Melinda Palacio


Dividing her time between Louisiana and California, Melinda Palacio is the Poet Laureate for the City of Santa Barbara. She is the author of the novel Ocotillo Dreams. Her first full-length poetry collection, How Fire Is a Story, Waiting, was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Award, the Paterson Prize, and received First Prize in Poetry at the 2013 International Latino Book Awards. In 2015, her work was featured on the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day Program.




9:00 am to 10:00 am
State Library, Fifth Floor, Capitol View Room
Supernatural Laundry: Louisiana Women Poets Engaged in Domestic Fabulism
with Nordette Adams, Anne Babson, Stacy Balkun, Pamela Ebel, Gina Ferrara, and Melinda Palacio

10:15 am to 11:00 am
Cavalier House Books Tent
Book Signing


Bird Forgiveness

In Bird Forgiveness, the poet reminds us what it means to be an observer who has learned something about herself and her relationship to the world. Melinda Palacio is fearless in her poetics on race, the environment, the precarious nature of birds, love, death, and forgiveness.

In Palacio's third collection of poetry, forgiveness begins with a bird and ends in a final flight, life's complete cycle. The poet mourns the strong women who have come before her and honors the ways in which we let go in order to exist within songs of freedom and global sustainability. These poems permit the reader to slow down in gratitude for time on earth. As a contemplation of existence, the poems witness how we navigate our humanity, while leaving some beauty for future generations. Palacio's poetic imagination resides in whimsical and wry tones that are rooted in feminism and in her experiences growing up Mexican-American in South-Central Los Angeles. Bird voices are not lost in Palacio's unflinching free verse; her ecopoetry addresses diversity, love and loss, migration and extinction.


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