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.

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

Her poetry also appears in the North Dakota QuarterlyVox Poetica,  Iodine Poetry JournalWhen Women Waken, the anthology Dove Tales, and other journals.

As partner and managing editor of Sable Books, a publishing, design and consulting company, 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 teach writing to learners of all ages and survivors of domestic violence.


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.