Hover the Bones


By Melisa Malvin-Middleton

Native Blossoms Chapbook Series Two, Book 2

This debut collection digs through the garden of the familiar “ties that bind” — family relationships — to unearth profound connections and upsetting loss. The nineteen poems included in this volume honor the memory of those lost with surprising honesty and emotional clarity. Presented in precise, yet musical language, these poems negotiate a complex landscape with contemplative grace.

Read Sample Poems:

Of Closure” published in Rogue Agent, Issue 21, December 2016

Spilled Childhood” and two other poems appeared in Clear Poetry on October 6, 2016

Civil Unrest” was featured as part of the “When I Moved” Poetry and Prose Series published by Silver Birch Press on September 26, 2016

Read Book Reviews:

Read Cody Deitz’ review in the Angel City Review published March 13, 2018.


Melisa Malvin-Middleton is a Los Angeles poet, playwright, and musician who teaches writing at California State University, Northridge and College of the Canyons. Her poetry has appeared in Silver Birch Press, The Ofi Press, Quail Bell Magazine, Rogue Agent, Angel City Review, and Clear Poetry, while her plays have been performed by Fresh Produce’d and Savage Players.

In stock


Paperback: 40 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9837904-7-1
Product Dimensions:  8-1/2 x 5-1/2 x 1/4 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.3 oz.

“In Hover the Bones, burying a miscarried child looks like planting a seed in a garden, and trimming vines feels like taking the place of a dead mother. The book’s epigraph from Audre Lorde reminds us that “we were never meant to survive,” and the final poem leaves us with a peaceful benediction: ‘May we be well. / May we be happy. / May we be free from suffering.’ Melisa Malvin-Middleton has created beauty out of darkness.”

~ Katie Manning, Founding Editor-in-Chief of Whale Road Review, and author of Tasty Other
and The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman

“These are tough, sensitive, and adamantly engaged poems that call us again and again to a vast interior complexity. Against the backdrop of personal and family history, the poems adhere to the commitment to find grace even in the face of illness and death. ‘May we be free from suffering,’ Melisa Malvin-Middleton offers quietly. This is a poet who translates turbulence with unswerving faith in language and song. She reminds us there are times when it’s simply ‘good enough to dig.’ In the face of all else that may fall down around us or away from us, I agree with her. This is an elegant debut.”

~ Leilani Hall, author of Swimming the Witch

“Melisa Malvin-Middleton’s work often obsesses with time, with the ‘what is,’ but also the ‘what once was.’ There is a sense of precious nostalgia in her poetry, but that nostalgia is always brewing with the knowledge that there is more at stake than just the act of remembering, because it carries a sense of coming loss or grief that has already arrived. Melisa’s work reminds us all of our own mortality, but more importantly, and heartbreakingly so, it reminds us of the mortality of those we love.”

~ Lusine Makarosyan

Additional information

Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × .25 in