Erika Meitner and Honora Ankong to Read from ‘Useful Junk’ and ‘Our Gods are Hungry for Elegies’
April 1, 2022
Erika Meitner and Honora Ankong will read from their new books, “Useful Junk” and “Our Gods are Hungry for Elegies,” respectively, on Thursday, April 7. The event will take place at 7 p.m. in Shanks Hall 370/380.
The event is a celebration of the Virginia Tech MFA program. Meitner is a professor of English, and Ankong is a student.
Meitner is the winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award for poetry and the author of six books of poems, including: “Useful Junk,” “Holy Moly Carry Me,” “Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore,” “Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls,” “Copia,” and “Ideal Cities,” which was a 2009 National Poetry series winner.
“There are so many layers of revelation embodied in Erika Meitner’s ‘Useful Junk,’ and so many selves allowed to speak and shine here,” said Carrie Fountain, author of “The Life.” “This book is more than I thought a book could be. Sharp and funny and horny and transcendent and generous and human as hell, it is the very book of poems all my selves have been waiting for.”
Honora Ankong is a poet and writer from Cameroon. She is currently completing an MFA in poetry at Virginia Tech. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology, and has been published by several outlets, including “Cream City Review,” “Foglifter,” “Notre Dame Review,” “Glass,” “The Maine Review,” and “Lolwe.”
“In the tradition of Saidiya Hartman and Cheryl Dunye, ‘Our Gods Are Hungry for Elegies’ conceives of speculative histories that queer our present iconography,” said Whiting Award winner, Xan Phillips. Phillips also called Ankong’s book an “urgent embodiment that tenders what has hardened within me and ignites what was once forgotten.”