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One-Time Intimate Talk w/ Melissa Febos & Donika Kelly

On Feb. 16, 2022, from 5:30-7pm PST, join this One-Time Intimate Talk with Melissa Febos & Donika Kelly.

We are thrilled to have Melissa & Donika as our only one-time intimate co-talks for our 2021 Community Fundraiser. By purchasing a seat to this talk on Feb. 16, 2022, you’ll be receiving an autographed copy of both The Renunciations and Girlhood, both of which were published during the pandemic, and you’ll be saving yourself a seat for this 90-minute virtual, intimate co-conversation facilitated by The Seventh Wave. While you can read more about Donika and Melissa below or on their sites here and here, there’s so much to be said about both of their work.

“With Donika Kelly’s signature stinging beauty, The Renunciations names acts of wounding and making, refuses to separate elemental memory from the language of human remembrance,” writes Khadijah Queen.

Ellen Bass digs further: “The Renunciations is a work of stunning power, alive with haunting images, complex metaphor. And while Kelly looks unsparingly at pain and suffering—her own and others’—with transformation comes joy.” To us, there is nothing more powerful than the becomings, and the constant re-beginnings. What we love so much about this talk is that it features two of our favorite writers, who also just happen to be a literary couple of a magnitude unknown to today.

Melissa Febos, and her latest published work Girlhood, is everything: “A feminist testament to survival,” writes Betsy Bonner for The New York Times Book Review. Described as “intellectual and erotic, engaging and empowering” by Oprah, Stephanie Danler puts it clearly: “Melissa Febos dissects the traumas, terrors, and pleasures of the fraught passage from girl to woman. This is a book for mothers, daughters, and our deepest selves, a true light in the dark.” Girlhood, like every piece of writing Melissa touches, becomes a shining blueprint in the dark for those who need it most.

There are only 14 available seats for purchase for this one-time intimate talk.

Click “Reserve your seat today” below, but if you are unable to join due to financial constraints, there is 1 scholarship spot available for this talk. If you’d like to apply for the scholarship seat for this talk, just email us at by Dec. 17, 2021. Scholarships will be awarded via raffle on Dec. 24, 2021, by email.

Reserve your seat today.

The autographed copies of The Renunciations and Girlhood will ship out the week of Jan. 3, 2022, by priority mail. Please read all the information here about our Community Fundraiser, as there are discounts for our TSW Past Contributors, and options to gift these talks or autographed books to friends and/or loved ones.



PC Ladan Osman

Donika Kelly is the author of THE RENUNCIATIONS (Graywolf 2021) and BESTIARY (Graywolf). BESTIARY is the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry, and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. The collection was also long listed for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for a Publishing Triangle Award and a Lambda Literary Award. A Cave Canem graduate fellow and member of the collective Poets at the End of the World, Donika has also received a Lannan Residency Fellowship, and a summer workshop fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center. Her poems have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic online, The Paris Review, and Foglifter. She currently lives in Iowa City and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches creative writing.

The writer Melissa Febos (USA), New York, New York, June 19, 2020. Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan

Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, WHIP SMART (St. Martin’s Press 2010), and the essay collection, ABANDON ME (Bloomsbury 2017), which was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist, a Publishing Triangle Award finalist, an Indie Next Pick, and was widely named a Best Book of 2017. Her second essay collection, GIRLHOOD, a national bestseller, was published by Bloomsbury on March 30. A craft book, BODY WORK, will be published by Catapult on March 15, 2022. The inaugural winner of the Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary, her work has appeared in publications including The Paris Review, The Sun, The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Granta, The Believer, McSweeney’s, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Elle, and Vogue. Her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, The Sewanee Review, and The Center for Women Writers at Salem College. She is a four-time MacDowell fellow and has also received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Memorial Foundation, The BAU Institute at The Camargo Foundation, The Ragdale Foundation, and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which named her the 2018 recipient of the Sarah Verdone Writing Award. She co-curated the Mixer Reading and Music Series in Manhattan for ten years and served on the Board of Directors for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts for five. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.