Melissa Studdard is the author of five books, including the poetry collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, the poetry chapbook Like a Bird with a Thousand Wings, and the young adult novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her work has been featured by NPR, PBS, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Houston Matters, and has also appeared in a wide variety of periodicals, such as POETRY, Kenyon Review, Psychology Today, New Ohio Review, Harvard Review, New England Review, and Poets & Writers.
A short film of the title poem from Studdard’s I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast (by Dan Sickles of Moxie Pictures for Motionpoems) was an official selection for the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, as well as winner of the REEL Poetry Festival Audience Choice Award. Other poems of Studdard’s have been made into car magnets, telepoem booth recordings, origami bouquets, and Houston City Banners and have won or placed in prizes such as The Lucille Medwick Memorial Award for a poem on a humanitarian theme from The Poetry Society of America, The Penn Review Poetry Prize, Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize from The Missouri Review, the Tom Howard Prize from Winning Writers, The Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize from Munster Literature Centre, and Aesthetica magazine Creative Writing Award.
Her book awards include the Forward National Literature Award, the International Book Award, the Kathak Literary Award, the Poiesis Award of Honor International, the Readers’ Favorite Award, and two Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards. As well, her works have been listed in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts’ Best Books of the Year, January Magazine’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, Bustle’s “8 Feminist Poems To Inspire You When The World Is Just Too Much,” and Amazon’s Most Gifted Books.
She has recently been in residency at the Centrum in Port Townsend, and The Hermitage Artist Retreat in Manasota Key, where she was poet in residence.
In addition to writing, Studdard serves on the TUPP Advisory Council as a Walt Whitman Project Planning Associate. As well, she is a past president of the Associated Writing Program’s Women’s Caucus and former executive producer and host of VIDA Voices & Views for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence college and is a professor for the Lone Star College System.