Author Archives: Melissa Wong

About Melissa Wong

Melissa Wong is a freelance writer and a Memorial University alumnus with a BA (Hons) and a diploma in journalism. Melissa’s short story “Chirp” won the 2021 Icelandic Festival of Manitoba Poetry and Prose contest and was published in the festival program. Her work has been also published with The Newfoundland Herald, Truth Serum Press, Pure Slush, Applebeard, the Icelandic Connection Magazine, and Engen Books. Her latest story, “Earrings,” was published in Pure Slush’s anthology Growing up. Born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Melissa spends most of her free time reading, playing the flute, and painting. Please view her portfolio at


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I have a second life in present-day Botwood
because grandmother was there
an icon for us to visit
the Botwood Mural Arts Society

aims to resurrect the town through art
painters from all around are invited
to create murals upon old buildings
an echo of the past preserved

Botwood is a shrinking community
attempting to rise from the ashes
as a wonderland for tourists
and soar to heights of glory again

if only it could transform to the paradise of its past
when the watery nest of a harbour
filled with Chinese immigrants
and local loggers living their lives

COVID slowed Botwood’s rebirth
inhibiting travel and tourism
freezing the funeral of an icon
a Chinese immigrant—my grandmother

but when surrendering her ashes
atop her famous store, we saw those murals
heard of jigsaw puzzles and book spin-offs
my second home will be reborn in time


photograph of 19th centyr building in Newfoundland

Tilley House by Ting Ting Chen


Listen to Melissa Wong read “Botwood.”