Lynn Melnick is the author of the poetry collections Refusenik (forthcoming 2022), Landscape with Sex and Violence (2017), and If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012), all with YesYes Books, and the co-editor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (Viking, 2015). I’ve Had to Think Up a Way to Survive, a book about Dolly Parton that is also a bit of a memoir, is forthcoming from University of Texas Press in 2022.
Her poetry tends towards the subjects of love, sex, violence, Los Angeles, New York, toxic masculinity, middle age, motherhood, Jewishness, and Americanness. She’s currently writing prose, though: a book about Dolly Parton’s life, music, and cultural legacy which also tells the story of her own life—with both lives explored through the lens of trauma and rape culture.
She’s a little embarrassed that she doesn’t have any hobbies, really. She likes to do crossword puzzles and to (mostly window-) shop for shoes on the internet. She’s been writing a lot of get-out-the-vote postcards. She loves candy but rarely eats it anymore.
Some of her favorite prose authors include Alice Walker, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Audre Lorde, Virginia Woolf, and Emily Bronte. Two of her favorite poets are about to publish their first books; Hafizah Geter’s Un-American and Ricardo Alberto Maldonado’s The Life Assignment both pub this September.
She recently finished reading Abram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist, but mostly she reads books, articles, and interviews by or about Dolly Parton, as she works towards finishing her book by deadline!