Emerging BIWOC Poet Spotlight
This monthly series features poems by women of color in the early stages of their careers. It is our intention to create more space at Perugia for the work of BIWOC, and we hope using our modest 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; all the featured poems will be from BIWOC poets with no more than one published full-length collection. We’d love to hear from readers with suggestions for poems & poets to feature.
June 2021 Poet: Krysten Hill
Never your bird, never finch, never graceful feathered thing. Maybe litany molting what it can’t heal. Maybe pinwheel started with breath, whispering I love you or today, I will try. Maybe knife to core the apple of my eye, a blade that wants you blind. Maybe red kitchen where the kettle is hoarse from heat underneath, where I boil my tongue to be rid of its stutter, maybe humming while it sweeps the bodies of dead wasps from its windowsill, but never your bird sitting pretty and ornamental. Maybe a well-lit room that hurts your eyes before it swallows you, or an opening of skirt holding onto the hips of a woman that wears it well, or a cavity in the yard where I want to lay the language of better love, but never your canary, parakeet, sweet feathered thing that lives just to sing for you.
How Her Spirit Got Out, Aforementioned Productions, 2016
Krysten Hill is the author of How Her Spirit Got Out (Aforementioned Productions, 2016), which received the 2017 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize. Her work has been featured in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day Series, apt, B O D Y, Boiler Magazine, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Muzzle, PANK, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Winter Tangerine Review, and elsewhere. The recipient of the 2016 St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award and 2020 Mass Cultural Council Poetry Fellowship, she received her MFA in poetry from University of Massachusetts Boston, where she currently teaches.