More About the Author
Melinda Palacio is an award-winning poet and author from South-Central Los Angeles. She studied Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley and earned a graduate degree in the same field at UC Santa Cruz. She is a 2007 PEN USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellow and an alum of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. In 2009, Bilingual Press accepted her novel manuscript, Ocotillo Dreams, for publication. That same year, she won Kulupi Press' Sense of Place 2009 competition for her poetry chapbook, Folsom Lockdown. Tia Chucha Press published first full-length poetry manuscript, How Fire Is A Story, Waiting Fall 2012. The title poem from that collection has been widely reprinted and represents the first poem she published in 2006. The book was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize and placed first in the International Latino Book Awards. Her poetry and fiction have been widely published and anthologized, including Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, Southern Poetry Anthology IV: Louisiana, San Diego Poetry Annual New Poets of the American West: An Anthology of Eleven Western State, PALABRA, the Mas Tequila Review, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, Naugatuck River River, Pilgrimage Magazine, Quercus Review, ASKEW Poetry Journal, Squaw Valley Review, San Pedro River Review, El Tecolote, and Strange Cargo: An Emerging Voices Anthology.
When she lived in Chandler, Arizona, she started freelancing and writing lifestyle pieces for local newspapers and magazines. Later, when she moved to Santa Barbara, she was a staff reporter for the Goleta Valley Voice and she started writing poetry and fiction. She had the idea of working on a historical novel, based on the INS sweeps of Chandler, Arizona in 1997. However, the events of Arizona's immigration laws and SB 1070 turned her historical work, Ocotillo Dreams, into a contemporary novel. She is currently working on a new novel.