Melissa lives and writes in southwestern Oregon.
Her essays have been published in numerous places including Longreads, DIAGRAM, Mid-American Review, Guernica, River Teeth, The Rumpus and Bellingham Review among other publications. She has been awarded an AWP Intro Journals award in creative nonfiction as well as residencies and scholarships to PLAYA, Art Smith, Tin House, and the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference. She is the author of a collaborative chapbook, (un)learning, with Andrea Beltran from Artifact Press (2016).
She holds a BA in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz and an MS in Environmental Studies and Writing from the University of Montana. She also holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Her first book of nonfiction, Tracing the Desire Line, was published by Split Lip Press in 2019. It has been selected as a finalist for the 2021 Oregon Book Award. The book, as memoir-in-essays, follows the narrator’s journey as a writer exploring identity, sexuality, and feminine desire through opening her marriage with her husband. Along the way, the book detours into memory and meditations on various subjects that frame the narrator’s story including home, freedom, religion, belonging, love, and wildness.
Melissa is at work on a second book of essays. You can follow her progress by becoming a Patron here.