Melissa Studdard is the author of the poetry collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast and the young adult novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her short writings have appeared in a wide variety of journals, magazines, blogs, and anthologies, such as Psychology Today, The Guardian, Southern Humanities Review, Harvard Review, Bettering American Poetry, and Poets & Writers.
In addition to writing, she serves as executive producer and host of VIDA Voices & Views for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, president of the Associated Writing Program’s Women’s Caucus, and an editor for American Microreviews and Interviews. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is a professor for the Lone Star College System. Her awards include the Forward National Literature Award, the International Book Award, the Readers’ Favorite Award, and others.
With Whitmanesque exuberance and voracity, Melissa Studdard’s I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast is a collection that devours the world even as it offers it—a collection that, through all its doubts and wounds, through “fire, ice, hurricanes, tsunamis, and quakes” arrives “with that tornado in its throat”—love—to spark renewal again and again.
Noting the voluptuous, yet spiritual thrust of the book, Robert Pinsky states, “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.”
Poet Cate Marvin observes, “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.”
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