Melissa Studdard: Everyone In Me Is A Bird

Everyone In Me Is A Bird - poem featured in the New York Times

Melissa Studdard: Everyone In Me Is A Bird. Featured in the New York Times

Top top Yay! Here’s the print version of the New York Times “Being Women” feature with my poem. You can see two of Maddie McGarvey and Annie Flanagan’s photographs here, as well as photographs by Anjali Pinto and a poem by Jennifer Chang. Multimedia collaboration is one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a writer, and I’m so happy to share space with these talented women. Thank you, Morrigan McCarthy & Kerri MacDonald!

My poem in the New York Times

Melissa Studdards poem - Everyone In Me Is A Bird - featured in the New York Times
Melissa Studdards poem – Everyone In Me Is A Bird – featured in the New York Times

For the love of henna!

At The Hermitage Artist Retreat
At The Hermitage Artist Retreat
When the birdsong rings human by Melissa Studdard

Yes!! My first New England Review publication–one of my Philomela poems! Many thanks to Rick Barot and Carolyn Kuebler. Cannot wait to read the rest of the issue, which is power packed with terrific poets and writers!‬

first friday - Houstons oldest poetry reading series hosted by Robert Clark at Inprint House presents Melissa Studdard

first friday – Houstons oldest poetry reading series hosted by Robert Clark at Inprint House presents Melissa Studdard

I’m excited to read at the Inprint House at 8:30 PM for the First Friday Series. There will be an open mic too! Bring yourself! Bring poems!! Bring smiles! Hope to see some of you there.
PS I did not make this wonderful banner. Robert Clark, who runs the series, made it.

I’m delighted to have a poem in the new issue of The Pedestal Magazine. Many thanks to Malaika King Albrecht, John Amen, and Stefan Lovasik.

I’m not a huge fan of making announcements like this on Facebook, but I know it will be announced at the reading I was supposed to give tonight, as well as in some other contexts, so … First of all, Rosalind and I are absolutely okay!
But, a few days ago we were in a car accident, and my car was totaled, and we had a few injuries–Rosalind has some bruises and minor injuries, and I have a fractured rib and other minor injuries. I’m out of the hospital now, but I’m resting a lot, and I’m behind on everything.
I know I owe people interview responses, poems for publications, correspondences, and all kinds of other work. Please be patient with me as I work to catch up, rest, and heal. 💞And many thanks to all who have been so kind and supportive already. One thing an accident or illness always reminds me is how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life.
Reading for the Writers for Migrant Justice in benefit of Immigrant Families Together at the Houston Holocaust Museum

Reading for the Writers for Migrant Justice in benefit of Immigrant Families Together at the Houston Holocaust Museum.
I’ll be part of this reading for the Writers for Migrant Justice in benefit of Immigrant Families Together, this Wednesday, 9/4, starting at 6:30 PM at the Houston Holocaust Museum.

Lupe Mendez, Robin Davidson, Analicia Sotelo, Leslie Contreras Schwartz, Roberto J. Tejada, Ron Starbuck, Robert Clark, Robin Reagler, Kevin Prufer, Daniel Peña, Dave Parsons, Gabrielle Langley, Rich Levy, Katie Hoerth, Jane Creighton, Erika Jo Brown, and several more outstanding writers and poets will also be reading.

In addition, we’ll raffle books to stand in solidarity with our transmigrant/refugee/immigrant brothers / sisters / siblings.

If you’re not in Houston and would like to support this event, there are readings taking place tomorrow in over 40 cities.

Michael and Erika say we should start a 98 Degrees cover band

Michael and Erika say we should start a 98 Degrees cover band called “98 Degrees in Florida with a Heat Index of 107.” It was an inspiring week with this bunch, and I am so grateful to The Hermitage Artist Retreat for making it happen.

Melissa Studdard looking forward to the Reading with Michael J Seidlinger on the Hermitage beach
Melissa Studdard looking forward to the Reading with Michael J Seidlinger on the Hermitage beach.

This is how writers strut the catwalk! Lol! I’m very much looking forward to reading with Michael J Seidlinger on the Hermitage beach. I’ll be reading new poetry and from ‘I Ate the Cosmos for breakfast’, and Michael will be reading from a manuscript-in-progress about a social-media-driven road trip he took across the US.

Melissa Studdard turning 50 - photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher
Melissa Studdard turning 50 – photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

In turning 50, I’m overcome with gratitude for my life and the people in it. My friends and family are the greatest gifts, the ones I happily receive every day. If could give one piece of advice to those younger than me it would be to build a life of mutually supportive relationships. Nothing has made a greater impact on my well-being and creativity than beginning to restrict toxic relationships and foster healthy ones. Thank you, my friends, for being your beautiful, supportive selves.

Rosalind Williamson with her first published poem
Rosalind Williamson with her first published poem

This is my kid’s first published poem! In the brand new, super cool Defunkt Magazine.

Melissa Studdard in Aspen
Melissa Studdard in Aspen

In the bounty of gorgeous trails that is Aspen, my favorite is here, at the end of Castle Creek, near an old mining ghost town.

Vivek Tailor from New Delhi and his article about Melissa Studdard and her work
Vivek Tailor from New Delhi and his article about Melissa Studdard

I’m so grateful to the wonderful, brilliant poet/doctor/critic Vivek Tailor for this article about my work. One of my favorite days ever was when I got to meet him in person in New Delhi, and we ran around all day visiting mosques and historical sites. There’s a picture of us here from that day!

Melissa Studdard in LA
Melissa Studdard in LA

The two most glorious thing about LA are the poets and the trees! Thank you, Elena Secota, for this photo with my beloved jacaranda! And many thanks to Lois P. Jones for hosting me in so many lovely ways, and to Maja Trochimczyk for having me read in her wonderful Village Poets Reading Series at Bolton Hall Museum.

The woman who fell in love with a jacaranda tree

The woman who fell in love with a jacaranda tree.

Melissa Studdard read for Poetry Night accompanied by D Dar Casas
Melissa Studdard read for Poetry Night accompanied by D Dar Casas

What an honor it was last night to be accompanied by D Dar Casas and her magnificent guitar stylings as I read for Poetry Night on The Veranda at LaCenterra. Thank you for the wonderful photo, Cary Loughman!

