MELANIE BETH CURRAN

CURRICULUM VITAE JULY 2019

Melanie Beth Curran is a writer, musician, and educator, whose work focuses on the traditional, feminism, and studies of place.  

EDUCATION

MFA, Creative Writing, The New School, 2019

            RELEVANT COURSEWORK:

            The Teaching of Writing, Laura Cronk, 2017

BA, Ethnography, The Evergreen State College, 2013

            Thesis on Hospitality Culture along Le Chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle Pilgrimage Route

ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE

TEACHING ASSISTANT, for Jeremy Varon’s America is Hard to Find, The New School, 2018

Teacher of university lecture section in conjunction with professor Jeremy Varon. Instructed students toward a nuanced understanding of American identity and politics, while grading all written work.

GUEST SPEAKER, Inspire Talks, Woodward Middle School, 2017

Spoke to middle school students about making music, exploring America, reading literature, writing, and creating a vibrant and self-sustainable life.

GRANTS and SCHOLARSHIPS

Fulbright Research Grant to France, Creative Non-Fiction, for project: Between People: The Living History of Music Traditionelle in Northwestern Bretagne, 2019-2020

Provost Merit Scholarship, The New School, New York, NY 2017-2019

Scholarship, The SLICE Literary Conference, Brooklyn NY 2017

Scholarship, The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Port Townsend, WA 2010-2017

Travel Grant, Teen Talking Circles, for travel to Havana, Cuba, with blues musician Taj Mahal, 2016

Travel Grant, Cross Cultures Journeys LLC, for travel to Havana, Cuba, 2016

PUBLICATIONS

Interview with 2019 NBCC Non-Fiction Award Finalist Francisco Cantú, 2019, New School Creative Writing Blog

Book Review: Girl Zoo by Aimee Parkinson and Carol Guess, 2019, Brooklyn Rail

I Burn/Aitho, screenwriter for feature film directed by Brendan Kidd, Syracuse, Sicily 2019/2020

Interview with 2018 NBCC Poetry Award Winner Layli Long Soldier, 2018, Brooklyn Magazine

The Lived-in Quality of Architecture in New Orleans, 2013, Writing American Cultures: Studies of Identity,            Community, and Place, The Evergreen State College Press.

MANUSCRIPTS IN PROGRESS

Endangered Species:

            A work of creative non-fiction, focusing on the death of the author’s uncle Colin, who passed away mysteriously in 1983. Through letters and documents culled from 1961-1983, interviews with family members and friends, and the author’s personal narrative, a portrait of Colin’s life in Manhattan’s East Village comes into clarity. The circumstances of his death are stranger than her family ever could have imagined, and provide a lens onto New York’s era of bankruptcy, AIDs, and economical renewal.

Soft Water:

            An creative non-fictive exploration of feminine identity on a small island in the Pacific Northwest, where the author’s maternal side of the family has lived for five generations. Through interviews with islanders, exploration of letters, home videos, and high school yearbooks, the author explores what it means to have grown up in the same town as her mother.

Common Sermons:

            A book of poetry canonizing mundane spaces, encountered by the author on her many travels in America (via Greyhound, hitchhiking, cross-country road trips). From a gambling hall in Rainelle, West Virginia, to Grand Central Station in New York City, these poems expound the wonder, the horror, and the infinite in everyday spaces of American life.

CONFERENCES 

LWC } NYC, Community of Literary Magazines and Presses, New York, New York, 2018

            Participant in Literary Agent meetings.

SLICE Literary Conference, Brooklyn, New York, 2017

            Recipient of full scholarship for attendance. 

American Folklore Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana 2011

            Presented Ethnographic Fieldwork in panel: The Value of Undergraduate Fieldwork

Mansion Writer’s Weekend, Kent, WA 2013

Organized a writing workshop for young writers from the Pacific Northwest in The Curran Family Mansion.

RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE

TEACHING ARTIST: The Madison Square Park Conservancy, New York, New York 2018

            Taught haiku to members of the public at an open event in Madison Square Park, celebrating the         arrival of Spring.

ASSISTANT TO HETTIE JONES: New York, New York 2018

            Provided clerical assistance to Hettie Jones, Beat Poet legend, teacher, and activist. Supported works   in progress, and organization for coursework.  

TEACHING ARTIST: East Vancouver Old Time Social, Vancouver, CAN 2016

            Taught harmony singing workshop to a class of musicians and non-musicians from varied age, social, and cultural groups.

HISTORIC TOUR GUIDE: Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, Seattle, WA 2014-2015

            Served as a storyteller for Seattle’s past while leading diverse groups of 50 through underground           tunnels.

COMMUNITY FOLKLORIST: Bainbridge Island Historical Society, 2015-2016

            Conducted interviews focusing on the disappearing working class of Bainbridge Island for the city         archives.

COMMUNITY FOLKLORIST: The Hamlet of Doe Bay 2013-2014

            Conducted interviews with the members and former members of a cult/small town called Doe Bay on   Orcas Island, Washington, for the Public Record.

EMBASSDOR AND SECRETARY: The Teen Talking Circles Organization 2007-2017

            Participated in and served as mentor and speaker for youth organization, encouraging compassion and            storytelling in young women and men.

WWOOF INTERNATIONAL FARMER: England, Italy, Bulgaria, and The United States 2009-2011

            Worked on organic farms and natural building sites in a variety of countries. Profiled by the WWOOF   organization’s blog in 2010.

SELECTED PERFORMANCES

TOURING MUSICAL ARTIST: Tour of The Pacific Northwest as Western Female, in conjunction with The Folklife Festival, American Standard Time, and the Alchemy Arts Center on San Juan Island, May-July        2019

VISITING MUSICAL ARTIST: The Woodstove Music and Arts Festival, Presented by The Cumberland Culture &            Arts Society, Cumberland, BC, 2018

MUSICAL ARTIST: Jalopy Theater Presents Music at Pumpkin Point, Governors Island, New York, New York,   2017-2018

TOURING MUSICAL ARTIST: Tour of Southeast Alaska with Traditional Old-Time String Band, The High          Waisted Ramblers, 2016

INTERVIEWS AND PROFILES IN PRESS AND MEDIA

Interview and Profile, KCRW FM Port Townsend, WA, June 2019. Guest performer on Tossed Salad.

Interview and Profile, The Triumphant Return of Western Female, May 2019, American Standard Time

Interview and Profile, Melanie Curran hopes to give back at Folklife, May 2019, The Kitsap Sun

Interview and Profile, Honky Tonk Tunes Written from a Bainbridge Bedroom, November 2016, The Bainbridge   Review

Interview and Profile, Islander puts Tidbits of Local Life into Songs, October 2016, The Kitsap Sun

Series of interviews and performances on KFSK FM Petersburg, AK; KCAW FM Sitka, AK; and KTOO FM          Juneau, Ak, September 2016

Interview, KCSB FM Santa Barbara, CA, February 2014. Guest performer on 5,4,3,2, Fun!

CERTIFICATIONS and TRAININGS 

Trained Facilitator, The Compassionate Listening Project, 2014

Natural Building Training: Cob Houses, Arkansas, 2011

LANGUAGES

French, Advanced

Italian, Working Knowledge