Though deeply in conversation with the past and present, Holy Moly Carry Me also grapples with the uncertainty of what’s to come in spaces rampant with mass shootings, racism, and war ... Meitner writes boldly and unapologetically about the public sphere, but each poem is as intimate as it is grand ... Her sense of humor is on display throughout as well ... As much as anything, Holy Moly Carry Me is about navigating the world’s disorder ('the space between the hole and the holy') and finding a way through the brokenness—finding 'in our actual steps,' as one poem’s speaker puts it, the 'song / that’s not quite song.'
The poet’s daily encounters are genuine and relatable. So, too, is her inner questioning and hope for compassion. But Meitner pulls no punches ... Meitner has created a keen social record of, and commentary on, our persistent human atrocities, but she also admirably transcends the dire in a search for salvation.
In Meitner’s hands, just about anything can be an artifact of biblical proportions ... Part of the collection’s magnetism is this emphasis on compassion and protection. Almost every poem gets political—addressing issues like gun violence, systemic racism, outrage over teacher salaries, and religious persecution—but it never feels preachy; rather, it reads as someone you wholly trust telling you, matter-of-factly, how it is ... With Holy Moly Carry Me, Erika Meitner has written a collection we very much need in 2018.