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.

October 2023 Poet: Cintia Santana

Photo by Rewa Bush

Midnight, Barking Desert

In the hollow of the hollow tree
In the night’s night and the deep ravine
The world’s awhirl when I look up

More is misnomer than we know
More is more seed than can be sown
I keel and cobble, I reel, I keen

And all the deities are made of stone
And a widow, young, cannot give up her rings

Ringing: the world is ringing
There’s fever in the eye
I’m driving mirrors through the night


The Disordered Alphabet, Four Way Books, 2023

Poet Bio

Cintia Santana is a poet, translator, and interdisciplinary artist. Her practice investigates perception and the subset of processes that are reading, misreading, and translation. Santana’s work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Guernica, The Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, The Missouri Review, Narrative, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, The Threepenny Review, West Branch, and other journals. The recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Santana’s work has been selected for Best New Poets 2016 and 2020, and the 2023 Best of the Net Anthology, and featured by Split This Rock, Poetry Daily, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series. She teaches fiction and poetry workshops in Spanish, as well as literary translation courses at Stanford University. Her first poetry collection, The Disordered Alphabet, was released in September by Four Way Books.

To learn more about Cintia Santana, visit her website.