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Erika Meitner
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So this is my last blog for the week. I meant to blog last night, but I ended up out late--we went to see a documentary film that my friend Katy Powell worked on with the photographer and filmmaker Richard Knox Robinson, called "Rothstein's First Assignment: A Story About Documentary Truth." The film was an experimental documentary about Federal Security Administration photographer Arthur Rothstein, who was sent to Southwest Virginia in the 1930s to photograph people--ostensibly to capture mountain families and their way of life before they were displaced to establish Shenandoah National Park--as part of Roy Stryker's team of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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I should be writing a recommendation letter now for one of my many students who have asked me to complete this task for them so that they can get a job, get an MFA (most of the requests are for these), or get into some other form of graduate school. Recommendation letters--the writing and distribution of them--have gotten way more complicated in the past three or four years. It used to be that I wrote one letter, students would open a file at career services, and I'd send one copy of the letter there. Then career services would send out... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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I am currently sitting on my couch with a bag of frozen peas on my foot, as I think I broke my toe on my son's new bed. We finally got a 'big boy bed' for him at Ikea, and I slammed my foot into it tonight while navigating around at bedtime. We had to get him a bigger bed for one main reason--he ran out of room for all of his stuffed animals. The kid sleeps with a menagerie that would give the Bronx Zoo a run for its money. There's doggie, little doggie, little little doggie, 4 bunnies,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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Being Jewish in small-town Appalachia around Hanukkah time is an exercise in resourcefulness. We have no synagogue here--only a lay-led Jewish Community Center. The president of the center is very fastidious about keeping the mass emailings to official events and business, but about two nights ago, she sent out a note that it was ok to use the list to discuss where to find Hanukkah candles locally. The emails started, hot and heavy: the Target had blue and white candles, the Target was out of them, someone spotted them in the Kroger bargain bin by the registers marked down to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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My grandmother, my Oma, my father's mother, Greta Platschek Meitner (zikhronah livrakha)--died Monday morning at 12:45am. She was 92 years old, and she was my last surviving grandparent. I've written many poems about my maternal grandmother--my Baba--who survived Auschwitz, and was warm, funny, and unbelievably strong-willed. At 94, after having her leg amputated, she was still in physical therapy every day trying to re-learn to walk. Baba's first language was Yiddish, and she was an old-school baleboosteh--a chicken-soup-making machine, who lived in Florida in the winters, a bungalow colony in the Catskills in the summers, and was great at dispensing... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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I got back yesterday from a week in New York with my immediate and extended family for Thanksgiving, and I've almost recovered. All conversation is always being conducted at a yell in my family--think George Costanza's parents: The main casualty of this was my voice (and a little bit of my sanity). I'm mainly thankful that I'm not still stuck on the Cross Bronx Expressway or the GW Bridge writing this blog post. It's a 10 full hours of driving from Exit 33 on the Long Island Expressway, where I grew up and my parents still live, to Exit 118... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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Nov 27, 2010