Melissa Studdard

Melissa Studdard (Fiction, Poetry) | Houston, TX

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Melissa Studdard is the author of the poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, as well as a novel and a collection of interviews. Her awards include the Forward National Literature Award and the International Book Award, among others. Her poetry, fiction, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Poets & Writers, Tupelo Quarterly, Psychology Today, Pleiades, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day. She is host of VIDA Voices & Views, an editor for American Microreviews and Interviews, and a judge for the monthly Goodreads ¡Poetry! Group contest.


I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast (Saint Julian Press, 2014). Poetry.
I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast (Saint Julian Press, 2014). Poetry.
Six Weeks to Yehidah (All Things That Matter Press, 2011). Fiction.
Six Weeks to Yehidah (All Things That Matter Press, 2011). Novel.

Press & Reviews

“Melissa Studdard’s high-flying, bold poetic language expresses an erotic appetite for the world: “this desire to butter and eat the stars,” as she says, in words characteristically large yet domestic, ambitious yet chuckling at their own nerve. This poet’s ardent, winning ebullience echoes that of God, a recurring character here, who finds us Her children, splotchy, bawling and imperfect though we are, “flawless in her omniscient eyes.”
—Robert Pinsky

In so many ways the poems in this book read like paintings, touching and absorbing the light of the known world while fingering the soul until it lifts, trembling. Gates splayed, bodies read as books, and hearts born of mouths, Studdard’s study, which is a creation unto itself, would have no doubt pleased Neruda’s taste for the alchemic impurity of poetry, which is, as we know, poetry that is not only most pure of heart, but beautifully generous in vision and feeling.
—Cate Marvin

Like Neruda, Melissa Studdard has the gift of making the ordinary appear alluring, “It is the warmth of two/ hands rubbed together,/ a fire cradling your heels and soles,” she writes of socks. Her work, at once captivating and exact, brims over with heart and luster, informing these poems with a lucid, transcendental quality, “You’re/something like that, one/of nature’s great mysteries.” Each poem is a shimmering stream of joy that pulls the reader in, ardent and alive. Melissa Studdard’s “words are a pilgrimage/bearing gifts.”
—Ami Kaye, Publisher & Editor of Glass Lyre Press

“From the cover image, a face that is hauntingly like the poet’s (though not the poet’s) to poem after poem graced with perfect syntax and rhythmic modulation, this collection by Melissa Studdard amazes with its rich content and the striking imagery.”
–Adele Kenny, Tiferet Journal

“Studdard’s incinerating diction and expert craft elevate the love poem, so long made shameful by clumsiness and cliché, into a series of glittering surprises.”
–Dakota Garilli, Coal Hill Review

“If God is a woman as Studdard posits in her poetry, there is no doubt in my mind that I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast is one of Her many great and ordained creations.”
—Leila A. Fortier, Knot Magazine

“Like Whitman, Studdard breaks us down to our bare molecules and reassembles us into beings larger than the sky.”
–Jocelyn Heath, Lambda Literary

“To call this collection a tour de force would not do it justice because Ms. Studdard’s world is a unique creation rather than a series of similar verse. I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast is the result of a unique poetic vision wedded to a mastery of the poet’s art.”
–Ed Bennett, Quill & Parchment

“Melissa Studdard’s poems flip the conference tables of every MFA workshop flexing its menacing, ‘This is a little too sentimental.’”
–Wesley Rothman, American Microreviews and Interviews

“Bless you, Melissa Studdard, for writing these poems. Bless you, Ron Starbuck and Saint Julian for publishing these poems. You were both unknown to me before I read this book but I feel blessed to have made your acquaintance. Lastly, bless you, Reader, because if you pay attention to this review and follow up with reading the book, you will be blessed with the radiance of rupture and rapture.”
—Eileen Tabios, Galatea Resurrects

“Like Beowulf’s unlocked word-hoard, Studdard celebrates the irrepressible force that very well may save us in the end, a letting go into the riptide in order to be born into a different landscape.”
–Doug Anderson, Cutthroat

I Ate The Cosmos for Breakfast is a beauty from cover to final page. Melissa Studdard has such a passion for life. She quite literally breathes a world of color into the sometimes drab world of poetry and seems to have such vigor that I would most likely be intimidated should I meet her in person!”
–Katelyn Hensel, Reader’s Favorite

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