Emerging BIWOC Poet Spotlight

This monthly series features poems by women of color in the early stages of their publishing careers. It is our intention to create more space at Perugia for the work of poets who are Black, Indigenous, and women of color (BIWOC). We hope using our platform to celebrate this work will expand the readership of the poets we spotlight. This series aligns with Perugia’s mission to support and promote emerging women poets; featured poems will be from poets with no more than one published full-length collection. We’d love to hear from readers with suggestions for poems & poets to feature.

February 2021 Poet: Rage Hezekiah


Some farmers we met invited us to their wedding, 
halfway through Washington State. Like sisters, 
we pulled borrowed dresses over our heads, paisley 
and cotton, revealing feral underarms. We bartended drunk 
in an open field beneath Cassiopeia, passed a full flask 
of bourbon between us behind the bar—
Barefoot we ran through black woods to drag the keg 
from creek, waded too deep, soaking our skirts, 
reckless and wet. At night's end we found men to kiss— 
I grabbed an older teacher with a full head of curls 
and led him behind the red barn, ran my fingers 
through his ringlets and wished he was a woman. While you 
found a boy barely of age and brought him back 
to our shared bedroom. Men are so simple
we didn’t know we could have been kissing each other.


Stray Harbor, Finishing Line Press, 2019

Poet bio

Rage Hezekiah is a New England based poet and educator, who earned her MFA from Emerson College. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, MacDowell, and The Ragdale Foundation, and is a recipient of the Saint Botolph Foundation’s Emerging Artists Award. Her chapbook Unslakable (Paper Nautilus Press) is a 2018 Vella Chapbook Award Winner. Stray Harbor (Finishing Line Press, 2019) is her debut full-length collection of poems. Rage’s poems have appeared in The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-DayThe Cincinnati ReviewZYZZYVA, and several other journals and anthologies. 

To learn more about Rage Hezekiah, visit her website.