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Meliza Bañales

Los Angeles, CA
Winner of the People Before Profits Poetry Prize, Meliza Bañales aka Missy Fuego is the author of Say It With Your Whole Mouth: Poems (Monkey Press) and the Xicana-Punk-Rock-Coming-of-Age novel Life Is Wonderful, People Are Terrific (Ladybox Books) which was a 2016 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Debut LGBT Fiction. She was a fixture in the San Francisco Bay Area spoken-word and slam communities from 1996-2010, where she became the first Xicana to win a poetry slam championship in 2002, competed on three award-winning slam teams, toured with Sister Spit & Body Heat, and gained national recognition for her true-life, San Francisco tales on NPR and The Lesbian Podcast. She has new fiction forthcoming in the acclaimed Noir series from Akashic Books’ edited by Susie Bright entitled Santa Cruz Noir and has published a third chapbook of poems on Ladybox Books in 2016 entitled 51 Poems About Nothing At All. She is a Visiting Professor of Literature and Counter-Culture at UC San Diego and the feature film of her novel is currently in pre-production in Los Angeles.