Writer, Scholar, Activist



Her Work

Meliza Bañales aka Missy Fuego is the author of Say It With Your Whole Mouth (poems, Monkey Press) and has work in Without A Net: The Female Experience of Growing-Up Working Class (edited by Michelle Tea), Baby, Remember My Name: New Queer Girl Writing (edited by Michelle Tea), The Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Change, Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders of the Spoken-Word Movement (edited by Alix Olson), Lodestar Quarterly and Ladybox Books.  

She was the first Chicana/Latina on the west coast to win a poetry slam championship in 2002, has toured with Sister Spit and Body Heat, and gained national recognition for her appearances on NPR and The Lesbian Podcast.  Her short film with J Aguilar entitled “Getting Off” won the Jury Award at TG Fest: The Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival in 2011.  Her second book, a work of fiction titled Life Is Wonderful, People Are Terrific, will be out in June 2015 on Ladybox Books an imprint of Broken River Books.  She has a spoken-word album, And Now Introducing Missy Fuego, expected to be released on Crunks Not Dead Records in 2015.  

She is a community builder with the Los Angeles Femmes of Color Collective and Con Fuerza, a radical, Xicana Feminist collective in the heart of East LA.  She lives in Los Angeles.  



Get in touch

Contact Meliza for any teaching/creative opportunities,or inquiries about carrying her work in your store.



Meliza Bañales’ stories of growing up Chicana in LA break you open then stab you in your flaming heart with a switchblade. The only girl whose lines make me cry. Every time.
— Lynn Breedlove, lead singer of Tribe 8, Winner of a 2010 Lambda Literary Award
…she fire(s) out all the dirty details with impassioned rhythmic intensity while keeping the mood light.
— The Boston Phoenix
Meliza Bañales is one of the best writers I know—period. Her writing on queer punk mixed Chicana femme 90s survivor life tells totally real stories with beauty that will burn you clean, open your eyes and tell it exactly how it is.
— Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarashinha, Lambda Award winning author of Love Cake and Bodymap