Melissa Studdard with one of three new poems in the double issue of Cutthroat
I’m thrilled to have 3 poems in the new double issue of Cutthroat. This one is an Epithalamion, written last summer to read at a pre-wedding celebration for 2 of my amazing poet friends, Paige Lewis & Kaveh Akbar. It’s just barely past their one year anniversary now. Many thanks to Pam Uschuk and William Pitt Root, who always do such a beautiful job of curating the issues. It’s an honor to be in such company!

Melissa Studdards poem - Daughter - translated by Faruk Hosen for Shahittobarta
Melissa Studdards poem – Daughter – translated by Faruk Hosen for Shahittobarta

Oh oh! How lovely is this? Thanks to Faruk Hosen for translating my poem “Daughter” for Shahittobarta.

Visible Poetry Project released a video poem made by Pat van Boeckel based on Melissa Studdards poem “To Be With Trees” for their National Poetry Month Series.

I decided to stay in Manasota Key an extra week (😌!!!) so I’m in island/residency mode and running late on everything, but here’s something lovely–a couple of days ago, Visible Poetry Project released a video poem made by Pat van Boeckel based on my poem “To Be With Trees” for their National Poetry Month Series. Many thanks to VPP and Pat, as well as Jenn Givhan and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, who originally published the poem.

A starfish on the floor beside Melissa Studdards bed
A starfish on the floor beside Melissa Studdards bed

The Hermitage Artist Retreat is indeed a magical place. I woke up this morning and this starfish was on the floor beside my bed. How did it get there? My door was locked. It’s been awhile since the starfish was alive, for sure. Now, a poem is about to happen.

The view outside my studio at The Hermitage Artist Retreat
The view outside my studio at The Hermitage Artist Retreat
Melissa Studdard is poet in residence at The Hermitage Artist Retreat and she has the opportunity to carry on the Favorite Poem Project readings

Starting next week, I’ll be poet in residence at The Hermitage Artist Retreat in Manasota Key, Florida for a few weeks, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to carry on their tradition of community Favorite Poem Project readings.

The Favorite Poem Project was established by wonderful poetry champion Robert Pinsky in 1997, and he also kicked off the Hermitage Favorite Poem reading series in 2012. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be beautiful! And if weather permits, it will be on the beach! Also, I will be reading “Samurai Song“, which is a favorite poem of mine!

I am delighted to announce that I’m passing the baton of the Women’s Caucus presidency to someone we all love, trust, and admire, Jenn Givhan. And I am also delighted to announce that the amazing Lynn Melnick has agreed to stay on as VP another year! Hooray for women writers. It’s going to be a great year! Also, I will so miss working with Hafizah Geter, who has served the max three year officer cycle and is stepping down with me. Hafizah, I’m sure the entire caucus will miss the deep care and expertise you brought to everything you did for the caucus – Melissa Studdard

REELpoetry Houston 2019
REELpoetry Houston 2019

‘I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast’ won the Audience Award at the REEL Poetry festival!! So exciting! The festival, overall, has been an amazing experience. Much gratitude to Toni Holland, Fran Sanders, Billie Duncan, Jane Creighton, and everyone else who worked so hard to bring this wonderful new event to Houston. And thanks to everyone who voted for my poem. What a surprise!

I’m super excited that the Motionpoems film Dan Sickles made based on my poem ‘I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast’ will be shown at the REEL Poetry film festival in Houston this Saturday. I’ll be at the festival most of the weekend.

“A word, depending on where it’s placed, and at what time, can change everything.” – Joy Harjo

I’m so happy to share this VIDA Voices & Views interview I conducted with Joy Harjo. It’s full of wisdom and inspiration, thanks to her great answers!

Many thanks to R.J. Jeffreys too, for excellent production work.

I’m over the moon and skyline to see “Fascinating, the Parts of Us” featured at Poetry Daily today! Many thanks to the editors, and the Waxwing editors, who originally published the poem.

Melissa Studdard is judging the 2019 poetry prize for The Pangolin Review
Melissa Studdard is judging the 2019 poetry prize for The Pangolin Review

I’m delighted to announce that I’m judging the 2019 poetry prize for The Pangolin Review (deadline 31 October 2019). Last year’s winner was the amazing Alexis Rhone Fancher, and the runner up was the also amazing Bola Opaleke! You can read their winning poems at the site.

“I want to create more equality in this world. I want to stand up for the things that I see that are wrong. I want to build solidarity. In every poem, I won’t do all of that, but I can try my hardest to dedicate my life to making poems that cover as much of that as I can.” – Fatimah Asghar

Many wonderful words and insights from Fatimah Asghar in this interview conversation for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.
Many thanks to R.J. Jeffreys for some seriously advanced production work.

“I’m thrilled, and I mean THRILLED, to have my first acceptance from POETRY Magazine! I’m working hard on a new collection told mainly from the perspective of the severed tongue of the mythological character Philomela, and this is the first batch of poems I’ve sent out from it. What a blessing! So grateful for the editors for all they do!” – Melissa Studdard

South Florida Poetry Journal interviewed Melissa Studdard in June 2019:

He asked me which imaginary poetry hotel I would stop at, and I said it would be called “The Unfinished Wing of Heaven” after a line from Li-Young Lee’s ‘Book of My Nights’ and that the trees would grow poems instead of leaves, and birds would fly around inside the lobby, reciting poetry to the guests, and the bar would have a jukebox that played poems instead of songs, and each room would be wallpapered with the writings of a different poet…
I also talked about R.J. Jeffreys as my ideal editor, and I shared links to poems by Stalina Villarreal, Aliah Lavonne T, Bola Opaleke, and Noah Baldino.
Many thanks to Lenny DellaRocca and South Florida Poetry Journal Soflopojo for the fun questions! – Melissa Studdard

Congratulations to the winners of the April 2019 IBPC poetry contest: 1st Guy Kettelhack, 2nd Rachel Green, & 3rdToni Clark. It was my pleasure to judge such beautiful works – Melissa Studdard

“I wear my clothes like moods. I like to have the freedom to change styles in both life and writing. Why we wear what we wear … Many thanks to Marcelle Heath and Apparel for Authors for great questions like these. ” – Melissa Studdard

I wear my clothes like moods
72.1 I wear my clothes like moods
72.2 I wear my clothes like moods
72.3 I wear my clothes like moods
72.1 I wear my clothes like moods
Thank you to everyone who helped me choose which photo to use for the Poetry Foundation website. Here it is!

“Thanks again to Kelli Russell Agodon for the shots, which were taken on the last day of our Centrum residency when we were both at the height of inspiration and full of love for poetry and all things poetic!” – Melissa Studdard

Pam Uschuk about dignity in in About Place Journal

“What is dignity? Do we, as a culture, value it?” Pam Uschuk asks in the preface to the ‘Dignity as an Endangered Species’ Edition of ‘About Place Journal.

