Today is the one-year anniversary of the release of the novel Dreaming of You, so we’re celebrating its author, Melissa Lozada-Oliva.
Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a poet, essayist and novelist. She is a fierce performance poet, delivering spoken word poems which explore themes of feminism and the Latina experience. Her slam poem “Like Totally Whatever”, about the filler-words associated with women and the implications of this type of language, won the National Poetry Slam Championship in 2015. She also co-hosts a podcast called “Say More” with her best friend and a fellow poet, Olivia Gatwood, in which they discuss life’s biggest questions using their unique writer’s voices. In 2017, Melissa released a book of poems entitled Peluda, which explores themes of Latina identity, feminism, and body hair.
In 2021, she released Dreaming of You, an experimental novel written in verse, in which the protagonist brings pop star Selena, who was murdered by a fan at the age of 23, back to life through a séance. The novel examines modern fangirl culture through the lens of the absurd. Since its release, Dreaming of You has received rave reviews by critics and Selena stans alike.
In a review of Dreaming of You, FF2 contributor Hannah Lamb-Vines writes that she has “never read a novel like Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s Dreaming of You before.” She goes on to explain that the novel is “like if Bernadette Mayer, the New York poet known for her hilarious voice and overtly sexual subject matter, wrote Beetlejuice.” Of Melissa’s voice, Hannah says, “It’s clear that Lozada-Oliva has fun when she writes. The poems are often sexy, funny, or both.”
It’s clear that Lozada-Oliva has fun when she writes.
Melissa is an unflinching feminist and an innovative writer. Her work is at once funny, thought-provoking, and undeniably artful. There is much to look forward to when it comes to Melissa–she’s even working on adapting Dreaming of You into a film! Whether it’s her spoken word poems on Youtube, her podcast, or either of her books, her work should not be missed.
© Julia Lasker (10/26/2022) FF2 Media
LEARN MORE/DO MORE
Read Hannah Lamb-Vines’ review of Melissa’s novel, Dreaming of You, here.
Watch Melissa’s award-winning slam poem, “Like Totally Whatever”, here.
Learn more about Melissa and explore her work here.