Erika Meitner

Erika Meitner

Erika Meitner

Associate Professor


410 Shanks Hall 
181 Turner Street NW 
Blacksburg, VA 24061


(540) 231-7728


Department Membership


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  • Creative writing
  • Poetry
  • Contemporary American poetry and poetics
  • Documentary poetry
  • Jewish studies

Professional Activities

  • Director, VT Creative Writing MFA Program
  • Commission on Equal Opportunity & Diversity
  • Association of Writers & Writing Programs
  • Editorial Board, the minnesota review
  • Affiliate, Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry


  • M.F.A. University of Virginia, Creative Writing
  • M.A. University of Virginia, Religious Studies
  • B.A. Dartmouth College

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    • US-UK Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast (2014-15)
    • 2012 Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry from Virginia Quarterly Review
    • 2009 National Poetry Series winner for Ideal Cities 

    Selected Publications


    • Copia (Rochester, NY: BOA Editions, 2014)
    • Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls (Tallahassee, FL: Anhinga Press, 2011)
    • Ideal Cities (New York: Harper Perennial, 2010)
    • Inventory at the All-night Drugstore (Tallahassee, FL: Anhinga Press, 2003)


    • “Outside the Abandoned Packard Plant,” The New York Times (Sunday Magazine, 8 March 2015): MM27.
    • “Post-Game-Day Blessing” and “On the Road,” The Kenyon Review 37.2 (Mar/Apr 2015): 36-40.
    • “Had Shot” and “Shooting Range,” Tin House 17.1 (Theft Issue 65, August 2015): 147-148.
    • “Sex Ed.” Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation. Eds. Lynn Melnick and Brett Fletcher Lauer. New York: Viking Penguin, 2015. 112-115. 

    Additional Information

    As a poet and teacher of creative writing, I am interested in unhinging and investigating the connections between emotion, language, and story, as well as different ways of constructing narratives in verse: straight-up, fractured, beat-boxed, lyric, winding, and metaphorically luminous poems. My work tends to deal with women’s bodies and female sexuality, the perils and pleasures of adolescence, urban peripheries and interstitial spaces. Lately I've been working on documentary poems that explore the intersections of trauma, image, reportage, pop-culture, consumption, violence, and memory. My writing is often informed by my interests in very contemporary American poetry of all schools and un-schools, poetry and performance, and new media creative writing. In addition to being a poet, I have an MA in Religion and Culture, focusing on Jewish Studies, from the University of Virginia. My research interests include Jewish and Muslim women’s literature, the Jewish-American novel, material religion, and new ritual. I'm the author of four books of poems, and my work has appeared in publications including The Best American Poetry 2011, Best African American Essays 2010, Tin House, Ploughshares, The New Republic, The New York Times, and elsewhere. You can find more about me at