Michelle Bitting's first collection Good Friday Kiss (2008, C & R Press) was chosen by Thomas Lux as the winner of the DeNovo First Book Award. Her second collection, Notes To The Beloved (2012, SPC Press) won the Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award and received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. She has won the Beyond Baroque Foundation, Virginia Brendemuehl, and Glimmer Train poetry contests and been a finalist for the Poet's & Writer's Magazine California Exchange, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Julia Peterkin, and numerous other awards.
A fourth generation Angeleno, Michelle grew up in Los Angeles near the ocean. She studied theater, wrote poems, danced and played music as an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley and went on to study Meisner acting and perform as a modern dancer, including a two year workshop and filming stint with Twyla Tharp for the James L. Brooks movie "I'll Do Anything." Formerly a line-cook, chef, outreach worker and pre-school assistant, in 2001, Michelle returned to creative writing and has taught poetry in the U.C.L.A. Writer's Program, at Twin Towers prison, and as a devoted California Poet In The Schools. A mother of two, she is married to the actor Phil Abrams.
Michelle's poems have been published or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Narrative, River Styx, The L.A. Weekly, Crab Orchard Review, Rattle, diode, Linebreak, Anti-, Poemeleon, Passages North, Silk Road, The Cortland and Naugatuk River Reviews, among many others. Individual poems have been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily and have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University, Oregon. Michelle will commence work on a Ph.D in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute in the fall of 2012.
To anyone interested in donating to an outstanding humanitarian aid program, she suggests GAIA - the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance organization.
NOTES TO THE BELOVED won the Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award! Available on Amazon.com
“Richly dense in both language and insight into the human heart, Michelle Bitting’s Notes to the Beloved is a stunning collection of poems. As a fiction writer I am thrilled particularly by her voice, by the yearning of her poetic persona for a self, for a place in the universe, that yearning being the deeply beating heart of narrative as well. She is one of my favorite poets and this book will abide in me for a long, long time to come.”
~ Robert Olen Butler, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain