The Molino

Manuscript in Progress...

The Molino is a book-length manuscript that tells the story of my family and our tamal /tortilla factory in downtown Tucson. It explores the conversion of family, faith, and food traditions in the ever-changing downtown Tucson community. The work features visual and metaphoric images including our Tucson city landscape, iconic storefront mural, garage kitchen, and molino (corn-grinding machine)— all gateways into my family’s past and symbols for the processing of our culture and relationships. The manuscript explores the effects of gentrification, poverty, and food insecurity on our family and other Mexican-American families in historic Tucson.

Visit the Flamenco Family Blog, co-authored by Mele and Jason Martinez

Visit the Dar a Luz Blog: In Spanish, dar a luz means to give birth. This definition symbolizes the heart of Luz-- a flamenco project honoring mothers who live and work as artists. The Dar a Luz Blog will explore the labors and joys found in balancing a life as caregiver and creator.

I'm teaching a food writing course!!!

A couple of years ago I proposed a new course for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, a gen-ed course that I am excited to say was finally launched as ENGL 160A2  in January 2018! This might be the happiest I've ever been at work. ;)

Check out an interview with Mele by Chiquis Barron! Also, Mele's poetry and prose featured in PANORAMA: Sonoran Desert Art & Literary Journal!

Awards and Publications: 

Fourth Genre’s 1st Place Editors’ Prize Winner, “The Molino” 2004 

Chris White Award in the category of memoir, “The Molino” August 2006 

Telling Tongues: A Latin Anthology on Language Experiences, “Duende Play” 2007 

2nd Place Tucson Festival of Books Literary Prize for “Making a Manda” 2014 

1st Place Bacopa Literary Prize for “Burned” 2014 

Association of Writers and Writing Programs, W2W Program Mentee (mentored by Norma Cantú) 2015 

3rd Place Tucson Festival of Books Literary Prize for “Growing Us” 2016 

Tin House Summer Workshop Award 2016 

Panorama: A Sonoran Desert Art & Literary Journal “Choking” & “This is how I can dance” 2016 

Heritage Resort Magazine, “Flamenco Family” and “A Santa Fe Tradition” 2016 

Chosen for Tucson Festival of Books Masters Workshop in Poetry 2017 

Borderlore, Southwest Folklife Alliance, “Beyond Happy: A Life in Flamenco” 2017 

Collegeville’s “Writing Spirit, Writing Faith” workshop grant recipient 2017 

Borderlore, Southwest Folklife Alliance, “Artifact: El Molino” 2018

Borderlore, Southwest Folklife Alliance, "Sun Sets on a Beloved Benedictine Monastery" 2018


Online publications...

Sun Sets on a Beloved Benedictine Monastery, Boderlore

Artifact: El Molino & A Life in Flamenco for Borderlore

"Choking" & "This is How I Can Dance" for PANORAMA

Excerpt from  Fourth Genre Editor's Prize essay


AWP Writer to Writer Mentee Page

 UA Lecturer