Teaching Writer | Editor | Trauma Advocate
Photo credit: MSU Sparc
Teaching writer and assault trauma advocate Jenifer DeBellis, M.F.A., is author of Blood Sisters (Main Street Rag, 2018) and founding director of aRIFT Warrior Project. She hopes to release her second book, Warrior Sister, Cut Yourself Free from Your Assault, in 2020. In addition to publishing and promoting her writing, she edits Pink Panther Magazine—an international women’s art and literature journal in its 11th year, directs the Detroit Writers’ Guild, and works with The Alabaster Gift—a sex-trafficking survivor outreach. When she's not editing or writing for others, she sneaks in time for her own craft, which was nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize and appears in AWP's Festival Writer, Calyx, the Good Men Project, Literary Orphans, Sliver of Stone, Solstice, and other fine journals. A former fellow for the Meadow Brook Writing Project, JDB facilitates workshops for Oakland University’s MBWP Writing Camps, as well as teaches writing and literature for Saginaw Valley State University and Macomb Community College. After decades of mentorship with assault survivors, she is shifting her teaching focus to impact positive change for teen and YA girl survivors. She will cultivate this positive change movement through an integration of trauma-informed recovery literature, outreach initiatives and services, and speaking engagements aimed to reach every teen & YA girl survivor, high school and college counseling center, and assault trauma outreach advocates and agencies across the nation (and beyond) who serve them.
you will survive
these skinned knees, these bruised
cheeks. You will not jump, will not
form lasting scars with the barbed tip
of a #2 lead, will not die
in your sleep, no matter how
many times you pray for it. No
one will save you
in the end like they do in fairytales.
you will survive
the skinned cheeks, bruised knees,
starched heart. You will not find love
as the life of the party, will not
stop the kids with their sticks
from bashing your chest
until your innocence breaks free & settles
at your feet like piñata candy.