Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a nationally-recognized poet and educator living in Queens. Her poetry–as the 2015 National Poetry Slam Champion who is widely known for her viral take down of the speech police and author of Peluda (Button Poetry)–explores, interrogates, and redefines the intersections of Latina identity, feminism, misogyny, nihilistic humor, and what it means to belong. “My poems are all about being a Latino child of immigrants, never having enough money, and the way my sadness for boys and my sadness for the world collides,” she told Vulture. “I want to say that I’m trying to make myself (and other millenials of color) feel less like an alien, but really, I’m trying to say that it’s okay to be an alien.”
Melissa’s work has been featured in REMEZCLA, Glamour, Maudlin House, Washington Square News, Luna Luna Magazine, The Kenyon Review, Fierce by Mitu, and Herstory. She is currently an MFA candidate at New York University, where she will start teaching in Spring 2019. Melissa has also spoken at Tufts, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard universities along with The Bell House, Brooklyn Bazaar, and Smith College. She facilitates and teaches workshops on slam poetry, the basics of storytelling and how to access humor through poetry.
Five Questions with Melissa
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Carmen Maria Machado
Favorite feminist anthem: Killer by Palehound
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: twitter
Perfect day (in one sentence): I get a package. Inside the package is endless socks. Inside the socks is wads of cash. Then I get a phone call from Mark Ruffalo. He says “I love you Melissa & I always have” I say “I am taken.” He says “That is too bad but I thought I would take a chance.”