Melanie Neilson


Ridgewood, NY 11385

Author's Bio

Melanie Neilson studied visual arts, literature and writing at UC San Diego (B.A.) and combined media and art history at Hunter College (M.F.A). Since the publication of her first three books of poetry she has produced a self-published chapbook, READER SOUVENIR (2018) and three manuscripts which remain unpublished. She is currently working on a new book of collage poems and homophonic translations titled THE GIOTTO PLAN. From 2015-2020 Neilson co-authored with poet Jessica Grim, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JEAN FOOS. Excerpts from this long form collaboration have appeared in Chicago Review, Conjunctions, and BOMB Magazine. With Grim she edited and co-founded the literary journal Big Allis in NYC. It generated a dynamic forum for writing by emerging and established experimental poets with a focus on innovative poetry by women. Big Allis is digitally reissued via Eclipse, a free online archive focusing on digital facsimiles of radical small-press writing ( Neilson's poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, most recently in RAGE BAKING: THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF FLOUR , FURY, AND WOMEN'S VOICES by Kathy Gunst and Katherine Alford, Tiller Press (February 2020). 


Publications & Prizes

Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry, ed. David Trinidad (Soft Skull Press, 2007)
Out of Everywhere, Linguistically Innovative Poetry By Women in North America & the UK, ed. Maggie O'Sullivan (Reality Street, 1996)
Natural Facts (Potes & Poets Press, 1997)
Civil Noir (Roof Books, 1991)
Prop and Guide (Figures Press, 1991)
Prizes won: 

Literary: New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Poetry; Writer-in-Residence Brooklyn Public Library (2013-2016). Received grants from the Fund for Poetry; Brooklyn Arts Council; Canada Arts Council, Literature/Curatorial for "Canadian Poets In NYC" Segue Reading Series at Ear Inn; New York State Council for the Arts, Literary Magazine Publication, for Big Allis Magazine (1989-1999); Individual Artist Awards (Literature) from American Media and Artists Space. Residencies: Yaddo and Cummington Community of the Arts. Nonfiction Television Awards:  Society of Professional Journalists Deadline Club Award; International Film and Video Festival; Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, for TV Nation.

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Humboldt, TN
Raised in: 
San Diego, CA
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Last update: Mar 20, 2021