I’m honored to be a part of this conversation with my poem “Translating the Oracle,” published alongside gorgeous work by Nickole Brown, Rita Dove, Joy Harjo, Connie Post, Octavio Quintanilla, Hedy Sabbagh Habra, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Patricia Spears Jones, Cornelius Eady, Rebecca Seiferle, Lindsey Royce, and many others.

Thank you, Pam, for doing such important work, and always with so much heart.

“The world is incredibly beautiful, sad, harsh, lovely, lonely, nurturing, ugly, resplendent, sublime. I can’t quit thinking about it. I’m in love with it. I hate it. I have to write about it.”

Many thanks to Shafinur Shafin for interviewing me for Prachya Review.

Huge congratulations to my pressmate, poetry sister, AWP roomie, unnamed collective sibling, and friend, Leslie Contreras Schwartz, for being named Houston’s next poet laureate. Her outreach plan will focus on mental health, youth, and non-traditional communities. Leslie, I believe in you and cannot wait to see all the good you will do these next 2 years!! ❤️

Sometimes a review is a poem

Sometimes it feels like a review is a poem too! I love love love what Charles Clifford Brooks III wrote about ‘I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast’ in the new issue of The Blue Mountain Review: “The nature of existence is putty Studdard shapes into voluptuous bits of truth.” Voluptuous bits of truth? I’ll take it. Thank you, Charles!

Melissa Studdard - Philomelas tongue says

Yay! Soooo excited to see this new poem from my Philomela’s tongue project floating around Twitter from Poetry Foundation & Poetry Magazine!!

I’m out of town and haven’t seen the journal, so thank you, Zach Linge and Zoë Brigley Thompson for posting! Thank you, Don Share, Holly Amos, and Lindsay Garbutt for being incredible!

Melissa Studdard taking dance classes - live your dreams

“I’m almost 50 and finally taking the dance classes I have wanted to take since I was 5. I’m starting with bellydancing, which I LOVE. Live your dreams, friends. It’s not too late! Thank you, Anna Lisa Schkade-Siytangco. You are an amazing teacher! The best anyone could hope for … ” – Melissa Studdard

Melissa Studdards poem - The Heart Is a Muscular Organ - in Tiferet

I have a new poem in Tiferet, which just arrived in the mail. I so admire the care Donna Baier Stein, Jeremy Birkline, Adele Kenny, Gayle Brandeis, Lisa Sawyer, and all other editors take with this journal. Everything is always gorgeous – from the selections, to the cover art, to the design–even the signature font. ❤️

NEWORLDREVIEW - Melissa Studdard on the cover
NEWORLDREVIEW – Melissa Studdard on the cover

I got to be on the cover and have a poem in the journal. Fun!

Melissa Studdard and Kelli Russell Agodon at Centrum Foundation
Melissa Studdard and Kelli Russell Agodon at Centrum Foundation

We are going to write and write and write and write!

Many thanks to Christal Cooper for featuring my poem “Astral” in her blog series “Backstory of the Poem.” I really appreciate all the work she puts into this series. She dug up and included lots of fun photos of me, as well as images of and by Leonora Carrington, who is the subject of the poem. I talked about how I wrote “Astral,” resisting unhealthy conformity, and how I used to jump on a trampoline in my dress when I got home from work. Also included are notes that didn’t make it into the final draft of the poem.

Melissa Studdards poems in Waxwing
Melissa Studdards poems in Waxwing

After years of loving Waxwing, I finally submitted and am thrilled to see the beautiful red seal next to three new poems. Many thanks to Todd Kaneko, Erin Stalcup, Justin Bigos, & the other editors. I’m also happy to share space with Kelli Russell Agodon, Emmalee Hagarman, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Wren Hanks, Lisa Low, Adrian Belvins, Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Sam Ross, Laura Epósto, Catherine Pierce, Arlene Naganawa, Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad, and Chloe Martinez. Happy fifth anniversary, Waxwing! 🎉

Astral for Leonora Carrington by Melissa Studdard
Astral for Leonora Carrington by Melissa Studdard

I’m super happy to have a poem about one of my heroes, painter Leonora Carrington, and her immigration to Mexico, in the new issue of New World Review.

I was interviewed by Celeste Vertikal Duckworth on A Taste of Ink. There is a Music Intro.

Melissa Studdards two poems in the new issue of The Normal School

So happy to have 2 poems in The Normal School: A Literary Magazine, from California State University at Fresno.

Reading with Leslie Contreras Schwartz at Brazos Bookstore in Houston to celebrate the release of her new book Nightbloom & Cenote
Reading with Leslie Contreras Schwartz at Brazos Bookstore in Houston to celebrate the release of her new book Nightbloom & Cenote

“I’m excited to read with Leslie Contreras Schwartz Monday night at Brazos Bookstore in Houston to celebrate the release of her new book, Nightbloom & Cenote! I’ll be reading new work in addition to work from Cosmos. And there will be cookies! And wine!” – Melissa Studdard

A Celebration Of Love Poems
A Celebration Of Love Poems

This is going to be so beautiful! If you’re in Seattle tomorrow, come hear us celebrate Paige Lewis, Kaveh Akbar, poetry, & love love love!

Mellissa Studdard is invited to the Hermitage Artist Retreat
Mellissa Studdard is invited to the Hermitage Artist Retreat

I’m so excited to have received an invitation to be a fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, and am so grateful to my nominator! I get to spend 6 weeks there.

Melissa Studdard featured in the Dhaka Anthology of World Poetry 2018
Melissa Studdard featured in the Dhaka Anthology of World Poetry 2018

What a wonderful surprise! I didn’t realize I’d be getting a hardback copy of the Dhaka Anthology of World Literature. Thanks, Aminur Rahman & Bilkis Mansoor. I’m happy to be included. 😌

Here’s a gorgeous video Nikesh Murali created from my poem, “In Another Dimension, We Are Making Love.” If you love poetry, Nikesh is a must follow on Twitter. He makes and posts videos of contemporary poems regularly, and, as you can hear and see, his voice is honey golden, and his image pairings are lovely.

My Grandmother Was a Chandelier by Melissa Studdard
My Grandmother Was a Chandelier by Melissa Studdard

So happy to have this poem in the beautiful new issue of Smartish Pace! ❤️

The Jesus Bus by Melissa Studdard
The Jesus Bus by Melissa Studdard

I’m super thrilled to have this new poem, “The Jesus Bus” in the current wonder-filled issue of the New Ohio Review!

