Michelle Denise Jackson is a Fat Queer Black Girl who tells stories. She was born and raised by a family of Respectable and Exceptional Negroes in Southern California. To stifle the boredom of growing up in the Inland Empire, she used her dolls to reenact the soap operas she snuck in when her parents weren’t home. When she outgrew her dolls, she moved on to writing angst-ridden poetry and performing histrionic monologues in her high school’s drama department.
She received her B.A. from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. There, Michelle explored the intersections of storytelling, cultural studies, and social justice in a self-designed concentration she (obnoxiously) titled, "(Re)Constructing/Imagining Reality through Narrative and Performance." During her time in New York, she also wrote and performed spoken word poetry with NYU's top-ranked slam poetry team.
In 2011, Michelle co-founded ¡DUENDE! Long Beach, a grassroots arts organization that provided arts-based workshops and performance opportunities to local youth. Michelle also taught sex education and led youth programs for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and the South L.A. Youth Advisory Council for Reproductive Health. She is one of the founding organizers of the Spring Into Love Healthy Teen Fest, an annual day of workshops that educate and celebrate sexual health and reproductive justice.
When sliding condoms on plastic bananas finally lost its spark, Michelle decided to pursue her passion for writing full-time. She co-wrote, co-produced and co-starred in the theatrical poetry show, A Necessary Body, and the the web series, GIRL, GET YO' LIFE!. She was also a contributing writer and editor for the acclaimed Black feminist digital platform, For Harriet.
Michelle holds an MFA in Writing for Screen & Television from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she was a recipient of both the Annenberg Graduate Fellowship and the Edward Small Screenwriting Award. She also served as event coordinator for the John Wells Division's annual industry networking event, First Pitch.
She is now a television writer, having most recently staffed on the upcoming Netflix series, Pieces of Her. Before getting staffed, she was the writers’ PA on Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) and writers’ assistant on Mrs. America (FX) and Pieces of Her. She writes stories that center and celebrate people from marginalized communities doing the messy work of becoming their whole and free selves.
But more than anything, she just wants to make her Momma and Daddy proud.