Stepping Out

Valley Stream writer publishes nationally acclaimed book

The art of poetry, from a female perspective


As an elementary student, Valley Stream resident Megan Falley, 22, fell in love with writing poetry, composing poems and reading them aloud for various family events, from holiday get-togethers to friends’ bat mitzvahs. Since then, she’s fully embraced the art form and, more recently, received some major nods.

After graduating in 2006 from Valley Stream South High School, Falley attended The State University of New York at New Paltz and became a member of the school’s Slam Poetry Team, which regularly competes at performance poetry events. After graduating with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, she returned to New Paltz for a short stint as coach of the Slam Poetry team, and then focused on writing and performing.

In 2009 Falley co-founded the annual Wade-Lewis Poetry Slam Invitational, the second largest college poetry tournament nationwide, which helps to raise scholarship funds for students of color. Additionally, she received the New York-based Tomaselli Award for Poetry in 2010, and has been featured in online and print publications around the globe.

In early 2011, Falley said, she began composing and compiling poetry for a book and, later that year, she was selected as one of seven poets nationwide to receive a book deal by poetry-publishing company Write Bloody Press. Falley and the other six poets chosen by the company were among more than 700 who submitted manuscripts in hopes of a publishing deal.

On April 15, Falley’s first full-length collection of poetry, “After the Witch Hunt,” was finally published. The book, she said, is comprised of poetry and flash fiction that centers on the female perspective — what it’s like to grow up, as a girl, and what is means to be a woman. The book’s topics include gender, sexuality, sex, surviving abuse and addiction, she added.

According to a recent release, the book “can be dark at times, and also can be playful and downright hilarious. These poems are gritty and honest, and while they are many-layered, they aren’t cryptic to understand.” Falley added that the book is “painted in metaphors, but is easy to follow because it’s written in stanzas and is less cryptic than some poetry.”

The book has received acclaim by poets worldwide.

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