Happy World Poetry Day
Happy World Poetry Day!

I’m very happy to have two poems on the myth of Icarus featured at the University of Leicester’s Creative Writing Blog for World Poetry Day. Here’s the beginning of one of them (they’re long and skinny, like falling). Happy World Poetry Day, everyone! 🙂

Blue Mountain Review interview with Melissa Studdard
Blue Mountain Review interview with Melissa Studdard

I love the questions Charles Clifford Brooks III asked me for our Blue Mountain Review interview (page 100 – 102). I got to talk about how my grandmother took a 20 year Proust class, my mother instilled a love of storytelling in me, and my kid, Rosalind Williamson, is basically the literary love child of Franz Kafka and Gabriel García Márquez (not because of any credit to me, though I wish! ).

” I’m so excited to hear I was elected president of The Women’s Caucus for AWP! This really helps take the sting out of missing the conference. I can’t wait to get to work with amazing VP’s Hafizah Geter and Lynn Melnick. It’s going to be a great year. Many thanks also to Amy King, Margaret Rozga & Lois Roma-Deeley, who have been doing the work for a long time. 💛 ” – Melissa Studdard

Other articles you might be interested in:

Melissa Studdard

One year in Melissa Studdard’s life

Melissa Studdard

One year in Melissa Studdard’s life

10 May 2017
Last night I caught my 22 lb cat Henry sitting on top of these still umbloomed plants. This morning, GLORY! I always knew Henry was magical, but I had no idea he could hatch a giant, perfect hibiscus flower and a bunch of impatiens.

perfect hibiscus

02 May 2017
Me grading the first paper in a batch of 50: I feel weak. I need sustenance. I need oranges. Yes, only oranges will do. I’ll have to go to the store. This is the right thing to do for my students and myself because I need to be nourished and clear-minded while grading. But how silly to have to interrupt my work to go to the store for oranges. What I need is an orange tree. In my back yard. So this never happens again. I need a tree, mulch, soil, fertilizer, stakes, rope, a bigger shovel. I’m going to need to go to the nursery. And the grocery store–the tree I buy might not have fruit yet. Yes, that’s what I’ll do–I’ll make a quick run to the nursery and the store and then plant a tree so that I can do a proper job of grading these papers. I am so so so glad I figured this out before I got too far into the first paper and lost my place.

16 April 2017
I’m thrilled to announce that I’m a Kathak Literary Award winner for 2018 for the Dhaka International Poets Summit. Bangladesh, here I come!

16 April 2017
Last night I dreamed that a friend invited me to an Easter service at her church, and I was so excited to be there that I hung upside down with my legs over the backrest of the center front pew the way I used to hang from tree branches and jungle gyms when I was a kid. Rather than being annoyed, the priest was delighted and kept winking at me and making wild, ecstatic gestures with his arms. He later told everyone else they should try to get varying perspectives on religion too. I pretended like that was my lofty reason for hanging upside down, but really I just did it because I thought it would be fun and I was excited. Now I get to be a grown up and make the Easter meal, but in my head all day I’ll be hanging upside down from a pew.

10 April 2017
Oh my God, y’all. Today’s Poem-a-Day is incredible.

Saudade by Erika L. Sanchez

08 April 2017
I’m turning my little yard into a garden paradise. I have knock out roses, hibiscus, crepe myrtles, golden lantana, begonias, cherry tomatoes, basil, mint, strawberries, rosemary, aloe vera, bougainvillea, begonias, petunias, and tabasco peppers, and I am going to plant a lot more. I really wish you could sit back here with me and listen to the birdsong. I wish I could invite all the world into my backyard to drink tea with fresh mint leaves.

06 April 2017
I’ll be here this evening! Looking forward to talking about children’s lit, timeless themes and archetypal traits.

Family Fun Night - Book Festival

05 April 2017
I’m so happy to have written a leg of Rengas for Obama in Harvard Review. Working on it with amazing Kelli Russell Agodon was the best! Many thanks to Major Jackson for this great project.

For Obama

Depressed? No!

26 March 2017
Did you know that if you are kind of depressed, and you eat cotton candy flavored frozen yogurt with fruity pebbles sprinkled over the top it can make you feel better for a little while?

Melissa Studdard Profile Photo

22 March 2017
I think cats have gotten a bad rap as being aloof. I just sneezed several times in a row, and both of my cats came running in frantically from the other room to check on me. Now one of them has flopped his big body across my lap and is licking my arm to keep me alive. Maybe it is just so I can feed him, but I appreciate it whatever the reason.

17 March 2017
Last night on the plane home, the cabin pressure made my hand lotion explode onto the very nice slacks of this young man sleeping next to me. It was a HUGE glob. The flight attendant said we should drop a cocktail napkin like a tent on his leg, and then as he was waking, he would brush it off, knocking the glob of lotion off with it.

Several passengers tried to help, and finally I ended up folding the napkins until they were so stiff I could scrape the lotion off his leg. Still, there was a sheen as if a kid had wiped a snotty hand across his pants. The flight attendant said he probably wouldn’t notice, so I decided not to tell him.

Then I began to imagine that the guy was flying into town for a date with someone he was in love with but who was not yet quite in love with him and that when the person saw his pants they would decide he was gross and never go out with him again and then he would have his heart broken and the last of his money would have been wasted on a plane ticket for someone who could never love him because of his gross pants. Then I imagined all the children they were supposed to have who would never come into the world because of my hand lotion. I figured this would pretty much ruin his self esteem and prevent him from advancing in his career, as well.

So I decided I had to tell him, and when he woke up, I just braced myself and said straight up, “Dude, I have to tell you something. When you were asleep the cabin pressure made my hand lotion explode all over your pants leg, and me and the crew and the other passengers cleaned it off the best we could, but there’s still a snotty looking sheen, and I don’t want you to miss out on love and having children and being successful in your career because your pants are nasty.”

And then he started laughing and told me that this was the funniest thing that had ever happened to him and everything was okay and he didn’t think his life would be ruined because of the lotion.

I think this is what happens to a writer’s mind when we go too many days in a row without writing. I think the imagination needs to be put on the page regularly, or it will leak all over the people and things around us. This is a public service message for anyone procrastinating on their writing today.

