Melissa Beneche

India Downes-Le Guin

Melissa Beneche is a Haitian-American writer. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Florida State University and an MFA in Fiction from Syracuse University. She was a runner up for the 2022 Cecelia Joyce Johnson Emerging Writer Award by the Key West Literary Seminar and has received residencies for her writing from the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Ucross Foundation. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Bennington Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and SmokeLong Quarterly. She lives, writes, and teaches stories in South Florida.

Project Description: Her short story collection, *The Great Conjunction*, set in Florida and Haiti, mostly centers Haitian, Haitian American, and African American girls and women haunted by the phantom of a missing person, as they explore religion, sisterhood, communal grief, the intersections of faith and the diaspora, and more.

Residency: 2022 First Book