Melissa Broder: contemporary fiction in motion


Melissa Broder’s latest novel “Milk Fed” is a force to be reckoned with.

Guilt, sex and captivating prose, Melissa Broder builds a world of human experience. On Sep. 23, 2021, Broder joined Northwestern State University’s Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies’ creative writing program via

Teams, where she read from her latest novel and from her poetry collection. Students and faculty were invited to listen to her read, and participate in a short Q&A that followed.

Melissa Broder is the author of the novels “Milk Fed” and “The Pisces” along with the essay collection “So Sad Today” and five poetry collections. Broder examines the self through a primal, kaleidoscope lens and demands to be heard.
Taking immense inspiration from her own life and journey, Broder continues to write a lovely, gradient line between reality and fiction.

In her work, Broder focuses mostly on detailing her mental health journey through fiction and fearlessly writing about the things that matter to her. While fearless editing and publishing don’t always come with fearless writing, she tries not to be afraid of writing about more difficult topics, such as panic attacks and depression.

“And O I want to be fixed / But I am already fixed / Why don’t I feel it,” Broder writes in her poetry collection “Last Sext.” Lines such as these build a sense of understanding and relatability.

Using beautiful, prose-like language to describe the most horrific events is a move often attributed to poets, and Broder is no exception. She captures the audience by deepening the metaphor, drawing every future poet in with promises of feeling seen.

Also the mastermind behind the viral Twitter account “sosadtoday,” Broder writes inspirational and altruistic moments in time, intended to relate most of, if not all, of her audience.

Broder looks at her audience, and her prose asks for a listener’s reality check.

Comparable to no other contemporary author, Broder shares poetry like she shares her little inspirations, dangling on the internet like blips in a starry sky.

Developing her writing has become an ageless task for Broder.

“Using everyone’s language is an important tool for me. I like the idea of someone from two hundred years ago reading my poems and being able to recognize every word,” Broder said.

On the other hand, while she’s writing her novels, she finds herself drawn to the specificity of the time she’s writing in. For example, she likes to use brand names when she’s writing stories set during the modern-day. She might mention McDonald’s or Adidas in a story, and leave a breadcrumb trail of her experiences.

Broder addresses mental health, religion, spirituality, sexuality, myth, womanhood, appetite and a menagerie of other topics through both her novels and her poetry, teaching her audience to unbecome themselves and find who they really need to be.

While Melissa Broder’s work is not intended for the faint of heart or spirit, she brings an adult, realistic worldview to the table, sorting through her thoughts and sharing them with her audiences.