I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast is Melissa’s debut poetry collection, released in September of 2015.
- Melissa Studdard’s high-flying, bold poetic language expresses an erotic appetite for the world: “this desire to butter and eat the stars,” as she says, in words characteristically large yet domestic, ambitious yet chuckling at their own nerve. This poet’s ardent, winning ebullience echoes that of God, a recurring character here, who finds us Her children, splotchy, bawling and imperfect though we are, “flawless in her omniscient eyes.” —Robert Pinsky
- In so many ways the poems in this book read like paintings, touching and absorbing the light of the known world while fingering the soul until it lifts, trembling. Gates splayed, bodies read as books, and hearts born of mouths, Studdard’s study, which is a creation unto itself, would have no doubt pleased Neruda’s taste for the alchemic impurity of poetry, which is, as we know, poetry that is not only most pure of heart, but beautifully generous in vision and feeling. —Cate Marvin
- Like Neruda, Melissa Studdard has the gift of making the ordinary appear alluring, “It is the warmth of two/ hands rubbed together,/ a fire cradling your heels and soles,” she writes of socks. Her work, at once captivating and exact, brims over with heart and luster, informing these poems with a lucid, transcendental quality, “You’re/something like that, one/of nature’s great mysteries.” Each poem is a shimmering stream of joy that pulls the reader in, ardent and alive. Melissa Studdard’s “words are a pilgrimage/bearing gifts.” —Ami Kaye, Publisher & Editor of Glass Lyre Press
- “From the cover image, a face that is hauntingly like the poet’s (though not the poet’s) to poem after poem graced with perfect syntax and rhythmic modulation, this collection by Melissa Studdard amazes with its rich content and the striking imagery.” –Adele Kenny, Tiferet Journal
- “Studdard’s incinerating diction and expert craft elevate the love poem, so long made shameful by clumsiness and cliché, into a series of glittering surprises.” –Dakota Garilli, Coal Hill Review
- “Like Whitman, Studdard breaks us down to our bare molecules and reassembles us into beings larger than the sky.” -Jocelyn Heath, Lambda Literary
- “If God is a woman as Studdard posits in her poetry, there is no doubt in my mind that I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast is one of Her many great and ordained creations.”—Leila A. Fortier, Knot Magazine
- “To call this collection a tour de force would not do it justice because Ms. Studdard’s world is a unique creation rather than a series of similar verse. I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast is the result of a unique poetic vision wedded to a mastery of the poet’s art.” –Ed Bennett, Quill & Parchment
- “Melissa Studdard’s poems flip the conference tables of every MFA workshop flexing its menacing, ‘This is a little too sentimental.’” –Wesley Rothman, American Microreviews and Interviews
- “Bless you, Melissa Studdard, for writing these poems. Bless you, Ron Starbuck and Saint Julian for publishing these poems. You were both unknown to me before I read this book but I feel blessed to have made your acquaintance. Lastly, bless you, Reader, because if you pay attention to this review and follow up with reading the book, you will be blessed with the radiance of rupture and rapture.”—Eileen Tabios, Galatea Resurrects
- “Like Beowulf’s unlocked word-hoard, Studdard celebrates the irrepressible force that very well may save us in the end, a letting go into the riptide in order to be born into a different landscape.” –Doug Anderson, Cutthroat
- “I Ate The Cosmos for Breakfast is a beauty from cover to final page. Melissa Studdard has such a passion for life. She quite literally breathes a world of color into the sometimes drab world of poetry and seems to have such vigor that I would most likely be intimidated should I meet her in person!” –Katelyn Hensel, Reader’s Favorite
- Studdard’s charged language and striking images make the act of eating breakfast a meditative exercise in which to consume food is also to partake in the richness of human life.” -Elizabeth Nichols, Pirene’s Fountain
Six Weeks to Yehidah is the tale of a spunky young girl on a metaphysical journey. As she travels from one adventure to another through magical, mystical lands, she learns ancient wisdom traditions and gains deeper insight into herself and her world. Eventually she must make the most important decision she’s ever faced—whether or not to return to the self she has always known.
- The first thing to know about Six Weeks to Yehidah is that it’s beautiful. The writing is sharp and crisp and evocative. The prose is poetic, well-formed. All of that, and there’s a story, as well. A good one, worth sharing.—India Wilson, January Magazine
- When people ask me what I read, I say ‘Classics,’ because to me there isn’t a lot else worth reading. Six Weeks to Yehidah is now on my ‘Classics’ shelf.’ —Melissa Lemon, Cinder and Ella
- Six Weeks to Yehidah is the story of Annalise, a young girl who enters a wondrous dreamscape. With the company of two very special friends, she takes a journey and meets a variety of intriguing and highly entertaining characters. Ultimately, it is up to Annalise to solve the greatest riddle of all: why she’s here, and what it all means. Her each step towards this answer is both delightful and thought-provoking. Six Weeks to Yehidah is a must read for any young person who knows there is more to life than what is right in front of our eyes. —Jen Knox, author of Musical Chairs and To Begin Again
- Melissa Studdard’s Six Weeks to Yehidah was a mind blowing, imaginative journey and a soul awakening, wonderful read. —Sylvia H., Reader’s Favorite
Explored as a companion to Six Weeks to Yehidah or as a stand alone, My Yehidah leads you through one of the most important adventures you can take: the journey to the center of yourself. Filled with writing and drawing prompts and beautiful illustrations to color, this book is the perfect jump start for meaningful, creative exploration for people of all ages.
- My Yehidah is indispensable for any parents who desire a creative way to nurture their child’s emotional intelligence, creativity, and authenticity. —Jeffrey Davis, The Journey from the Center to the Page
- My Yehidah is an orchard of words and images to feed the imagination and a meadow of blank spaces to meander through while sketching, coloring, painting, collaging, and writing. —Dawn Leas, I Know When to Keep Quiet
The Tiferet Talk Interviews is a collection of thought-provoking and inspiring interviews from Melissa’s first year with Tiferet Talk radio. Literary and spiritual luminaries such as former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, Guggenhiem President Edward Hirsch, author and medical pioneer Dr. Bernie Siegel, and creativity guru Julia Cameron share insights about writing, craft, spirituality, and more.
- Imagine the perfect interview. The luminaries interviewed include writers, thinkers and people determined to make the world a better place and to tell the truth of their lives and access creativity. That’s the basis of The Tiferet Talk Interviews, a fascinating collection of twelve interviews transcribed from the famous Tiferet Talk Radio Show, conducted by award-winning, bestselling author and host Melissa Studdard, with a forward by Donna Baier Stein, the publisher of Tiferet Journal. —Caroline Leavitt
- An inspirational and moving collection of interviews for anyone seeking creative or spiritual rejuvenation and healing. Ms. Studdard asks the questions that listeners want to know … —Tania Staley, Reader’s Favorite