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Melissa Benton Barker

Born in Guam to a U.S. Navy family, Melissa Benton Barker moved nine times in the first seventeen years of her life. Her many home towns include Pearl City, Hawaii; Sasebo, Japan; and San Francisco. An introvert and observer, reading and writing were tools for surviving a nomadic childhood. Melissa studied writing and literature at Sarah Lawrence College and lived in New York City for many years before settling in the tiny art village of Yellow Springs, Ohio to focus on her creative work and raising her young family. She currently lives in Yellow Springs with her husband, two children, and her boxer-pit companion. 

Melissa completed her MFA at Antioch University-Los Angeles, where she studied with Amy Sage Webb, Gayle Brandeis, Jim Krusoe, Alistair McCartney, and Ana Maria Spagna. She is grateful to the mentors and friends who have helped her dig deeper and cut closer to the bone. In addition to her own writing practice, Melissa has co-led writing and healing groups for women and girls. She believes that words can be beacons and bridges on the path of healing and survival. Melissa also currently co-edits the flash fiction section of the literary journal, CRAFT.

Photo credit: Kian Barker

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