Help is a four-letter-word like Love

08 March 2017
One really cool thing you can do today (and any day) is help a woman get or keep a business going. You don’t know about Kiva yet? It’s wonderful. You loan just $25, and when you’re paid back you can re-loan it over and over – the same $25. It’s one of the best things I have ever seen happen with my money.

08 March 2017
Me: (Hauling a large bag of mulch across the yard)
Dude: (Pulls up in sports car) Don’t you have a guy to haul all that heavy mulch around for you?
Me: No
Dude: That’s sad.
Me: Not really. I like yard work.
Dude: Maybe you can come to my house and do my yard work.
Me: Not really.
Dude: Well, just so you know, the offer stands. (Winks like he is the most charming person in the world and drives off, still never having offered to help).

Happy Woman’s Day to all the women out there hauling your own mulch. And gratitude, of course, to the men who actually do offer to help —

05 March 2017
When I was a small child, a bus that looked like this used to come around my neighborhood and pick up the kids and take us to a really weird church. Needless to say, I am now writing a poem about the Jesus bus.

Jesus Bus

03 March 2017
I keep having this dream that there is a garden growing inside my chest, under the bones. Whenever I interact with someone, I give them something from the garden. It can be a flower, a blade of grass, some delicious tomatoes, or even a ladybug or a frog to hold for a minute. In the dream I’m hyperaware that I have to cultivate and plant beautiful, healthy things in the garden so that I will have beautiful, healthy things to give to others. Also (and this is the hard part), my dream tells me that I have to protect my garden from toxicity and damage. I’m so grateful to my dreamer self, my subconscious mind, for showing me that I can take care of others by taking care of myself–that I owe it to others to take care of myself. And I want you all to know that I am planting a beautiful garden for you.

27 February 2017
At my favorite booth with two of my favorite people!
Thanks for the photo, Doug!


Should poetry ignore politics?

21 February 2017
He asked if I would describe myself as a political poet, and I said, “…It’s hard to look at anything the same way anymore when every day feels like a new political emergency. So, all of this is a long way of saying “yes.” I would describe myself as a political poet, and more and more so all the time. Yet I would not categorize myself as a political poet…”

Thanks to Jonathan Taylor for his excellent questions at Everybody’s Reviewing. I love talking to good people about artsy things.

17 February 2017
My very talented friend, Carlie Ramphastidae Powell, painted this! Thank you, Carlie. I love the sideways signature!

Melissa Studdard painted

13 February 2017
Me with poetry angels in the after-panel glow. We talked interviewing and poetry, and they made an hour and fifteen minutes feel like ten minutes.

poetry angels

10 February 2017
Ada Limón, Alicia Ostriker, & Joan Naviyuk Kane were brilliant at the VIDA Voices & Views AWP Exclusive Interview yesterday! (Many thanks Sheila McMullin)

AWP17 exclusive interview

07 February 2017
Hooray! Here’s Gregory Pardlo’s VIDA Voices & Views Interview. Much brilliance and dazzlement within.

“When the Pulitzer came along, I thought, well this is a clear mandate if ever there was one—this is a call to open doors for women and people of color and to campaign for a broader sense of aesthetics.”

Many Thanks to Lauren Berman, Samuel Caterisano, and Eamon Stewart for their work on this!

Melissa Studdard in interview with Gregory Pardlo

06 February 2017
A lot of people seem to be feeling insecure about AWP. It’s been a hard year since the last one. Beloved people in the writing community have died, lots of people have suffered in their health or finances or relationships, and the political upheaval has been exhausting and depressing. Needless to say, some of us have dark circles under our eyes, or we have gained or lost weight, or we are not feeling as charismatic or energetic as we normally do, or we’ve been too busy working or protesting to keep up our hair or spit shine ourselves in the other regular ways. So I just want to tell anyone who’s feeling worried (including myself) that first of all, if you’re my friend here, I think you’re lovely; and second, I think you’re lovely; and third, for my part I am going to this conference to celebrate literature and your amazing words, to support you and your efforts, and to share my own work and ideas. I can’t wait to see you all there!

If I were a god …

06 February 2017
If I were a god, people like Tom Lux would not be allowed to die.

Ode to the Unbroken World, Which Is Coming
Thomas Lux

It must be coming, mustn’t it? Churches
and saloons are filled with decent humans.
A mother wants to feed her daughter,
fathers to buy their children things that break.
People laugh, all over the world, people laugh.
We were born to laugh, and we know how to be sad;
we dislike injustice and cancer,
and are not unaware of our terrible errors.
A man wants to love his wife.
His wife wants him to carry something.
We’re capable of empathy, and intense moments of joy.
Sure, some of us are venal, but not most.
There’s always a punchbowl, somewhere,
in which floats a…
Life’s a bullet, that fast, and the sweeter for it.
It’s the same everywhere: Slovenia, India,
Pakistan, Suriname—people like to pray,
or they don’t,
or they like to fill a blue plastic pool
in the back yard with a hose
and watch their children splash.
Or sit in cafes, or at table with family.
And if a long train of cattle cars passes
along West Ridge
it’s only the cattle from East Ridge going to the abattoir.
The unbroken world is coming,
(it must be coming!), I heard a choir,
there were clouds, there was dust,
I heard it in the streets, I heard it
announced by loudhailers
mounted on trucks.

20 January 2017
Here is one of three poems just up at Cultural Weekly. Many thanks to the immensely talented Alexis Rhone Fancher for asking for these. “The Sudden Violence of Light” is about a lot of things, but especially my powerful grandmothers, who somehow got fused into one person here, as sometimes happens in poems.

The Sudden Violence of Light

19 January 2017
Garden poets

Garden poets

12 January 2017
I’ll be a part of this reading at the Houston Holocaust Museum this Sunday (1/15). Hope to see some of you there!

Writers Resist

11 January 2017
Daydreamy Poets

Daydreamy Poets

09 January 2017
Yay! Patricia Smith’s VIDA Voices & Views interview is finally here! She’s such an incredible inspiration.

“If you learn how to look at the world the way a poet looks at the world, you will lose your mind—because inspiration smacks you in the face wherever you are.”

Melissa Studdard and Patricia Smith in interview

Melissa Studdard in interview with Patricia Smith

Many Thanks to Lauren Berman, Samuel Caterisano, and Eamon Stewart for their work on this!

03 January 2017
I don’t understand every word of this, but I understand enough to know that it’s a brilliant critical engagement with my poem “Respect” and that it provides insights I had not yet stumbled upon myself. I am forever grateful to poet/scholar/doctor Vivek Tailor for all the ways he uses his great mind to help others.

