Melissa Studdard

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Melissa Studdard
Studdard reading at Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse in Los Angeles in 2012
ResidenceHouston, Texas
EducationUniversity of Houston,
Sarah Lawrence College
Known forSix Weeks to Yehidah, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast
WebsiteMelissa Studdard

Melissa Studdard was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and is an American author, poet, editor, book reviewer, talk show host, and professor. Her most recent book is the poetry collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast. The title poem from this collection was produced as a short film and featured as an official selection at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Film Festival.[1] Her middle-grade novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah won a Forward National Literature Award and Pinnacle Book Achievement Award.[2] The accompanying journal, My Yehidah, was released in December 2011 and was adopted by art and play therapists for clinical use in adolescent therapy sessions.[3]

Studdard is a full-time college professor at Lone Star College–Tomball and a former teaching artist for The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative.[citation needed] From 2010 to 2012, she was an editor for The Criterion: An International Journal in English.[citation needed] She hosts and produces VIDA Voices & Views for Vida: Women in Literary Arts.[4] In her podcast work she has interviewed such figures as Jane Hirshfield, Rita Dove, Julia Cameron, Robert Pinsky, Patricia Smith, Cheryl Strayed, Joy Harjo, and Krista Tippett. Studdard also serves as president of the Women's Caucus and moderates their annual meeting at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference.[5]

Early life[edit]

Melissa Studdard was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, and was raised in Texas. She received her B.A. (1991) and M.A. (1995) from the University of Houston, and her M.F.A. (1997) from Sarah Lawrence College. While at the University of Houston, Studdard worked on the college's literary journal, Gulf Coast, as a production editor, curated the Gulf Coast Reading Series, and taught college courses for the Houston Community College System. While at Sarah Lawrence College, she worked as an assistant editor at Chelsea (magazine) and taught for City University of New York at Baruch College, John Jay College, and Hunter College. She then briefly taught at San Jose State University and the University of Houston–Downtown, prior to accepting a full-time teaching position with Lone Star College in 2001.[citation needed]


  • Six Weeks to Yehidah (2011)
  • My Yehidah (2011)
  • The Tiferet Talk Interviews (2013)
  • I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast (2014)

Selected short works[edit]

Studdard's work has been published in multiple journals, magazines, newspapers, blogs sites, and anthologies, including The New York Times,[6] The Guardian,[7] The Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day,[8] Southern Humanities Review,[9] Cultural Weekly,[10] Harvard Review,[11] Verse Daily,[12] and Psychology Today.[13][14]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2011: Winner: The Forward National Literature Award for Six Weeks to Yehidah[15]
  • 2012: Finalist: Readers Favorite Award for Six Weeks to Yehidah[16]
  • 2012: Finalist: The National Indie Excellence Award for Six Weeks to Yehidah[17]
  • 2012: Winner: The Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Six Weeks to Yehidah[18]
  • 2013: Winner: Readers Favorite Award for The Tiferet Talk Interviews [19]
  • 2013: Winner: The Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for The Tiferet Talk Interviews [20]
  • 2013: Winner: International Book Award for 2013 Six Weeks to Yehidah [21]
  • 2015: Finalist: Readers’ Favorite Bronze Award for I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast [22]
  • 2015: Inclusion: Bettering American Poetry for "Respect"[23]
  • 2018: Winner: Kathak Literary Award 2018/19. Dhaka International Poets Summit.[24]


  1. ^ "I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast". Motionpoems. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  2. ^ Forward National Literature Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Chiron Volume 31 Jung Foundation of Ontario
  4. ^ "About VIDA Voices & Views". VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. 2015-11-12. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  5. ^ "AWP: Conference Schedule". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  6. ^ "Being Women: Poetry and Imagery". The New York Times. 2018-08-17. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  7. ^ Spencer, Jane. "Huddled masses? Losers! Trump v Statue of Liberty". the Guardian. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  8. ^ egonzalez (2015-06-22). "Respect by Melissa Studdard - Poems | Academy of American Poets". Respect. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  9. ^ "The 2010s". SOUTHERN HUMANITIES REVIEW. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  10. ^ January 18, Melissa Studdard on; Poetry, 2017 in (2017-01-18). "Melissa Studdard: Three Poems". Cultural Weekly. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  11. ^ Healy, Laura. "Home". Harvard Review. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  12. ^ "Verse Daily: Integrating the Shadow by Melissa Studdard". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  13. ^ "Gratitude and Passion: To Love One Thing". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  14. ^ "About the The Staff". Tiferet Journal. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  15. ^ The Forward National Literature Award Winner -- 2011 Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Readers Favorite Award Winner -- 2012
  17. ^ Indie Excellence Award Winner -- 2012
  18. ^ Pinnacle Book Award Winner -- 2012
  19. ^ Readers Favorite Award Winner -- 2013
  20. ^ Pinnacle Book Award Winner -- 2013
  21. ^ International Book Award Winner -- 2013
  22. ^ Readers’ Favorite Bronze Award--2015
  23. ^ Bettering American Poetry--2015
  24. ^ Kathak Literary Award--2018/19

External links[edit]