Megan Levad’s writing has been praised as “surprising,” “vivid, imposing” (San Francisco Chronicle), “exquisite” (Bombay Gin), and “odd, darkly funny, very smart” (Portland Mercury). The Paris Review wrote that What Have I to Say to You is not only full of “memorable lines and bold vision,” but is “one of the actually good poetry books of the last fifteen years.”
Megan is the author of Why We Live in the Dark Ages, the first selection in Tavern Books’ Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series, and What Have I to Say to You, published by Tavern in 2018. A recent MacDowell Fellow, Megan’s poems have appeared in Poem-a-Day, Tin House, Granta, Fence, London art and fashion magazine AnOther, and the Everyman’s Library anthology Killer Verse, among other publications.
Megan also collaborates with composers. She has written lyrics for several pieces, including “Let Us Plant Our Gardens Now,” with Dominick DiOrio, who also set “Broken” with text from What Have I to Say to You, and “Volta” and Given a Body with Kristin Kuster. Kristin and Megan premiered their first opera, Kept, at the Virginia Arts Festival in May 2017 with support from the John Duffy Institute for New Opera. When There Are Nine, their song cycle about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, debuted at the 2019 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where Megan was the Festival’s 2019 Writer-in-Residence. She is currently working with Tucker Fuller on Gilded, a song cycle for tenor scheduled to premiere at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans in Fall 2019.
Megan earned her BA in English from The University of Iowa and her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Program’s Theodore Roethke Prize and was selected by Mary Ruefle for a Zell Postgraduate Fellowship. For several years after the MFA, Megan was the Assistant Director of the Helen Zell Writers' Program. Born and raised in rural Iowa, she now lives in California.