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West Hartford, CT
Melanie Pappadis Faranello received her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School in New York, and her BA in English and creative writing from University of Colorado. She has worked as a teaching artist in the community as well as an adjunct professor at a variety of colleges. She has spent time abroad in Nepal, where she studied and conducted a research project, as well as in Ecuador, where she lived and taught E.S.L. She currently teaches a combined creative writing and yoga course to senior citizens with support from the Connecticut Humanities Council’s Center for the Book. She was the original curator and co-host of Sunday Salon Chicago—the Chicago branch of NYC’s Sunday Salon monthly prose reading series. Her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize as well as received a variety of mentions including winner of The New School’s Chapbook Award Series in Fiction, and a top twenty-five winner in Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Contest. Her novel manuscript was a finalist in Sarabande Books’ Mary McCarthy Prize in Fiction, and a semi-finalist in The Dana Awards for The Novel. She has been a contributor at Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and Sewanee Writers' Conference, and has been awarded a residency from The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Originally from Chicago, she currently lives in Connecticut with her husband and two sons.
STATEMENT: I build poems. From early on writing poetry showed me that there are systems, sub-systems, elements, molecules, and particles more primal, more vital than ideas, rather, the experience of, in Wallace Stevens’ words, ‘things themselves’, ‘the plain sense of things’; that the experience is one of freeing words, language itself and how thinly we use it, from merely meaning into bursts of being, imagination-swerves in and out of muddy bells, mystery, Theodore Roethke’s Woodlawn, Lorine Niedecker’s lifepoetry waterflowing by condensing, Cid Corman’s silence(s), Adrienne Rich, john martone’s skull harmonies, Clayton Eshleman’s cavedepth being(s), John Bloomberg-Rissman’s Zeitgeist Spam, CAConrad’s necessary Frank, Jonathan Skinner’s ecopoetics, Tim Trace Peterson’s “Violet Speech”, Brenda Iijima’s economies, Scott Watson’s versionings, Amy King’s bluntforcetraumen “Opera of Peace”, Jared Stanley’s weeds, Noelle Kocot’s bigger world, Bhanu Kapil’s immanent monster, Lew Welch’s turkey buzzard, Tyrone McDonald's haiku confluence, Charlie Mehrhoff’s elkfrost inhabitations of our human animal comminglings through oneanothersothers, Blakean, Bhaktian, poetry– compass, test tube, cup, water droplet, cancer, salts, stem, claw, fruits, volcano, song, fricative, diphthong, and so much more than lists can do; and of the many younger poets urging it on. This open form of writing poems supplanted most all other forms. So I surprised my self with a need to dig into Asian-derived forms, mostly tanka, haiku, and haibun, almost exclusively for many years. Language and poetry being core elements in this life we liveindieinliveindiein is so much more than any binary-like pass / fail. My poetry practice in the open form now depends upon the haibun, which in turn, involves the haiku, sometimes struck-thru or semicolonized by eco-, geo-, and bio-poetics spawn. Like Chaucer, I don’t trust authority because it interferes with experience. Rather, I trust the inherent capacity of the poetry mammal to adapt new technologies and methodologies, being wholly alive, after all. One book I do return to again and again is French philosopher and semiologist Roland Barthes’s “A Lover’s Discourse, Fragments” because my interrelations feel to be pilgrimages, set out for in the dark, cold rain of Spring begun, near to Barthes’s figuration: “To try to write love is to confront the muck of language: that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little, excessive and impoverished.” ~ Donna Fleischer / / FORTHCOMING PUBLICATIONS: Poets for Living Waters: An International Response to the 2010 BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (BlazeVox,2014);/ EOAGH, Jupiter 88, Kō (Japan), Lilliput Review, Naugatuck River Review, Otoliths, Solitary Plover, and South by Southeast. The Useful Knowledge Press (New Haven, CT) is bringing out a limited edition of Donna’s haiku with wood block engravings by Allan Greenier in 2014, entitled 11 HAIKU. // JOURNAL and ANTHOLOGY Publications to Date: Artis magazine, Asahi Shimbun, Back Room Live !, Bones, bottle rockets, Cornell University Mann Library's Daily Haiku, Dreams Wander On , Esque, Exit Strata, Fieralingue, Frogpond, Hummingbird, Issaʼs Untidy Hut, Kō, Lilliput Review, Modern Haiku, Naugatuck River Review, On Barcelona, Otoliths, Peace Is a Haiku Song (City of Philadelphia 2013, Sonia Sanchez, Yolanda Wisher, editors), Poets Corner, Presence, roadrunner, Salamander Cove, Solitary Plover, South by Southeast, The Mainichi Daily News, and Wang Pingʼs Kinship of Rivers / FIRST CHAPBOOK: Intimate Boundaries (self- produced and published, 1991) / OTHER: Donna’s poetry appears regularly in literary periodicals in Japan, England, and the U. S., anthologies, and monthly on the CT Environmental Headlines website (Christopher Zurcher, editor). Her blog word pond, begun in March 2010, is a curatorial content blog of poetry, music, visual arts, depth ecology, ecopoetics, news stories, and permaculture. / FEATURE READINGS: Capital Community College, Hartford CT; New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT; Forbes Library, Northampton, MA; cell39 gallery, Ludlow, MA; Pegasus Gallery of Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT; WordForge Reading Series, Hartford, CT; and Wintonbury Public Library, Bloomfield, CT. She was assistant editor of bottle rockets journal, anthologies, and serial volumes from 2007–2013. / / EDUCATION: Poetry and Communication Theory, Semiotics, Pragmatics, American and English Literature and History, Botany, and Ecology. University of Connecticut and University of Hartford. BA degree 1988. Completed independent study in ecology at the Talcott Mountain Science Center, Avon, CT. / / LIVELIHOOD: A master pre-press journeyman in four-color process stripping for thirty years, Donna transitioned to digital technologies in the textbook publishing industry as a Mac operator and proofreader. She now copy edits and proofreads on a freelance basis. Fleischer is also listed with The Haiku Foundation, that seeks to establish the importance of haiku "as a literary vehicle in the present and future": http://bit.ly/165V29f