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.

September 2021 Poet: DIANA MARIE DELGADO 

Photo by Felicia Zamora

Twelve Trees

The plumes of the avocado are sick. 
Dad cuts roses with a hatchet. 
In hell, there's nothing but crocodiles  
and fathers. In Mexico, the Devil is handsome
and smiles in all his photographs. He has one wife, 
two daughters, three sons, but no mother.
He rakes leaves then fixes umbrellas,
occasionally throws back his head and sings. 


Tracing the Horse, Boa Editions, 2019

Poet bio

Diana Marie Delgado is the Literary Director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center and has more than twenty years of experience working in not-for-profits focused on advancing social justice and the arts. Her first collection, Tracing the Horse, was a New York Times Noteworthy Pick and follows the coming-of-age of a young Mexican-American woman trying to make sense of who she is amidst a family and community weighted by violence and addiction. Her chapbook, Late-Night Talks with Men I Think I Trust, was the 2018 Center for Book Arts winner. She has published poetry in Ploughshares, Ninth Letter, New York Times Magazine, Colorado Review and Tin House. Her literary interests are rooted in her experiences growing up Chicana in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. Delgado, the first in her family to graduate high school and attend college, transferred from Mt. San Antonio Community College to UC Riverside, where she received her BA in Poetry. She possesses an MFA from Columbia University and her selected honors and awards include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Breadloaf, and the James D. Phelan Foundation. A playwright as well, Delgado has directed plays at both INTAR and La MaMa. She is a member of the CantoMundo and Macondo writing communities.

To learn more about Diana Marie Delgado, visit her website.