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Melissa Castillo Planas

Assistant Professor & Faculty Adviser to Obscura literary arts magazine

Melissa Castillo Planas


Carman Hall 387
Office Hours


B.A., New York University
M.A., Fordham University
M.A., M.Phil, Ph.D., Yale University


Melissa Castillo Planas is editor of the anthology, ¡Manteca!: An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets, co-editor of La Verdad: An International Dialogue on Hip Hop Latinidades, the author of the poetry collection Coatlicue Eats the Apple, and co-author of the novel, Pure Bronx. Her most recent book project published with Rutgers University Press' new Global Race and Media series in March 2020, A Mexican State of Mind: New York City and the New Borderlands of Culture, examines the creative worlds and cultural productions of Mexican migrants in New York City. Her second book of poetry, Chingona Rules, is forthcoming with Finishing Line Press.

Her short stories, articles, poetry and essays have been published in numerous collections such as Centering Borders: Explorations in South Asia and Latin America (Worldview, 2017), Afro-Latinos in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americas (Palgrave, 2016), The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Popular Culture (Routledge, 2016); and diverse scholarly and media publications. She has given lectures and poetry readings all over the world including Jadavpur University (Kolkata, India), Seoul National University, UCLA and the University of Chicago. Prior to joining the faculty at Lehman College, Castillo Planas completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University's Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History where she taught courses in Latinx Cultural Studies and organized the first ever Latinx Poetry Reading and Workshop Series.

To learn more, visit her on the web at