I love languages and books. My parents tell me that I delighted in speaking my own secret language as a baby, and my teachers often had to tell me to “shush!” during class. As a native Georgian, I thankfully found a productive way to engage my linguistic interests by studying Spanish and Comparative Literature at The University of Georgia.
I also love opposites, and try to find deeper paradoxes in them. Perhaps this craving to connect disparate things contributed to my calling to China. Along with my husband Brian, I moved to Hangzhou, China in 2011 in order to study another language, Mandarin. A passion for paradox drives my thirst for theology, so I earned a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC in 2010. I put this degree to good use in Shanghai as the Teaching Pastor at a nondenominational church of 2000 immigrants from over 100 countries.
I moved back to the US, and to DC, in 2016. I now seek to connect disparate things through metaphor. The more I practice contemplative prayer and poetry, both of which engage images and metaphor, the more wonder, creativity, and hope I discover in the world. Indeed, the process of receiving and creating beauty this season has helped to bring healing from past traumas. In short, I believe poetry makes a difference in the face of uncertainty, and I’m creating space here to explore why that is.
A Peek At Melanie’s Bookshelf
As an avid reader and bibliophile, I have amassed quite the collection of books. And while my taste in wine may be basic (two buck chuck will usually do the trick!), I have cultivated a more refined palette for the written word. Check out my page on Bookshop.org to see what I’m currently reading as well as my recommendations for books on poetry, faith and justice, China, writing/art/creativity, and Christian contemplative books and devotionals.
Any purchases made through the affiliate links support independent bookstores as well as my own calling to curate enriching literature, at no additional cost to you!
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