Organizer and activist, writer and poet — Melissa was a founding partner at Sable Books. In 2012, she founded Women Writers of the Triad, a professional and educational support group for women and nonbinary writers. She has served as an advisor for Writing for Peace, a global non-profit dedicated to education and creative writing as tools for peace through activism; and as State Coordinator for North Carolina Poetry Out Loud, a transformative national high school poetry recitation competition funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

Her work has been awarded or recognized as finalist in competition including the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, the Thomas H. McDill prize, the North Carolina Poetry Society Poet Laureate Award, and others. She has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Melissa is a also recipient of a Regional Artist Grant from Arts Greensboro in partnership with North Carolina Arts Council.

She is available for community writing workshops, particularly around poetry & healing.

She is also proud of writing for The People’s Tribune during the Moral Monday Movement, and appreciates their commitment to journalism and all issues surrounding the working class and labor.


Much gratitude to Cindy Huyser for this interview for Red Sky: Poetry on the Global Epidemic of Violence Against Women. Thank you, Cindy, for your generous interview questions! Read the interview here.

Thanks to Chris Rice Cooper for this thoughtful interview on Red Sky, too.

 Interview with the People’s Tribune in 2014.  

Interview with Abigail Browning for In The Margins podcast: In the Margins E12: Writing Out of Silence