June Melby

writer, spoken word artist, mammal

Bio

June grew up in Iowa, fled to California where she lived for 15+ years as a comedian, poet, musician, and performance artist, and now despite all odds, and much to her astonishment, finds herself back in Iowa.

Her first book, My Family and Other Hazards, (Holt 2014) was on the New York Times Bestseller list and received the Midwest Connections Award.

As a comedian she performed at most the major West Coast clubs including the Punchline, Cobbs, The Improv, and the Holy City Zoo (San Francisco). In Los Angeles clubs include The Improv, Comedy Store, the Ice House, and Fake Gallery, among others.

As a performance poet, she featured with her band “June Melby and Her Future Enemies” at the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and at the San Diego Museum of the Living Artist. She headlined in four European tours in Europe including Edinburgh, London, Munich, The Hague, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Bonn, among others. In New York she has appeared at Bar 13, CBGB's, The Knitting Factory, and the Nuyorican; festivals include Bumbershoot, Seattle Poetry Festival, and the Las Vegas Arts Festival.

She received an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa.

Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous journals, most notably The Utne Reader, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Water~Stone Review, Versal, the LA Weekly, National Lampoon Magazine, and Kaffee.Satz.Lesen, (Hamburg, Germany), and most recently Fugue. Her poetry has been published both in the U.S. and in Germany. Her essays have been heard on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Wisconsin Life.”

She is featured in the Warner Brothers movie “Space Jam” with Michael Jordan, as the voice of the green alien known as "Bang."

She released a full-length cd with her band, "June Melby and Her Future Enemies," a solo cd "Orange You June," and eps, "Live at Beyond Baroque," and "Live at the Hammer Museum." She has two poetry books, "The Chicken Dilemma" (Rhubarb Custard Pie Press), and "Tub Toys" (UBooks, Augsburg, Germany; also FarStarFire Press, Calfornia.)

She was the winner of the Children’s Poetry Slam, Edinburgh International Poetry Festival.

She was awarded the International Artist Award and residency from the City of Hamburg Kulturbehorde (Cultural Affairs Department); she was also named a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

She currently lives in a log cabin in the woods with her husband and a 20 pound cat named Ferdinand Magellan.

Selected Works

Books
Funny and nostalgic ... Melby deftly captures her family’s seemingly endless lakeside summers and the inevitable letting go of childhood.
Rob Spillman
Endearing... An outpouring of tender, witty memories.
Publisher's Weekly
poetry and music