Melissa Castillo-Garsow

Fiction Writer, Poet

25 Quincy Street, Emerson Hall Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

Author's Bio

Melissa Castillo-Garsow received her PhD in American Studies and African American Studies at Yale University during which she focused on new ways of looking at migration, ethnicity, race and gender in the US via both scholarly and creative interventions in the fields of Latin@, Latin American, American and African American Studies. Her dissertation, “A Mexican State of Mind: New York City and the New Borderlands of Culture" establishes a dialogue between African American and Borderlands studies by considering the recent history of Mexican migration to New York within the context of a much longer history of black and brown laboring bodies. Melissa is the editor of the recently released anthology, ¡Manteca!: An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets (Arte Público Press, 2017); co-editor of La Verdad: An International Dialogue on Hip Hop Latinidades (Ohio State University's Global Latino/a Studies, 2016), the author of the poetry collection Coatlicue Eats the Apple (Pulse, 2016); and co-author with Dr. Mark Naison of the novel, Pure Bronx (Augustus Publishing, 2013). Additionally, her short stories, articles, poetry and essays have been published in numerous collections such as Centering Borders: Explorations in South Asia and Latin America (Worldview, 2017), Afro-Latinos in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americas (Palgrave, 2016), The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Popular Culture (Routledge, 2016); and diverse scholarly and media publications including Border – Lines, Lengua y Literature, Acentos Review, Hispanic Culture Review, El Diario/La Prensa, The Bilingual Review, Women's Studies, and Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture, a publication for which she has also served as guest editor ("The Brazil Issue", 2016). Melissa has been invited to present her scholarly and creative work around the world including Seoul National University, Jadavpur University (Kolkata, India), Swarthmore University and University of Chicago. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University's Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History.

Publications & Prizes


Pure Bronx (Augustus Publishing, 2013)


Journals: , , ,
Four Quarters
Hinchas de Poesia
Hispanic Culture Review

Personal Favorites

What I'm reading now: 
Norte by Edmundo Paz Soldan, Blacks by Gwendolyn Brooks

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Latino/Latina/Latinx, Mexican
Prefers to work with: 
Adults, Teenagers
Fluent in: 
English, Portuguese, Spanish
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Last update: Aug 02, 2018