Melissa Bennett

3rd Thing 2020 Land Acknowledgment Writer

Melissa Bennett, M.Div. (Umatilla/Nez Perce/Sac & Fox/Anishinaabe) is a writer, storyteller, story listener, educator, and spiritual care provider. She currently lives on the lands of the Medicine Creek Treaty Tribes at the southern tip of the Salish Sea. Melissa is interested in story as medicine, especially its ability to heal historical trauma among Indigenous communities. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Melissa writes poetry and creative non-fiction with a focus on ancestral medicine, culture, place, tradition, and faith. She was a 2015 recipient of the Evergreen State College Longhouse Native Creative Development Grant, has previously published with Yellow Medicine Review and Indigenous Goddess Gang, and is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop – an association of socially engaged writers working to advance creativity, foster generosity and serve community. 

The series of poems appearing in the 2020 3rd Thing books is meant to reflect the ways in which our lives are intertwined with the stories and memories of our ancestors and our descendants. They bring the past, present, and future together through place, people, traditions, culture, and faith practices. These poems ask where we have been and where we belong as the story of our own becoming. They reflect the stories we know about our ancestors and utilize imagination to fill in what we don’t. As an author, I am interested in how our stories are passed down and the ways in which time becomes non-linear in the telling and remembering of our histories as they intersect with personal joys and traumas. These poems are meant as medicine across generations.