Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press, 2010). Her work has been widely anthologized and appeared in publications including Glamour, Salon, Dissent, New York Times, Bitch Magazine, The Rumpus, Drunken Boat, Hunger Mountain, The Portland Review, and The Chronicle of Higher Education Review.
She has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, CNN’s Dr. Drew,Anderson Cooper Live, and elsewhere. The recipient of MacDowell Colony fellowships in 2010 and 2011, and a 2012 Bread Loaf nonfiction fellowship, Melissa has co-curated the Mixer Reading and Music Series in Manhattan for six years. Currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Monmouth University and MFA faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), she is on the board of directors for VIDA, Women in Literary Arts. She grew up on Cape Cod, and lives in Brooklyn.
While a college student at The New School, Melissa Febos spent four years working as a dominatrix in a midtown dungeon. In poetic, nuanced prose she charts how unchecked risk-taking eventually gave way to a course of self-destruction. But as she recounts crossing over the very boundaries that she set for her own safety, she never plays the victim. In fact, the glory of this memoir is Melissa’s ability to illuminate the strange and powerful truths that she learned as she found her way out of a hell of her own making. Rest assured; the reader will emerge from the journey more or less unscathed.