Tabs open on your screen right now:
2 email accounts, VIDA’s website, twitter, an article on theGrio about strippers in NYC going on strike to protest the ongoing racism at the clubs, a Wikipedia entry on Barbara Hershey, Safia Jama’s poem “Lies” from Boston Review, this bra I keep almost buying but I’m hesitant to buy expensive things for myself, and a bunch of my 8 year old’s Google searches, including “poop,” “how to draw a building,” and “Christmas.”

If you had to brag about yourself:
People tell me their secrets, and/because I keep them well.

Your writer crush:
Timothy Donnelly, of course.

Favorite lyric:
“I wasn’t born to lose you.”

Any place in the world:

Best breakfast:
Eggs benedict. Or candy.

Favorite online places right now:
I am obsessed with the “Subway Time” app for the NYC subway system because it tells me when my train will arrive so I don’t get all anxious and also I know whether I should get on a really crowded train or if there’s another one right behind it.

Sweetest thing:
A day with no obligations and my whole family home. The feeling of getting the words and rhythm finally just right in a line or sentence. The card my 12 year old’s friend gave to her thanking her for being so kind. Landing in NYC. Snail mail letters. Candy.

Your rituals (writing or not):
I don’t think I have any!

Least impressive thing about you:
I can be terribly shy at parties and I usually want to (and often do) leave early.

Favorite space to write:
My couch. But my office this year at NYPL’s Cullman Center is fucking awesome.

What should we know:
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.

Out of every 1,000 rapes, 994 perpetrators will go free.

Black lives matter.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides free books to more than 1 million children in four countries – one book a month every month until they turn 5!

If you have a c-section, you might want to get yourself some high-waisted panties because the incision will be right where your usual panties sit and it hurts.

Approximately 80% of New York City’s subway stations are inaccessible to those with mobility impairments.

The VIDA Count highlights gender imbalances in publishing by tallying genre, book reviewers, books reviewed, and journalistic bylines to offer an accurate assessment of the publishing world. You should take a look!

Guilty literary pleasure:
Dolly Parton: My Life and Other Unfinished Business

Best book nobody talks about:
Dolly Parton: My Life and Other Unfinished Business

Character (TV, book, movie) you most identify with:
Bethany Frankel, because she is way too intense about minor stuff in this very Jewish and Scorpio way I recognize, even as I often find her unbearable.

Last time you lied:
A few minutes ago.

The lie:
Well, the least impressive thing about me is probably that I can’t seem to stop biting my nails.

Question you secretly want to be asked:
I am desperate to visit my BFF in Burlington, so please ask me: Would you like to read in my reading series in Vermont [or, anywhere along the Vermonter train line]?

The answer:
YES, thank you so much for asking! I’d love to!



Lynn Melnick is author of If I Should Say I Have Hope (YesYes Books, 2012) and co-editor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation (Viking, 2015).  She teaches poetry at 92Y in NYC and serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.