Erika Meitner’s new book Copia was chosen for the September Rumpus Poetry Book Club! In the essay that kicked off the month-long discussion for the virtual reading group, Camille Dungy responds to the question “Why I Chose Erika Meitner’s Copia for The Rumpus Poetry Book Club” with a barrage of ‘because’: “because this book is written with the attentive eye of an unrequited lover,” “because there is hope amidst the dissolution,” “because that’s how life looks sometimes,” and most notably, because “the poems in Copia are poems we need right now.” Why are they poems we need right now? According to the review by The Rumpus' Julie Enszer, it is because they make readers ask important questions about the world we live in right now: “what is enough? In a world where anything and everything a human might desire seems to be available for purchase twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week…When is plenty enough?” Both Dungy and Enszer remark on the way the poems ask readers to navigate profound and paradoxical experience. Enszer notes how the poems demonstrate that “the copious availability of consumer products does not diminish loss,” while Dungy says, “these things she writes are just what they are: mundane and miraculous. Like Niagara Falls, which, one poem reminds us, is bleak and also one of the wonders of the world.” Much of the month-long discussion hinges on the “playful” quality of the poems and on the overwhelming feeling of being swept away with Meitner’s long, breathless lines that “cannot be contained in the usual trim poetry books.” But, as Enszer recognizes, this playful overwhelm is tempered by the largeness of the themes that are at the heart of Meitner’s book: “the relationship between physical objects and ideas, between things and emotions, between the detritus of life and the ephemerality of humanness.” It is this interplay that makes Copia “large, oversized, commanding.” Click here to read the full The Rumpus essay by Camille T. Dungy. Click here to read the entire The Rumpus review by Julie Enszer. Click here to read the full The Rumpus interview with Erika Meitner. Copia is available at the BOA Bookstore.
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