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Poet's Voice: Award Winning Poet Erika Meitner

Poet and writer Erika Meitner is a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, the author of five books of poems, winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award for Poetry, and Director of the MFA program in Creative Writing. She will be reading her poetry and in-conversation with Westport's inaugural Poet Laureate, Diane Meyer Lowman.

Born and raised in Queens and Long Island, NY, Erika 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, Ravensbruck, and Mauthausen concentration camps. 

Her newest collection, Holy Moly Carry Me (BOA, 2018) transports readers into the heart of southern Appalachia—its highways and strip malls, its fragility and danger—as the speaker wrestles with racial tensions, religious identity, gun violence, raising children, and the anxieties of life in the 21st century. With a refusal to settle for easy answers, Meitner’s poems embrace life in an increasingly fractured society, and they never stop asking what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves. 

CLICK HERE to order a copy of Holy Moly Carry Me from Diane's Books of Greenwich. Diane's Books will also be onsite during the book signing.

Her poetry and prose have been included in the anthologies Best American Poetry (2011), Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days (2010), and Best African American Essays (2010), The Way We Work: Contemporary Writings from the American Workplace (2008), and Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections (2008), as well as many journals, including The New York Times Magazine, The Southern Review, Slate, The Kenyon Review, Tin House, The New Republic, Ploughshares, and APR.

Meitner attended Dartmouth College, Hebrew University, 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 was the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Hermitage Artist Retreat, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She was also the recipient of the 2021 Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Memorial Award.

Meitner is currently a Professor of English, and the Director of the MFA program in Creative Writing and the undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Virginia Tech. She lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Diane Meyer Lowman's essays have appeared in many publications, including O, The Oprah Magazine; Brain, Child; Brevity Blog; and When Women Waken. She writes a weekly column called Everything’s an Essay. In addition to essays, she has written a memoir called Nothing But Blue, which was published in November 2018. Shortly thereafter, she received her M.A. in Shakespeare Studies from the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute. She has explored other forms of literary expression in more than 2,000 haiku and essays analyzing each of Shakespeare's 37 plays. In July 2019, she was named Westport, CT’s first Poet Laureate.

For your safety, all attendees will be required to show proof of full vaccination (in the form of their CDC Vaccination Card or a photo or photocopy of the Card) or a negative PCR Test taken within 72 hours of the event. No one will be admitted without this documentation. Protocols may be modified as and when laws, science, and/or institutional requirements change. Capacity in the Berkley Theater is set at 100% for adult programs.  

Click Here to register for the livestreaming program.

The Poet's Voice series is supported by the Horace E. Manacher Poetry Fund and Friends of the Greenwich Library.

Saturday, November 20, 2021
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Berkley Theater
  Adult     Everyone     Senior     Teens  
  Author Talk     Book Discussion     Lecture and Conversation     Literature and Writing  
Registration has closed.