Melissa Parrish

Assistant Professor of English Language & Literature

Smith College

Contact & Office Hours


Melissa Parrish specializes in multiethnic American literature with an emphasis on poetry and poetics, literary representations of violence and public crisis, and theories of affect and trauma. She is currently at work on Situation Normal: American Poetry in an Age of Emergency, a book manuscript that treats activist poetry as a lens for querying public representations of national emergencies in the postwar United States. Prior to coming to Smith, she was a postdoctoral lecturer in the English department at Rutgers University, where she also completed her doctorate in English. Originally from Kaneohe, Hawaii, she holds prior degrees from Georgetown University and from the United States Military Academy, where she was an all-conference selection in NCAA Division I softball and later served in the US Army before transitioning to academic work.