Melissa R. Sipin is a writer from Carson, California. She won First Place in the 2013 March Glimmer Train Fiction Open and Honorable Mention in the 2013 September Glimmer Train Fiction Open. Her writing is published or forthcoming in Glimmer Train Stories, Kartika Review, Kweli Journal, Tidal Basin Review, Lantern Review, and The Bakery, among others. She is the Community Engagement Fellow at Mills College and Tennessee Williams Scholar at the 2013 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her short fiction received the 2013 Ardella Mills Prize, the 2011 Miguel G. Flores Prize, and in 2012 and 2013, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. As a VONA/Voices Fellow and U.S. Navy wife, she splits her time writing on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.
Her writing aches with tenderness and longing as she grapples with concerns of family, language, war, and history. For example, these haunting lines from her poem, “For Lola,” which was published in The Bakery last year: “I think this anger comes from a deeper place / unknown to me like my grandfather, who lost / his leg in the war / so long ago, // along the rocks of Bessang Pass, the ocean / shores of memory.” There is a palpable sense of searching, of tracing lineage and forgotten or buried histories that is trademark in Melissa’s work. Her short stories approach the larger issues that members of the Filipino immigrant community face: migration, family secrets, taboo, and silence; yet her stories are carefully rendered with an intimacy of voice and specificity of experience, seen in “Walang Hiya, Brother,” which is forthcoming in Glimmer Train Stories.