Michelle Alipao Chikaonda (she/her/hers) is a nonfiction writer from Blantyre, Malawi; she was a resident of the USA from 2002-2022, most recently in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is currently a graduate student at the University of East Anglia in the UK, studying biography and creative nonfiction at UEA's School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. She has won the Literary Award for Narrative Nonfiction of the Tucson Festival of Books, the Stephen J. Meringoff Award for Nonfiction of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers, and the Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Scholarship for writers of color from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. In 2015 she was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by the Oracle Fine Arts Review, and in 2020 she was longlisted for the inaugural Toyin Falola Prize for emerging African writers, and was published in the prize’s anthology, “In the Sands of Time” (2022).

Michelle has taught regularly with Blue Stoop, a hub for the Philadelphia literary community, and has served as a teaching assistant, student mentor and workshop instructor at Mighty Writers, a Philadelphia nonprofit teaching writing and critical thinking to children and teens. In addition to being a 2019 resident at The Seventh Wave’s Rhinebeck Residency, she is a Voices of Our Nations [VONA] Workshop fellow, a Tin House Summer Workshop alumna, and has presented at several Association of Writing and Writing Programs [AWP] conferences. A contributing editor for nonfiction at Electric Literature, she is also currently published at Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, Catapult, the Broad Street Review, Business Insider, and Africa is A Country, among others.

Michelle Alipao Chikaonda has been a guest on 2 episodes.