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Melanie Neilson

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Melanie Neilson is an American poet. She is the author of Natural Facts, The Moth Detective, Civil Noir, Prop and Guide. Two new collections are forthcoming in 2012 and in 2013. Neilson’s poetry collection, Natural Facts, is described by Rae Armantrout as “a beautiful and scary book. The speech of the past and the serrated present flies out like debris from some great explosion. Neilson presents us with dazzling conundrums. This book is made of eerie harmonies and wrenched homilies." In the online journal How2 “ecopoetics feature,” poet/editor Harriet Tarlo praises Neilson's play on “classificatory language exploding its elevated, somewhat sinister sibilance throughout...even as she mocks its pomposity and assumption of linguistic power." Neilson's poetry has been anthologized and published in journals internationally since 1982. Awards include NYFA, NYSCA, BAC, and the Fund for Poetry. Recent readings were presented at Lambuth University, Jackson, Tennessee; University of Oklahoma, Tulsa; the Bowery Poetry Club, NYC; the i.e. Reading Series in Baltimore, MD, and the &Now Tomorrowland Forever Festival, UCSD, La Jolla, CA. Neilson was founding editor and publisher, with co-editor Jessica Grim, of Big Allis, award-winning magazine focusing on experimental writing by women published 1989-2000. Big Allis will be reissued in 2013 digitally via the University of Pennsylvania Jacket2 Reissues archival platform for poetry magazines. Born in Humboldt, Tennessee, Neilson grew up in San Diego. She has a BA from the University of California, San Diego, where she studied film, literature and art history with Manny Farber, Allan Kaprow, Jerome Rothenberg, Eleanor Antin, David Antin, Michael Davidson, and Jackson Mac Lowe. She has an MFA in Combined Media from Hunter College, NY. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.