Melissa was born and raised in a small suburban town in northern New Jersey. After spending her first eighteen years in the North, she escaped to Nashville, Tennessee where she completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University. Over the past several years, Melissa has found significant poetic impetus in the cultural and geographic contrasts between North and South, as well as the brilliant and diverse people she has had the pleasure to encounter in her adult life. She would like to thank the energetic and inspiring Literary Laundry staff for their support and willingness to champion her work.