Megan Levad’s work has been praised as “surprising” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “odd, darkly funny, very smart” (Portland Mercury). The Paris Review wrote that 2017’s What Have I to Say to You is “one of the best poetry books of the last fifteen years.”
A 2017 MacDowell Fellow, Levad is the author of Why We Live in the Dark Ages, the first selection in Tavern Books’ Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series. Her poems have appeared in Tin House, Poem-a-Day, Granta, Fence, and the Everyman’s Library anthology Killer Verse, which published a poem from her first musical collaboration, Murder, a song cycle with Tucker Fuller.
Levad has since 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 Yet the Stars with Theodore Morrison; and Volta and Given a Body with Kristin Kuster. Kuster and Levad premiered their first opera, Kept, in May 2017 with the Virginia Arts Festival; and Levad is again working with Tucker on Gilded, a song cycle for tenor scheduled to premiere at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans in Fall 2019.
Megan earned her B.A. in English from The University of Iowa and her M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Program’s Roethke Prize and was selected by Mary Ruefle for a Zell Postgraduate Fellowship. Levad served for several years as Assistant Director of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. She now lives in California.
Levad is the librettist for When There Are Nine, to be premiered on opening night, August 2; she is also the Festival’s 2019 Poet in Residence.