Poem Respect Vivek Tailor

01 January 2017
My resolution for 2017 is to grow my heart into a big big squishy jumpy house that is roomy enough for everyone to soar high, fall down, laugh at themselves and each other, and know they are safe. In other words, I will be practicing patience and deep listening. Love to you all!

Happy New Year & cheers to breaking bread together! I’m so grateful to Gabrielle Calvocoressi & all the contributors for this amazing cookbook. This book is Gabby’s baby, so I share and echo her beautiful words: “I wish you a year of nourishment and revolution. You always have a place at my table.”

The New Economy Capbook Cookbook

Here’s some info about the book: The New Economy Chapbook Cookbook is Free Downloadable Cookbook featuring recipes from writers, activists, & artists, including Kaveh Akbar’s amazing looking Vegan Fesenjan, Justin “Papa” Bigos’ Pasta E Ceci, Laura Smith’s Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Stew, and so so much more — “109 pages of recipes, illustrations, and reflections on tight times and how we fed ourselves. This is an offering. This is yours for free. Give a look on Issu in Full Screen and then download as an eBook and/or print! Works great on iPad, phone, computer, paper, all of it! Share widely! This is yours to download, to pass along, to print and bind and drop off at pantries/kitchens/pals houses/places of worship. This is yours to bind and ‘sell’ for receipts for donations to organizations that fight food insecurity.” All Gabrielle asks is that you don’t sell this for money.

31 December 2016
Looking forward to reading with these great writers for a great cause. Save the date if you can.


27 December 2016
Talk about crazymaking. My address says LANE on the deed, with the US post office, and with UPS, but it says DRIVE with FED EX, Google Navigation, and on the actual sign at the end of the street. I cannot even convey the commotion this has caused, and I have no idea how to fix it. I am not even 100% certain I exist when I’m on this particular patch of earth. Or maybe I exist in multiple dimensions. There is Melissa of the Lane and Melissa of the Drive. I think I’ll choose the dimension that receives all the gifts and packages and delete the dimension that receives bills and bad news. And by the way, if you are annoyed with me about anything, it was the other Melissa who did it.

24 December 2016
I love Christmas Eve Day and finally getting to put an end to the month-long cycle of buying replacement candy for what I ate from the stockings.
Love from us to you.

Christmas Eve

18 December 2017
This magical being can fit his big body into the tiniest of spaces. And it’s good to have some magic around the house! LOVE – Henry – LOVE

Henry the cat

10 December 2016
Dear friends = heart balm. Thank you, Lois P. Jones, from Roz and me, for bringing color back. And thank you to everyone who has taken time to share love, pet stories, and condolences.

flowers on table

09 December 2016
Odette Studdard, Unknown – December 8, 2016
This girl was the smartest cat I’ve ever known and my bosom buddy. When I slept, she slept on my head. When I ate, she ate beside me. When I went to the restroom, she went with me like girlfriends at a nightclub. She could work out multi-step problems and had figured out how to open the sliding glass door by going to the opposite side and pulling on the rubber when it wasn’t open enough for her to slide her paw in the crack and push. In her day, she could catch bats by leaping off the fence and snatching them midair. For over fifteen years she’s been the owner of some of the most lush and fertile regions of my heart, and though she may be gone, they’ll always be hers.

Odette Studdard

28 November 2016
Apparently I jinxed myself by saying I was on the mend. Now I’m in the hospital for a day or two to treat the infections intravenously. The good news is I’m starting to feel considerably better. Thanks to all of you for the care and concern — I’m blessed with so many good people in my life.

26 November 2016
Some of you know that earlier in the week I was attacked by a nasty cat that belongs to one of my neighbors and keeps trying to fight with my cats. I’m happy to report that the infection is finally responding to a second round of antibiotics, and my cat and I are both fine. Whew!

25 November 2016

cat at the table

21 November 2016
The story with a happy ending: This guy (Eliot) I found in the park and posted about a few weeks ago now has a new home with amazing forever mom Krysia Jopek. I met Krysia and her very cool boyfriend and very cool cousins in Nashville this weekend so Krysia could take him back to Connecticut. I’m behind on everything–email, solicitations, grading, interviews, etc–so I’m grateful for everyone’s patience as I get caught up this week. Look at that face, though. Isn’t he worth it?


15 October 2016
You know what I love? I love when you give your kid good advice, and not only does she heed that advice, but she actually gives it back to you years later when you need to hear it yourself.

05 October 2016
Very excited to see my interview for Bettering American Poetry posted today at the VIDA website! This is going to be such a great anthology.

03 October 2016
Oh my gosh I love this W.H. Auden quote: “‘We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.”

01 October 2016
So happy this morning to discover that Everybody’s Reviewing has run Jonathan Taylor’s beautiful review of ‘I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast.’ Such a fine synthesis of multiple aspects of contextualization — and lovely writing — Thank you, Jonathan!

Melissa Studdard Poems

22 September 2016
Hooray!! Hooray! Congratulations to my daughter, Rosalind Williamson, for being elected VP of LSC-Tomball’s creative writing club!

20 September 2016
I once let my car registration go out of date for six months. In my car, I felt constantly afraid, worrying that a cop would notice, worrying that I would get pulled over, mentally kicking myself for not taking care of it & promising myself week after week that this was the week I would fix it.

I remember what it felt like every time I saw a cop–that horrible stomach drop, the sweaty palms, the fear that I would get in trouble for something that I had absolutely done wrong. Then one day, just like that, I fixed it. I went and updated my registration. It was a hassle, but not too bad of a hassle. I had to stand in line. I had to get the car inspected. I had to pay and fill out documents.

I still remember what it felt like the first time I passed a cop with the updated registration. It felt like freedom. I could drive anywhere without being afraid. I could drive right past a cop. I could wave at a cop and smile, and the cop would wave back. I could speed or even roll through a stop sign and be ignored or get a wrist slap.

Because I am white. I have the freedom of driving without fear because I am white. And the truth is I was never afraid of anything serious anyway–just getting a ticket or paying a fine. I was never afraid of losing my life or being shot in front of my child or having my head slammed into the pavement. I have never been afraid of these things, and I CANNOT IMAGINE what it feels like to be afraid of these things every time you are in public, driving or walking.

The release of tension I felt was immense. Only after I released myself from the tension I had been carrying did I realize just how intense it had been to always feel it while I was in the car.

