feel lucky that I'm finally able to live in a way that fulfills
my desires. I enjoy letting myself be the lesbian that I am,"
Melanie Hope is a poet. She began writing in
secret little books that she kept as a child and later pursued
it seriously as an undergraduate at Oberlin College. She
continued her studies in creative writing on a graduate level at
New York University. Her writing has appeared in The
Caribbean Writer, Sinister Wisdom, Essence,
The Key to Everything, The Arc of Love and
Born and raised in Englewood, New Jersey. She graduated from
Oberlin College, where she majored in Creative Writing. The
summer following graduation she attended the Bucknell Seminar
for Younger Poets. She worked for one year at the Hetrick-Martin
Institute for Lesbian and Gay Youth in the drop-in center
organizing youth activities, and taught creative writing at
Westside Day Care Center, an organization for teenage mothers in
Englewood, New Jersey.
In 1990 she enrolled in the New York University Graduate Program
in Creative Writing. She later worked at Door, an alternative
center for youth in New York City. From 1993-1994 she spent
three semesters teaching Women's Studies and English Composition
at (CUNY) York College in Queens.
She has studied with Molly Peacock, Sharon Olds, Michael Harper,
Jean Valentine, Gerry Gomez Pearlberg, Galway Kinnell, Stuart
Friebert, and Diane Vreuls. Her screenplays have been produced
and performed in New York, San Francisco, London, and at Toronto
Independent Film and Video Festivals. She has also written and
produced plays at WOW Cafe in New York City, the New England
Women's Retreat, and Circle of Voices Women of Color Music
Festival. She traveled to Spain as an exchange student in high
school, and to Haiti on the Crossroads Africa-Caribbean program
in the summer of 1985. She lives in New York City and plans to
continue writing for as long as she can.
in the Hand
Film by Catherine Gund (Saalfield) /
Simone and Kaya are lovers trying desperately to escape New York
City for the weekend and the reality of their friend Ayo's
abusive relationship. Along the way, Kaya, who is Ayo's
ex-lover, becomes more and more obsessed with tracking her down
before they leave. In this experimental narrative, the couple
confronts exemplary urban obstacles of broken pay phones,
jealousy and other unexpected encounters. At times humorous, at
times discomforting, Bird in the Hand addresses issues around
co-dependency and obsession through passionate, honest
characterizations of lesbian culture.
1992 • USA • 25 min. • color
For More Info:
The Key to Everything: Classic Lesbian Love Poems, edited by
Gerry Gomez Pearlberg (St. Martins Press, 1995)
Afrekete, edited by Catherine E. McKinley and L. Joyce Delaney
Poems and Articles:
The Caribbean Writer Volume 5, 1991,
Sinister Wisdom #47,
Essence, Sept. 1996.
The Arc of Love (Scribner 1996) ed. Clare Coss.
Honorable Mention, The Academy of American Poets (1989)