Melissa Lozada-Oliva

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Melissa Lozada-Oliva (born September 7, 1992)[1] is an American poet and educator based in New York. She is the author of chapbooks Plastic Pajaros, Rude Girl is Lonely Girl! (Pizza Pi Press), and Peluda (Button Poetry). Her poem, "Like Totally Whatever" won the 2015 National Poetry Slam Championship, and went viral.[2][3][4] [5]

Life & career[edit]

Lozada-Oliva was born and raised in Newton, Massachusetts by immigrant parents; her mother is Guatemalan and her father is Colombian.[6][7] She attended college at Simmons University, where she began to perform slam poetry, and graduated in 2014.[8]

After graduation, she published the chapbooks Plastic Pajaros in 2015 and Rude Girl is Lonely Girl! in 2016. Her performance of a poem called "Like Totally Whatever" won the 2015 National Poetry Slam Championship and received mainstream media coverage. [1][2]

Lozada-Oliva enrolled in New York University's MFA program for Creative Writing in fall 2017. As of spring 2019, she is also teaching a class there.[9] She published Peluda through Button Poetry shortly after enrollment. In it, Lozada-Oliva "explores, interrogates and redefines the intersections of Latina identity, feminism, hair removal & what it means to belong."[9]

In December 2018, Lozada-Oliva started a podcast called Say More along with her best friend and fellow poet Olivia Gatwood. The pair interview each other on topics and answer questions from listeners.[10]


  • Plastic Pajaros (2015)[11]
  • Rude Girl is Lonely Girl! (2016)[11]
  • Peluda (2017)[11]


  • 2015 National Poetry Slam Championship[9]
  • Brenda Moosey Video Slam winner[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Moreno, Carolina (2015-07-09). "Latina Poet Has A Powerful Answer To 'Are You Fluent In Spanish?'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  2. ^ a b Cueto, Emma. "This Powerful Poem Takes On The Speech Police". Bustle. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  3. ^ "STRENGTH OF DOVES | Melissa Lozada-Oliva". STRENGTH OF DOVES | Spoken Word Poetry. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  4. ^ Lo, Danica. "The Way Women Speak: Melissa Lozada-Oliva's Poetry Will Inspire You". Glamour. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  5. ^ Nelson, Jenny. "Melissa Lozada-Olivia (@ellomelissa) on Nihilistic Humor and Being an Alien". Vulture. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  6. ^ "Interview: Melissa Lozada-Oliva". HerStry. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  7. ^ "Melissa Lozada-Oliva". Washington Square News. 2018-10-11. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  8. ^ "10 Questions With Melissa Lozada-Oliva". Mad Girl's Collective. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  9. ^ a b c Lozado-Oliva, Melissa. "About Melissa Lozada-Oliva". Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  10. ^ "SAY MORE". Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  11. ^ a b c "Melissa Lozada-Oliva". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-07-25.