What would it be like to feel that tension a thousandfold, a millionfold, every time I drove? To actually fear losing my life? To not be able to fix it by inconveniencing myself for a day to update my registration. To not be able to fix it at all. I cannot imagine. I truly cannot even fathom it.

What I want to say is it’s not freedom. It is absolutely not freedom to live in fear of having your life taken from you whenever you leave your home. It is not freedom to have to fear driving or walking or standing too long in the wrong place. It is not freedom.

And I will never feel comfortable in my own skin until my black brothers and sisters have the same freedom I have to walk down the street or drive a car. None of us should feel comfortable in our skin. None of us. And it is on all of us to fix it.

17 September 2016
I just found a scrap of paper that says, “Get picture of supernatural flag.” I wrote it–who knows when. Now I have no idea what it means, and I love that. I love the strangeness of being a writer and finding wild thoughts on scraps of paper all over the house.

13 September 2016
I’m in class talking to my students (they’re writing now) about characterization and complexity of motives and personality and desires, and I’m struck by the irony that the people and characters we know and love the most are the ones for whom we see not only the good but also the flaws and weaknesses, yet we so often try to hide our own flaws and weaknesses from each other. We often obscure in our own lives exactly that which makes us the most interesting and lovable. It’s a good lesson in loving your weird self —

07 September 2016
Selfie with custie

Selfie with custie

29 August 2016
Going to hang out with the frogs in my backyard. Craving less time with the manmade world and more time with the godmade world…

23 August 2016
Happy happy to hear that Tinderbox Poetry Journal has nominated my poem “To Be With Trees” for the Orison Anthology 2017. Huge thanks to Jenn Givhan, Molly Sutton Kiefer, and the other amazing editors. And best of luck to all the nominees! I LOVE POETRY!

30 July 2016
Alice and Melissa’s Excellent Adventures — with Alice Anderson at The Groove.

Alice and Melissa

24 July 2016
My friends–Sorry I’ve been largely absent from here as I’ve been painting, working on floors, & getting my new house ready for move in. I miss seeing your posts and knowing more about what’s going on in your lives, and I look forward to catching up soon! In the meantime, here are the cereal bowls I bought to replace the ones that were broken in storage. LOVE the fishies!

18 July 2016
When I was at the store a little while ago, I saw a woman stop this rough, tired, dirty man and give him a salt scrub demo on his wrist. He looked like he’d never been pampered a day in his life, and the expression on his face as she did the demo was so beautiful–I can’t get it out of my mind. I wish I could have taken a picture of it for you. I know I am idealizing this, and I know she had something to sell, but I can’t help but wish that this is what we humans could be to each other–what she was to him in the moment I witnessed–relief, comfort, caring, respite. I am not going to start carrying salt scrub in my purse, but I am going to start trying to give someone else a moment like this each day–even if it’s just by listening.

26 June 2016
Attack of the sexy, killer scrap metal — Amy King and Melissa Studdard at Fabulous Furniture.

Fabulous Furniture

25 June 2016
Many thanks to Jenn Givhan for including my poems “To Be With Trees” and “Life is the Saddest Thing That Ever Happened to Me” in the fabulous new issue of Tinderbox Poetry Journal. I’m delighted to be in such great company.

16 June 2016

I bought a house!

13 June 2016
We are not here to judge each other; we are here to love each other, and to support each other in our most unique expressions of self. Also, to hell with guns.

11 June 2016
Melissa Studdard was feeling grateful: It would take about 5,000 lifetimes to adequately thank my parents for their love and support.

Thanks to Rosalind Williamson, I finally have a shot of my favorite Houston train bridge.

Houston Train Bridge

26 May 2016 in Bushnellsville Creek
Wish you were here with us. Breathing this air is like breathing health itself.

Amy King and Melissa Studdard

18 May 2016
I’m happy to have several of the self-written epigraphs and a short poem from ‘I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast’ in the current issue of ‘First Literary Review East.’ Many, many thanks to Cindy Sostchen-Hochman and Karen Neuberg for their great editing, and many thanks to the other poets for their fine work!

08 May 2016
The mom who made me a kid with the kid who made me a mom. Love them both like crazy!

mom and Rosalind Williamson

VIDA Interview, Review and Poetry Collection

VIDA Interview, Review and Poetry Collection


Melissa Studdard and Amy King in LA, California
Me and Amy King in LA, California


The new VIDA Voices & Views interview with Cheryl Strayed is here!
She’s so warm and wise. Here’s one of my favorite quotes of Cheryl’s from the talk: “Life and literature are not about ‘should.’ They’re about who you are really. And who you are really is so much more interesting and complex and beautiful than those artificial surfaces that we all want to show the world.”

Melissa Studdard





Today is the VIDA fundraiser kickoff. I donated this morning and hope you will consider donating, as well. If you’re not aware, everyone who works for VIDA is a volunteer. They put in hours and hours and hours each week–not for any reward but because they believe so passionately in what VIDA can accomplish. Any amount is appreciated, I’m sure!



Happy to see a super smart review of ‘I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast’ in the new issue of ‘American Book Review.’ Many thanks to John Smith for the words and Joseph Daniel Haske for assigning the book.

It’s a print pub, but here’s a little taste: “These lines survey but do not reduce the mystery of otherness, even in the most intimate relationships, and it is hard to imagine stating this understanding in any other way without doing it violence. Such passages help to explain why poetry remains with us, even in our bottom-line era.”



International Women’s Day! Life-changing books! Happy Tuesday–

–with Christy L. Agrawal, Jennifer Baumgardner, Hannah Bonner, Emily Brandt, Melissa Chadburn, Maggie Cooper, Christina Djossa, Melissa Febos, Ashaki M. Jackson, Beth Jacobson, Alexandra Jacunski, Justine El-Khazen, Amy King, Larsen, Ashli Mackenzie,

Krista Manrique, Sarah Marcus-Donnelly, Sheila McMullin, Lynn Melnick, Sarah Fawn Montgomery, Olivia Postelli, Jennifer Rabedeau, Héctor Ramírez, Camille Rankine, Jessica Reidy, Jenny Sadre-Orafai, Jocelyn Sears, Naomi Smith-Hough, Carly Rae Zent, Literary Hub, & VIDA: Women in Literary Arts

33 covers of must read books



Amy King: Last time I gave birth was five years ago. The Missing Museum is about to hatch. Order now, receive late March.
Just think, in less than a month, you could be holding my spawn in your very own hands!

Cover of The Missing Museum by Amy King

Amy King’s poetry collection The Missing Museum is cowinner of the Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize and is published by Tarpaulin Sky Press (2016).

