photo by Anthony Posey

Melinda Palacio is an award-winning poet, author, and speaker. She is the Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara. Born and raised in South-Central Los Angeles, she currently lives Santa Barbara. She holds two degrees in Comparative Literature, a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MA from UC Santa Cruz. She is a 2007 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow and a 2009 poetry alum of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her poetry chapbook, Folsom Lockdown, won Kulupi Press’ Sense of Place 2009 award . She is the author of the novel, Ocotillo Dreams (ASU Bilingual Press 2011), for which she received the Mariposa Award for Best First Book at the 2012 International Latino Book Awards and a 2012 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. Her first full-length poetry collection, How Fire Is a Story, Waiting, (Tia Chucha Press 2012) was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Award, the Paterson Prize, and received First Prize in Poetry at the 2013 International Latino Book Awards. In 2015, her work was featured on the Academy of American Poets, Poem-a-Day Program. Melinda’s latest poetry collection is Bird Forgiveness, 3Taos Press in 2018.

Videos of Melinda Palacio’s Poems and Songs on her YouTube Channel