field guide to autobiography


I am so incredibly excited to announce that my first full-length book, field guide to autobiography, will be published by H_NGM_N Books next year!!

This book has been a labor of love, & has changed and evolved in many ways since I first began writing poems toward it 3-4 years ago. In many ways, the book truly began as part of my MFA thesis back in 2006. I’ve been submitting this manuscript for the greater part of a year in its current iteration, & it had been rejected 15 times. I was beginning to feel very discouraged.

As a nearly-42 year old human who has been submitting & publishing poems for the past twenty (20) years, it’s been a long time coming. This is all to say – dear reader, please don’t ever give up on your creative self. If I can do it, you can too. 

Thanks for reading.

A bit about the book:

The book explores the inter-relatedness of various species through accreted fragments toward autobiography. How does a person begin to enumerate the many fragments & fractals that comprise a life? field guide to autobiography is an attempt at memoir through the lens of various animals & minerals including katydids, wrens, abalone shells, and apple trees.

Published by


Melissa Eleftherion is a writer, a librarian, and a visual artist. She is the author of field guide to autobiography (The Operating System, 2018), & nine chapbooks, including the forthcoming trauma suture (above/ground press, 2020). Born & raised in Brooklyn, Melissa now lives in Mendocino County where she manages the Ukiah Library, teaches creative writing, & curates the LOBA Reading Series. Recent work is available at

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