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Melissa Eleftherion grew up in Brooklyn. A high school dropout, she went on to earn an MFA in poetry from Mills College and an MLIS from San Jose State University. She is the author of huminsect, prism maps, Pigtail Duty, the leaves, the leaves, green glass asterisms, and several other chapbooks. Founder of the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange, Melissa lives in Northern California where she works as Reference and Teen Services Librarian, teaches creative writing & curates the LOBA Reading Series at the Ukiah Library.
This poem is from field guide to autobiography which is her first full-length collection.
On field guide to autobiography:
"This book earns its title. It's a field guide to the ecosystem that is being human. And that means it is also an autobiography. It is unclear in most of the poems where the human begins and ends, and this is how it should be. The world that comes out of these poems is luminous and difficult. This isn't conventional poetry; it's a poetry that helps us understand the future and the world that embeds us." -Juliana Spahr
"What is a species autobiography? An autobiography not written through the convention of the senses? What is the bone mouth, what is it to break the surface? If autobiography is a particular history of body and bodies, then what kind of book is this? What does it permit itself: not to know? Does the book accomplish its non-human (human) aims? I like that there is a wren in it. I like that there's a whale." - Bhanu Kapil