A Note from Mel

Make the connection…

The Sister I Chose. October 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — anotefrommel @ 12:18 am

Marlene Hawthrone (November 26, 1982 – October 24, 2012)

I am waiting for the phone to ring,

to hear Nina sing about birds flying high,

a sun up in the sky. I am waiting

to hear the rapid fire of your day,

what dawning of love lit in brightly

colored wedding gowns and matching

suits got snagged in the teeth of your lens.


I am waiting to hear how you touched

and retouched a new human who had

no warning of your impossible wit, or spirit,

waiting for you to carve out a second

of your day and hand it to me within

the vast limits of four sealed lines.


I am waiting to swap secrets of great shame,

sass and delight, secrets so big, only hearts

as big as ours could promise to bury them

with our skins singed in the fire of growing older,

and a little less silly.


I am waiting to claim again with you some

greatness, to lift each other out of failure & defeat

with many hard, long sermons delivered

from the valley of sisterhood, I am waiting

to hear ‘I love you. Goodnight.’


I am waiting to meet your curly-haired

offspring years from now while you dote

on my little one’s zest as if Rumi is pulling

back your ‘fro and whispering in your ear.


I am waiting for you to live for you, to leave

behind anything and everyone who thinks

they can hold or direct the secret light in your eyes.

I beg they let you see less of them and more of you.


I am waiting for you to show up and disappear,

promise and change your mind; You have become

a firefly, and I, a wistful child waiting for your

promised and indeterminable green glow.


A Poetry Reading by Nikky Finney and Melanie Henderson June 22, 2012

Filed under: Events and Readings,Melanie Henderson — anotefrommel @ 11:41 am


Reading Series: Award-winning visiting poets, Nikky Finney and Melanie Henderson, June 27th, 6:30 pm June 6, 2012

Cambridge, Mass. – The MFA Program in Creative Writing at Lesley University welcomes community members and the public to enjoy the work of its distinguished faculty, students, and award-winning visiting writers from June 22 to 30, 2012.



The Reading Series features two exceptional visiting poets on Wednesday, June 27 at 6:30 pm: Nikky Finney, winner of the 2011 National Book Award and Distinguished Writer in Residence for Lesley’s June residency; and Melanie Henderson, a program alumna whose debut collection won the 2011 Main Street Rag Poetry Award. Read more…



Nikky Finney (Photo: Rachel Eliza Griffiths)


About Nikky Finney

Nikky Finney won the National Book Award in 2011 for Head Off & Split (2011). Prior to winning the top literary prize, Finney published The World Is Round (2003); Rice (1995); and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985).

She also edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), and co-founded the Affrilachian Poets. Finney is a Professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kentucky.






Melanie Henderson (Photo: Marlene Hawthrone)


About Melanie Henderson

Melanie Henderson graduated from Lesley’s MFA in Creative Writing Program in 2010, and soon thereafter won the prestigious the 2011 Main Street Rag Press Poetry Award for her debut book of poetry, Elegies for New York Avenue. Her poems have appeared in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Drumvoices Revue, jubilat, Reverie, Torch, Tuesday; An Art Project, and The Washington Informer, among other publications. Melanie Henderson lives in Washington, DC.


The Next Verse Poets: Live! in the Capitol City April 18, 2012

Filed under: Events and Readings — anotefrommel @ 10:38 am
Tags: ,




Review: Melanie Henderson’s ELEGIES for NEW YORK AVENUE by Joseph Ross January 18, 2012

Filed under: Melanie Henderson — anotefrommel @ 6:35 pm

Melanie Henderson’s new book, Elegies for New York Avenue turns remembering into a fine art. Winner of the 2011 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, the poems in this book are moving, generous tributes to the human skill of remembering. New York Avenue, like many places in Washington, D.C. is at once changing, and at the same time rooted in the past. Melanie Henderson’s poems capture all of that– the sadness and hope that come with change, as well as the mixed goodness of the past.

Melanie Henderson’s poems are multi-layered and beautiful. They are accessible but not simple. Read more…


Elegies for New York Avenue Book Launch at Sunday Kind of Love, 1/15/12, 5-7pm December 20, 2011


Review of Elegies for New York Avenue @ The Big Ideas by Brian Gilmore December 6, 2011

Filed under: Art & Culture,Art & Politics,Art - The Product,Melanie Henderson — anotefrommel @ 5:30 pm

Everyone who grew up in Washington D.C. (myself included) seems to live near one of the avenues named after a U.S. state. For me, it was South Dakota Avenue, a residential thoroughfare of schools, libraries, gas stations, and single family homes, of little significance, except our mischief.  Washington D.C. poet, Melanie Henderson salutes her avenue in her debut collection of poetry, “Elegies for New York Avenue.” (Read more…)