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.

December 2021 Poet: DEMISTY D. BELLINGER 

Not Grass. Weeds.

Emily, stay in Amherst, watch the train
Weave through the brush of Fitchburg.

Fitzgerald, the American Dream doesn't involve
Dandelion yellow or sun-colored goatsbeard.

And Toni, even jazz—even the desired blue of
New England aster—won't suffice.

Maya, maybe the bird sings for untasted greens
Growing wantonly in our moneyed gardens.

And Phil, maybe this is the new pastoral:
Long green lawns without a speck of color.

Claudia, may the books brought to rallies
Be full of flowers and fruit mistaken for weeds.


Peculiar Heritage, Mason Jar Press, 2021

Poet Bio

DeMisty D. Bellinger is the author of the poetry collection Peculiar Heritage (Mason Jar Press, 2021), the chapbook Rubbing Elbows (Finishing Line Press, 2017), and the forthcoming novel New to Liberty (Unnamed Press, 2022). A graduate of the MFA program at Southampton College and the PhD program at the University of Nebraska, DeMisty is the poetry editor with Porcupine Literary and with Malarkey Books. She teaches creative writing and women, gender, and sexuality studies at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts.

To learn more about DeMisty D. Bellinger, visit her website.