Melissa Helton was born in Toledo, Ohio to an immigrant father, giving her dual citizenship in the United States and the United Kingdom. Melissa was the first person in her family to go to college, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies. She continued her education at Bowling Green State University where she obtained a Master of Fine Arts with a focus on poetry and later got her Doctor of Education in educational leadership and policy studies from Eastern Kentucky University. Melissa, her love for education unwavering, decided to go back to school as an educator. Melissa has followed that passion since 2004, teaching writing and humanities classes. During her time educating, Melissa was the director for the Southeast Honors Program and sponsored the Student Orientation and Gender Identity Alliance.
Somehow, in between all of her degrees and teaching, Melissa found time to settle down in southeast Kentucky where she has lived with her husband, Keith, and their two children since 2010. However, Melissa’s love for writing did not wane as she was published for her photography, nonfiction, and poetry. A handful of these publications include: Still: The Journal, Shenandoah, Cutleaf, and works such as Inertia: A Study (2016) and Hewn (2021). Melissa is a literary force to be reckoned with a true passion for reading, setting a personal goal to read at least 100 books per year.
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