perfect day-drinking cocktail. Pairs well with a view of water, naps in the sun, and our conversation with the equally bright, equally delightful Erika Meitner. INGREDIENTS: Ice, Gin, Tonic Water, Fresh lime, Hibiscus tea (strong, chilled), Hibiscus bloom (garnish, optional) *Your ratios are your own—Mix it to taste!
Erika Meitner was born and raised in Queens and Long Island, New York. She is the author of five books of poems: Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore, Ideal Cities, Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls, Copia, and Holy Moly Carry Me. In addition to teaching creative writing at UVA, UW-Madison, and UC-Santa Cruz, she has worked as a dating columnist, an office temp, a Hebrew school instructor, a computer programmer, a systems consultant, a lifeguard, a documentary film production assistant, and a middle school teacher in the New York City public school system. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Poet Erika Meitner reads her poem “I’ll Remember You As You Were, Not As You’ll Become,” and talks with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain about working in documentary film, coming to poetry, and what it means to her to write “political poetry” today.
Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People)
In this special two-part episode, Rachel Zucker speaks with poet Erika Meitner, author of four books, most recently Copia. In part one, Meitner details her circuitous route to becoming a poet, her early influences (especially the work of Mark Doty), and her conversational diction and increasingly straight-forward poetics. She explains that much of her work arises from a commitment to writing accurately and respectfully about the small town in which she lives, and the challenges of writing as an engaged member of her community while being an othered outsider, a poet, a Jew, and the white mother of a black son. Meitner and Zucker discuss documentary poetry, the ethical considerations of writing about real people, alternatives to the pastoral, and "gritpo," a term neither of them really understand. In part two, Meitner and Zucker speak by phone so that Meitner can describe her experience of reporting in verse while in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. Their conversation explores the difference between poetry and media, the challenges of working on commission and on deadline, and the efficacy of poetry as a tool for social justice.EPISODE TRANSCRIPT EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE SIXErika Meitner’s essay on Rita Dove from the anthology Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections edited by Arielle Greenberg and Rachel Zucker Erika Meitner’s websiteErika’s BooksCopiaIdeal Cities MakeShift Instructions for Vigilant GirlsInventory at the All-Night Drug StoreErika’s Detroit project on Virginia Quarterly ReviewRyan Spencer Reed, the photographer that Erika worked with on the Cleveland / RNC Project Links to documentary poets and specific books/projects Erika mentionsPhilip Metres’s Sand Opera and a great essay Metres wrote for Poetry Foundation's Poetry and Journalism Symposium presented in conjunction with the Columbia School of Journalism on the question: Can poetry document an historical moment rather than just offer a subjective account of events? Murial Rukeyser’s Book of the Dead [link to Collected Poems]C.D. Wright’s One Big Self and One with OthersNick Flynn’s The Ticking is the BombAdrian Matejka’s The Big SmokeClaudia Rankin’s CitizenSusan B.A. Somers-Willet’s Women of TroyNatasha Tretheway's Beyond KatrinaKwame Dawes’s project on the spread of HIV in Jamaica - HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in JamaicaMark Doty's My Alexandria