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Acclaimed memoirist and essayist, Melissa Febos, shares her lifelong habit of secrecy. She never planned to write a book about her experiences as a heroin addict and professional dominatrix, but the result of exposing and making sense out of her dark history had profound and unexpected results. By making her darkness visible, she reached thousands of strangers and became closer with her own family. “This kind of honesty,” she claims, “makes room for every kind of love.”
Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010), and the forthcoming essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017). Her work has appeared in venues including The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Post Road, Salon, New York Times, Portland Review, Dissent, and she has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, Anderson Cooper Live, CNN’s Dr. Drew, & elsewhere. Her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quartzerly, and The Center for Women Writers, and she is the recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, & The MacDowell Colony. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Monmouth University and MFA faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA).