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.

May 2024 Poet: Preeti Vangani


One way of bringing you back is to observe 
your garlanded frame as art: dying, obsolete
unappreciated between origami and handmade candles.
Another is to bring back the heat of imitation
leather from hospital guest beds. Who knew waiting rooms
were carriers of sweaty fevers, making it impossible to sieve
dream from memory: What could I have said to raise you
from the dead?
What do volumes of elegies contain that I don't?
Their own inabilities to say the unsaid to the one who will
unsee unhear untouch unmove un-understand, understand
I am trying to backpack through the geography of a future
without you, my compass, and no one has written a Lonely
Planet Guide titled 100 Getaways Without Mother, or
let's produce a reality TV show for contestants to adventure
through losses on a shoestring budget: Today you are
not allowed to take the deceased's name. Today you are
not to remember the way she smiled when she said yours.
You cannot hold faith as a torch light over reality's head.
You will be disqualified if you re-enter the symmetry
of this world with longing as your wild card. For your last
challenge, you must dump the vanishing remains into a glass
exhibit and create an event of everything that is, label it was.


Mother Tongue Apologize, RLFPA Editions, 2018

Poet Bio

Preeti Vangani is the author of the poetry book Mother Tongue Apologize. Her work has appeared in Threepenny Review, Gulf Coast, and The Margins, among other journals, and has been supported by UCross, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the California Center for Cultural Innovation. An alumna of the program, she teaches at the MFA in Writing at University of San Francisco.

To learn more about Preeti Vangani, visit her website