Melanie Weldon-Soiset loves languages and books. Her parents tell her she delighted in speaking her own secret language as a baby, and Melanie’s teachers often had to tell her to “shush!” during class. Thankfully, this native Georgian found a productive way to engage her linguistic interests by studying Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia.
Melanie also loves opposites, and tries to find deeper paradoxes in them. Perhaps this craving to connect disparate things contributed to her calling to China. Along with her husband Brian, Melanie moved to Hangzhou, China in 2011 in order to study another language, Mandarin. The passion for paradox drives her thirst for theology, so Melanie earned her Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological seminary in Washington, DC in 2010. She put her degree to good use in Shanghai as the Teaching Pastor at a nondenominational church of 2000 immigrants from over 100 countries.
Melanie moved back to the US, and to DC, in 2016. Melanie now seeks to connect disparate things through metaphor. The more Melanie practices contemplative prayer and poetry, both of which engage images and metaphor, the more wonder, creativity, and hope she discovers in the world. Indeed, the process of receiving and creating beauty this season has helped to bring healing from past traumas. In short, Melanie believes poetry makes a difference in the face of uncertainty, and she’s creating space here to explore why that is.
A Peek At Melanie’s Bookshelf
As an avid reader and bibliophile, Melanie has amassed quite a collection of books. While her wine tastes may be pretty basic (two buck chuck will usually do the trick!), she has a much more refined palette when it comes to the written word. Check out her book recommendations at Bookshop.org, which includes shelves for:
- Christian contemplative books and devotionals
- faith and justice
- China-related books
- books about writing, art, and creativity
Purchases made through these affiliate links offer the best of all worlds: they accrue no additional cost to you, but they do support independent bookstores as well as Melanie’s calling to curate good words.