Melissa Elmes (Ridley Elmes)

Poet, Fiction Writer

St. Charles, MO

Author's Bio

Writing across speculative and literary genres, my poetry and fiction focus on the intersections, tensions, and collisions of relationships and cultural and societal expectations; making, exploring, fracturing, and re-viewing myths, folktales, and legends; engaging historical materials in literary imaginative and fantastical revisionism and bringing historical dimensions of language, craft, and form into conversation with modern sensibilities, and the hidden worlds and dark corners in our minds and imaginations. My priority as a writer is to offer my readers something to linger over, to think and feel with, to engage intellectually, and to enjoy on a belletristic level. As a writer/scholar, my scholarship deeply informs my creative work, while my creative work provides accessible popular avenues for aspects of my scholarship, creating a synergistic relationship between my academic and creative endeavors which organically functions as a form of public humanities, transforming my scholarship into vehicles that engage audiences with literary interests in non-traditional ways.

My poetry and fiction have appeared in a variety of print and online venues including Eye to the Telescope, Star*Line, Illumen, Haven, Spectral Realms, Black Fox, Gyroscope, In Parentheses, Thimble, Reunion: The Dallas Review Online, Heartwood, and World of Myth. My first book of poetry, Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems, was published by Dark Myth Publications in 2020 after winning their Open Contract Challenge, and was nominated for the Elgin award for best book of speculative poetry by the Science Fiction Poetry Association in 2022. My poetry has also been nominated for the SFPA Dwarf Star award for best short speculative poem and for the Pushcart Prize.

Publications & Prizes


Unwelcomed: Stories of Hauntings and Possessions (Zombie Works Publications, 2022)
Full Moon & Howlin': A Werewolf Anthology (Zombie Works Publications, 2020)
A Story in 100 Words
Heartwood Literary Magazine
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Dwarf Star Anthology (Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, 2022)
Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems (Dark Myth Publications, 2020)

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Prefers to work with: 
Adults, Children, LGBTQ, Mental Health, Schools, Seniors, Teachers, Teenagers, Women
Born in: 
Newport News, VA
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Dec 16, 2022