Melissa Balmain edits Light, an online journal of light verse. Her poems have appeared in such anthologies as The Iron Book of New Humorous Verse and Killer Verse, and in many American and British journals and magazines. The author of a memoir, Just Us: Adventures and Travels of a Mother and Daughter, she has published articles and humor pieces in The New Yorker, McSweeneys, Success, and The New York Times. She teaches at the University of Rochester and lives nearby with her husband and two children.
Winner of the 2013 Able Muse Book Award
"Walking in on People grabbed me with its very title, and it never let go. Poetry these days is rarely so entertaining, so beautifully crafted, so sharp of eye, yet so wise and warm of heart. Melissa Balmain keenly perceives faults in people and in our popular culture, with piercing wit but never bitterness.... She really commands her art. Indeed, I think any poet who rhymes lobsters and Jersey mobsters deserves to have an equestrian statue of herself erected in Bangor or Newark or both."
—X.J. Kennedy (Judge, 2013 Able Muse Book Award)
"Melissa Balmain’s poems add to the rhythmic bounce of light verse a darker, more cutting humor. The result is an infectious, often hilarious blend of the sweet and the lethal, the charming and the acidic."
"So many of the poems in Melissa Balmain’s triumphant debut lodge themselves in that Frostian zone where they are hard to get rid of. They recur in the mind in moments of hilarity and pathos, of exaltation and mortification, and they never let us go."
—David Yezzi (from the foreword)
Able Muse Press