Joshua Mehigan

b. 1969
Joshua Mehigan

Poet Joshua Mehigan grew up in upstate New York and received a BA from Purchase College and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.

Influenced by the poetry of Philip Larkin, Jorge Luis Borges, and Edgar Bowers, Mehigan writes intelligent, morally complex lyric poems shaped by a nuanced attention to rhyme and meter. Critic Adam Kirsch praised The Optimist in a review for the New York Sun, observing, “Mr. Mehigan is Frost-like in the way he plays speech rhythms against the patterns of verse, creating a tense, deceptively simple music. . . . Mr. Mehigan also has something of Frost’s delight in darkness; many of his poems offer the uncomfortable surprise that Poe called the most important element of poetry.” Speaking to that darkness, Mehigan noted, “I’m often trying to approach beauty, humanity, and love through their antitheses. Sometimes I don’t reach my destination.”

The Optimist (2004), Mehigan’s first collection of poetry, won the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was named a Big Ten University Press Pick by ForeWord magazine. Mehigan has also received a Pushcart Prize and the Dogwood Poetry Prize.

Mehigan’s poetry has been featured in several anthologies, including the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets (2009), Poetry: A Pocket Anthology (2007), and Writing Metrical Poetry (2006). His essays and reviews have appeared in the New Criterion, Poetry, and Poetry Daily. In 2011, his essay “I Though You Were a Poet” won Poetry's Editor's Prize.

Mehigan has worked as an editor and instructor, and lives in New York City.

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Translated By Joshua Mehigan

Articles By JOSHUA MEHIGAN

Audio & Podcasts

The Poetry Magazine Podcast
  • Listen Engineering an April
    Poems from Joshua Mehigan, Lisa Russ Spaar, and Sara Peters; plus Peter Campion on Mad Tom.
The Poetry Magazine Podcast The Poetry Magazine Podcast
  • Listen "You are what's fallen"
    Poems from David Ferry, Calvin Forbes, Spencer Reece, plus Joshua Mehigan on poetry and madness.
Poetry Lectures

Poet Categorization

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

LIFE SPAN 1969–

Joshua Mehigan

Biography

Poet Joshua Mehigan grew up in upstate New York and received a BA from Purchase College and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Influenced by the poetry of Philip Larkin, Jorge Luis Borges, and Edgar Bowers, Mehigan writes intelligent, morally complex lyric poems shaped by a nuanced attention to rhyme and meter. Critic Adam Kirsch praised The Optimist in a review for the New York Sun, observing, “Mr. Mehigan is Frost-like in . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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