Catching Up With Melissa Eleftherion

Where can we read some of your recent work? 

Cover of "Field Guide to Autobiography" by Melissa Eleftherion: Slender white branches against a purple background.

The Operating System published my first book, field guide to autobiography, in 2018. My chapbook, little ditch, also came out in 2018 from above/ground press. I have a chapbook of erasures, Trauma Suture, that will be out next month, also from above/ground press. Some of the poems were recently published in Petrichor, & Talking about Strawberries all of the Time. Three poems on the topic of sheltering were just published in MiGoZine, & three others about transformation appear in Burning House Press. 

What are you reading right now? 

As a librarian, I read omnivorously & often (but not at work, that’s a common misnomer!) I just finished reading Prince’s memoir, The Beautiful Ones, which was released after he died. It’s filled with 70s-era snapshots from Prince’s personal collection – of various items like old buttons, family & friends, Prince himself, along with photos of original handwritten lyrics to hits like Purple Rain on discarded napkins and delivery invoices. Although the book was not finished until years after his death, one really feels Prince’s defining presence while reading it. The book manages to capture him, while keeping his enigmatic persona intact. Other books I’m reading include The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington, Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Marie Brown, & Style by Dolores Dorantes.

What’s next for you? 

I just finished a final draft of my second full-length poetry collection, so I am really excited about that. The book was difficult to write at times, and forced me to confront some painful traumas from my adolescence. Using the language of minerals and rocks that form the Earth’s crust, it tells a story of trauma and betrayal that lingers in our foundation. It’s about becoming. 


Melissa Eleftherion

Melissa Eleftherion is a writer, a librarian, and a visual artist. She is the author of field guide to autobiography (The Operating System, 2018), & nine chapbooks, including little ditch (above/ground press, 2018) & trauma suture (above/ground press, 2020). Born & raised in Brooklyn, Melissa created, developed, and currently co-curates The Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange with Elise Ficarra. She now lives in Northern California where she manages the Ukiah Library, teaches creative writing, curates the LOBA Reading Series, & hosts The Uplift on KZYX radio. Recent work is available at