Melani “Mele” Martinez is a native Tucsonense; her family has lived in the Sonoran Desert for nine generations. She is a first-generation graduate of the University of Arizona with a BA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College. Mele was the 2004 recipient of Fourth Genre’s First Place Editor’s Prize, the 2014 Tucson Festival of Books 2nd Place Literary Prize, and the 2018 Arts Foundation for Southern Arizona New Works Grant. Her work has appeared in Fourth Genre, Bacopa Literary Review, Borderlore, Bearings Journal, Contemporary Chicanx Writers Anthology, and Telling Tongues: A Latin Anthology on Language Experiences. Mele is a Senior Lecturer in the University of Arizona's Writing Program and the Project ADELANTE Testimonio Lead for the university. She teaches food writing and foundation writing courses with a focus on the Borderlands.