About

POULIN_Melissa_June_2019

A writer since childhood, I received a B.A. in creative writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.F.A. in poetry from Seattle Pacific University. I’m grateful to my parents and teachers for instilling in me a deep love for story, song, language, and most of all– books. This passion for literature and the writing process is in my bones, and I’ve been honored to share it as an educator.

I’ve facilitated writing workshops with Write Around Portland, and led creative writing courses for young writers with Literary Arts’ Writers in the Schools program and Show:Tell: The Workshop for Teen Writers.

In 2014, my dear friend Jill McKenna and I edited and published Winged: New Writing on Bees, an anthology collecting modern poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from 36 writers on the relationship between humans and honeybees. The project received partial funding from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, and the first edition of 500 sold out within one year, with proceeds benefiting pollinator conservation and education programs.

My first book of poems, a chapbook called Rupture, Light, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2019. Please visit my events calendar for readings and events near you.

My poetry and essays explore creativity, faith, justice, parenting, and sustainability.

You can find my poems in basalt, Catamaran Literary Reader, The Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, Relief Journal, Ruminate, and Water~Stone Review. My essays have recently appeared in Entropy Magazine, Writers ResistHip Mama, Mothers Always Write, and Coffee + Crumbs.

Please see my Writing page for a full list of recent publications and a link to my portfolio.

I am currently pursuing a license in acupuncture, completing my last pre-requisite course this summer before a fall entrance at POCA Tech, Portland’s ground-breaking program in community acupuncture. Acupuncture has been an important part of my journey to health and wellness, and community acupuncture remains one of the best models for accessible healthcare that I’ve seen, part of the people’s movement toward healthcare reform in a country that desperately needs it. I’m honored and excited to be on this learning journey.

I love to grow food and flowers wherever I live, even if all I’ve got is a small window box. I read a lot, love getting outdoors to hike and explore, and will stay in any clean and relatively warm body of water until my fingers pucker.

I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband (a talented blacksmith and amazing dad) and our two children. They are the loves of my life.