Readings Interviews and Reviews

Readings Interviews and Reviews

20. February 2016


This Saturday! Downtown Victoria will be full of words. Looking forward to reading with Ash Smith for University of Houston-Victoria–

And I get to see Charles Alexander too! — celebrating Saturday with Melissa Studdard.

Reading with Ash Smith and Melissa Studdard


15. February 2016:


Feeling deeply considered, seen, heard–

Many thanks to Andrew Carroll, Nicole Reese, Cynthia Reeser & Prick of the Spindle for this review of ‘I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast’.


11. February 2016


Neil Silberblatt:

Many thanks to the following poets & writers for reading brilliantly at our Voices of Poetry event tonight at Cornelia Street Café in NYC:

Amy King
Katherine Koch
Mark Statman
Melissa Studdard.

Special thanks to –

  • Angelo Verga – former co-owner of Cornelia Street Café – for hosting our events at this beautiful venue;

  • Joshua Rebell – curator of spoken word events at CSC – for welcoming our words in this great space; and, most importantly,

  • all those who attended this wonderful event for supporting the literary arts in our community.

Reading at Cornelia Street Cafe NYC with Melissa Studdard and Amy King


02. February 2016


Many thanks to publisher Ami Kaye and reviewer Elizabeth Nichols for the beautiful review of ‘I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast’ in issue 8.16 of Pirene’s Fountain. I’ve long admired PF’s aesthetic and depth, so it brings me great joy to see this review nestled in PF’s pages!


28. January 2016


Neil Silberblatt:

In honor of St. Valentine – the patron saint of lovers & chocolatiers – we have planned three (count ’em, three) excellent Voices of Poetry events in three (count ’em, three) excellent venues – a cafe in the heart of Greenwich Village (with great food & drink), an historic 19th century church on Cape Cod & a beautiful library in CT’s Litchfield Hills with stained glass murals and gold-leaf frescoes.

All of these events will feature two literary couples reading their own, and their respective partners’, work. One of these events will also feature music. All are worth attending.

Thursday, February 11 at 6 pm
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street, NYC
– featuring poetry by Mark Statman & Katherine Koch; Amy King & Melissa Studdard.
Admission: $10 @ person (plus a one drink or $10 cover).

Sunday, February 14 at 2 pm
First Parish Brewster
1969 Main Street (Route 6A), Brewster, MA
– featuring poetry by Kristin Knowles & Thomas Fettig; Judith Partelow & Thom Slayter; music by First Parish’s Music Director Danica A. Buckley and by singer/songwriter Colette O’Connor.
Admission: FREE. (Suggested donation: $10 @ person.)
Those attending are asked to bring a bag (or two, or three) of non-perishable food items to be donated to The Family Pantry of Cape Cod in Harwich, MA.

Saturday, February 20 at 2 pm
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road, Washington, CT
– featuring poetry by Laurel Peterson & Van Hartmann; Marianela Medrano & Ralph Nazareth.
Admission: FREE. (Suggested donation: $10 @ person.)

Attend any or – if you want to earn Frequent Poetry Points – all. Bring your special someone(s) to each.


19. January 2016


Hooray! The new VIDA Voices & Views interview is here! Wonderful words from poet and editor Don Share:

“What we all do when poetry is at its best is activate the imagination—because to solve problems, and to create a world in which any kind of justice obtains, the imagination has to work.”

“The open door doesn’t just mean everybody gets to walk through. What it means is that somebody greets you.”

“I don’t know of a poet who doesn’t write out of the impulse to say, ‘The world could be better.’ That’s sort of the plot of every decent poem.”

See below for more!

–with Don Share
–with RJ Jeffreys


17. January 2016

I’m delighted to have three short poems in the January issue of ‘First Literary Review-East.” Two of the poems serve as epigraphs for sections in ‘I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast.’ Many thanks to Cindy Sostchen-Hochman for a great issue!


16. January 2016

I’m so happy to have two poems in Issue 19 of Cutthroat. So many writers I admire in this issue — Thanks, Pam & William for another beautiful issue!

Cutthroat’s 10th Anniversary Edition

Cutthroat's 10th Anniversary Edition

Cutthroat’s 10th Anniversary Edition is one of the most wondrous and beautiful things that came home from Minnesota with me last week. It’s a special tribute issue to Joy Harjo and Linda Hogan and contains a terrific review by Doug Anderson of ‘I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast.’ Many, many thanks to Doug, to Pam Uschuk and William Pitt Root, and to all the other editors and contributors who made this issue happen.

Melissa Studdard is on Facebook and Twitter. She writes on Johntext Texas. Visit her personal homepage and find out about events and her books and contact her on More information is available on Wikipedia.

With Gayle Brandeis

With Gayle Brandeis after the Tiferet Journal reading in Minneapolis. She is such a lovely person!

Melissa Studdard and Gayle Brandeis

Melissa Studdard is on Facebook and Twitter. She writes on Johntext Texas. Visit her personal homepage and find out about events and her books and contact her on More information is available on Wikipedia.

A Conversation With Jane Hirshfield

Photo of Jane Hirshfield

“Poems give us permission to be unsure, in ways we must be if we are ever to learn anything not already known. If you look with open eyes at your actual life, it’s always going to be the kind of long division problem that doesn’t work out perfectly evenly. Poems let you accept the multiplicity and complexity of the actual, they let us navigate the unnavigable, insoluble parts of our individual fates and shared existence.”

See the link below for more of my conversation with Jane Hirshfield at American Microreviews and Interviews.

Melissa Studdard is on Facebook and Twitter. She writes on Johntext Texas. Visit her personal homepage and find out about events and her books and contact her on More information is available on Wikipedia.

AWP in Minneapolis

About the Association of Writers & Writing Programs:
AWP in Minneapolis

Spontaneous skyway socializing–one of the great things about AWP in Minneapolis.

With Melissa Studdard, Amy King, Rita Dove and Fred Viebahn
AWP Minneapolis

Cocktails, VIDA style! — with Jane Ciabattari, Michele Filgate, Bethanne Patrick and Kamy Wicoff.

Getting Wild with VIDA — with Amy King – Poet, & Educator, Cheryl Strayed and Melissa Studdard.
Amy King, Cheryl Strayed, Melissa Studdard

Melissa Studdard is on Facebook and Twitter. She writes on Johntext Texas. Visit her personal homepage and find out about events and her books and contact her on More information is available on Wikipedia.