Siren is a non-profit organization dedicated to showing women and girls* the power of their voices. Through spoken word poetry and other creative forms of expression, we help women of all ages empower themselves through artistic outlets in order to forge strong bonds with their peers and develop skills that will benefit their lives.
Siren strives to show girls how to speak their minds, develop social and academic skills, and use creative expressive techniques to tell their stories in order to create the next generation of strong, empowered female voices.
Who We Are
Founded in Eugene, Oregon in November 2015, Siren is the nation’s first spoken word performance educational organization dedicated solely to girls.
In partnership with local organizations and school districts, Siren offers programs during the school day as well as in after-school hours. Girls are empowered to use spoken word as a tool for self discovery with activities that include playwriting, storytelling, acting, public speaking, visual art, and community building through peer support and interaction.
In addition to our youth programs, Siren provides empowering writing and performance workshops for women of all ages to build confidence, promote healing, and provide a platform for women's voices in the arts.
Melissa began writing and performing poetry at age 15 and has been a member of the spoken word community since 2001. She has been an organizer, supporter and host of spoken word events throughout the West Coast and has been a team member and coach of 5 National Poem Slam teams. Melissa has been facilitating spoken word workshops with adults and teens for over 10 years. She has performed her poetry all over the United States and Germany and was a featured poet at the German National Poetry Slam in 2010.
Melissa has a B.A. in Transformative Language Arts from Marylhurst University and a certification in Transformative Language Arts from the TLA Network.
"Melissa is at once a very grounding and empowering presence. Her teaching/coaching style is conducive to creative growth, as she acknowledges individual strengths and uses these to help manifest larger goals."
Teacher, SPARC Poetry
Mythologically, Sirens were seen as dangerous sea nymphs who would lure sailors to their deaths through the power of their voices. We strive to change that narrative to show girls their voices are not to be feared. A Siren is simply a voice that cannot be ignored.
*This program is for significantly female-identified people. We use an inclusive definition of "girls", "women" and "female" and we welcome trans girls, genderqueer women, and non-binary people who are significantly female-identified