A University of Maine at Presque Isle English professor and published poet has just had one of her works published in Maine. The Magazine. Dr. Melissa Crowe also recently received the inaugural Betsy Sholl Award for Excellence in Poetry by the University of Southern Maine’s Words & Images magazine.
Dr. Crowe’s poem Epithalamium with Humming Bird was published in the February 2012 special wedding issue of Maine magazine. The inspiration for her poem came from a newspaper clipping sent by a friend that mentioned a ‘lost periwinkler.’ “Though this poor soul was most likely gathering mollusks by the seashore,” the magazine quoted Crowe as saying, “I imagined a wanderer found with pockets full of tiny purple-blue flowers.”
Her poem is one of a small number that will be presented in Maine magazine alongside illustrations by students at the Maine College of Art. Crowe’s poem featured a watercolor illustration by MECA student Brittany Lawrence.
“As a poet, you never really dream of your work appearing in a magazine that people can pick up in their grocery aisle—but with this publication, I know that’s exactly what’s happening all over the state, and I think that’s pretty cool,” Crowe said.
Dr. Crowe also was honored recently with the inaugural Betsy Sholl Award for Excellence in Poetry by USM’s Words & Images magazine. The award is named in honor of former Maine Poet Laureate Betsy Sholl. The winning poem, This River, was selected by the poet Adrian Blevins, who teaches at Colby College. Dr. Crowe read her work at the launch of the new issue of the magazine, held in 2011 at USM’s Abromson Center.
“I was thrilled to be given an award in the name of Betsy Sholl, a Maine poet I greatly admire, and that my work was selected by Adrian Blevins, another of my favorites, made it even sweeter,” Crowe said. “It’s always nice to have this kind of encouragement, and the boost put me right back at the writing desk!”
Dr. Crowe served as a full-time Assistant Professor of English and Honors Director for UMPI from 2004 to 2008, and thereafter worked part-time for the institution teaching online courses. She rejoined the University as an Assistant Professor of English in the Fall of 2011, focusing exclusively on online course delivery and development. Dr. Crowe’s work has appeared in many magazines and poetry reviews, including the Atlanta Review, the Crab Orchard Review and the Seneca Review.
A chapbook of her poetry, titled Cirque du Creve-Coeur was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2008. Dr. Crowe began writing her poetry for this publication in a non-traditional sort of way – on a blog she started in September 2006. A few months later, in December 2006, she received a grant from the Barbara Deming/Money for Women Fund to complete her chapbook.
Dr. Crowe, who was born and raised in Presque Isle, graduated from Presque Isle High School in 1992. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maine in 1996, her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia.
She resides with her husband Mark and their daughter Annabelle in Portland.