As partner and managing editor of Sable Books, a hybrid press, Melissa often assists writers with publishing and marketing their work.

She is also founder of Women Writers of the Triad, a supportive and educational group for NC writers that actively works to build community and encourage craft. In partnership with the City of Greensboro and the Commission on the Status of Women, Melissa has been part of a project offering writing workshops to survivors of domestic violence.

Melissa’s poem “Valentine” won 1st prize in the 2016 Thomas H. McDill Poetry Competition and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poem “Smoke” was finalist for the 2016 North Carolina Poetry Society Poet Laureate Award. “At the End,” originally published in the online art and poetry journal, ONE, from Jacar Press, received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition. Her poetry also appears in the North Dakota Quarterly, Mojave River ReviewVox Poetica, and other journals.

POETRY: Read “What Catches the Light” at Red Paint Hill.


Red Sky (Sable Books, 2016) is an anthology on the global epidemic of violence against women, was published.  With poems by contemporary voices, including Naomi Shihab Nye, Tony Hoagland, Thylias Moss, Fady Joudah, Jaki Shelton Green, Hélène Cardona, Zeina Hashem Beck, and the work of 100+ poets in response to globally oppressive physical, psychological, emotional, and systemic violence against women. Co-edited by Melissa Hassard, Gabrielle Langley, and Stacy Nigliazzo.