Michelle Bitting

Poet / Lecturer

"It’s enough to think of it now. Enough to toss it back, 

to let that ugly beauty go."

photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

A Sampling of Online Poetry 


Poem Corner 

Morning, Highway 126


Farmers heft and truckers load crates of lemons onto flatbeds at first light.
The skillet trees stream past,
silhouettes of yellow fruit and shadowed green
like something aquatic. Here I go,
sucked under, again. I love what won’t belong to me
and so sit tight, fingering the wound,
the open sinew, sticky gem pot
in the lap of the matter.
At any moment, my heart a bowl of pabulum,
stirred or eaten. Flimsy houses whiz by
the flanks of my eyes, jimmied
plank to dust
by the cranks of decline.
I drive while reason takes a hike.
Let me spin, I say.
Let me crumble in your hands,
my raw materials, my soil
ganged up on. You
and your gorgeous worms
that won’t stop working on it.


~ published in The American Poetry Review

                                         BROKEN KINGDOM is the                                             winner of the 2018 Catamaran                                           Poetry Prize.  Michelle also
won the 2018 Mark Fischer
Poetry Prize and the 2018
Robert J. DeMott Short
Prose Poetry Prize.
“Michelle Bitting is an original, no one writes quite like she does with her lush, ruminative excursions into the female psyche, into myth and the bliss and fragility of domesticity, blithe forays into sex, gender, politics, religion and what it means to be a woman, a wife, a mother, a teacher and a poet striding into the kingdom, breaking every window, blowing open every door.”     ~ Dorianne Laux
Click here to
Catch my recent interview and photo spread in VoyageLA.


Broken Kingdom


Praise and Reviews


Broken Kingdom

Praise and Reviews


The Couple Who Fell to Earth


A fourth generation Angeleno, Michelle grew up in Los Angeles near the ocean. She studied theatre, wrote poems, danced, played music as an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley and went on to study Meisner acting and perform as a modern dancer, including a two year workshop and filming stint with Twyla Tharp for the James L. Brooks movie, I'll Do Anything. Formerly a line cook, chef, outreach worker and pre-school assistant, in 2001, she returned to creative writing and since then has taught poetry in the U.C.L.A. Extension Writer’s Program, led master classes and lectures at universities, high schools, and literary centers across California and beyond, including dozens of hours at Twin Towers prison, DTLA, and for ten years has been an active California Poet in the Schools, reaching over 500 student poets per year. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University, Oregon, an MA in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology, and in the summer of 2018, completed a PhD in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Michelle is the Poet Laureate of Pacific Palisades and has won multiple grants from the Optimists Club and Poets & Writers Magazine for her teaching work in Los Angeles. A mother of two, she is married to the actor, Phil Abrams.







 Los Angeles Times announcement of Tabula Poetica

 10th  Anniversary Celebration at Chapman University 

 Reading with fellow contributors 


 Broken Kingdom - 2018 Catamaran Poetry Prize winner!

 Everything Crumbling Becomes Something New - 

 winner  of The 2018 Fischer Poetry Prize in Poetry!



Upcoming Readings in 2020
Recent Readings in 2018/2019


Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

For booking inquiries, please see Have Book Will Travel.

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© 2016 by Michelle Bitting. Proudly created by Phil with WIX.COM
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