Debut Poetry Collection, Blood Sisters
Poignant and tough, the poems in Jenifer DeBellis’ Blood Sisters remind us of the fierce loyalties and eroticism that fuel childhood and adolescence while at the same time celebrating the grace and resilience with which her speaker survives those conflicts. Unflinchingly honest, surprisingly tender, the memorable language and vitality of Blood Sisters will reverberate long after you have finished this book. —Kathleen Aguero, author After That
The characters and stories within Blood Sisters hold a familiarity that is as resonant as that song you once heard—the one you remember the melody to and have been searching for ever since. These lyrical coming-of-age narratives follow the girl next door through move after move, new school after new school. In her quest to find personal truths and understand the human condition, this collection’s speaker retraces experiences that shaped her relational, sociopolitical, and sexuality views.
As the older self tells her younger self in the first poem in the collection, “Little Girl,”
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.
no mistake, though. These stories are free of self-pity and melodrama. The
memories within chronicle a girl’s journey to survive and surpass the working
class struggles that too often become generational. Follow this girl through personal
transgressions, misguided moments, and near defeats and witness her rise above
circumstances to that place of self-realization where her identity, her voice, and
her desire await.
Published Works & Awards
Feature fundraising poet, Tupelo Press 30/30 Challenge. August 2018.
Poetry, forthcoming, Calyx. 2019: "Braiding Your Daughter's Hair After Brain Surgery."
Scholarly article, forthcoming, Open Access Journal. 2019: “Equipping Students to
Join the Literary Conversation.”
Poetry, forthcoming, Lily Poetry Review. Winter 2019: "Natural Instincts."
Poetry, forthcoming, The Dandelion Review. Issue 3: “Little Whore,” “The Night Before the Homecoming Dance,” and “Nice Guy.”
Poetry, Uproot Magazine, Spring 2018, and commissioned by Oakland University’s Bridging the Gaps: Guitars for Social Justice Project: “Hungry.”
2nd place for prose, Oakland University 2018 Flash Fiction Contest, Alum/Faculty/Staff category: "Held Together by a Safety Pin: A Broken Story."
Finalist for prose, Oakland University 2018 Creative Nonfiction Contest, Alum/Faculty/Staff category: "New Skin."
2018 Pushcart Prize Nominee for audio poetry, Golden Walkman Magazine, and award winner in the 2017 Springfed Arts Poetry Contest, Summer 2017: “Say You Walk Away.”
Poetry, forthcoming, The Charleston Anvil, Winter 2017/2018 issue: “Minor Characters: A Graphic Narrative.”
Poetry, Panoply, a Literary Zine. May 2017: “Harbinger.”
Poetry, Oakland English Channel, published by Oakland University English Department. Winner of 2017 Alum/Faculty/Staff Ekphrasis Poetry Contest: “unfinished business (for Degas).”
Poetry, East Bay Review, No. 8, "Crossroads."
Prose, Flash Fiction Magazine, May 2016, "The Floating World."
Poetry, Mom Egg Review, Volume 14, Spring 2016: "The Detroit Institute of Art."
Poetry, Poor Yorick: A Journal of Rediscovered Objects, Fall 2015: “The Natural Man.”
Poetry, Zoomorphic, Winter 2016: “illume.”
Poetry, Solstice Literary Magazine. Fall 2015: “Asylum.”
Poetry, Amygdala, October 2015. “interior rooms” and "Welcome Home.”
Prose, Literary Orphan, October 2015: “Stubborn Silence.”
Poetry, Sliver of Stone, October 2015: “The View from Room 102.”
Poetry, The Good Men Project, August 2015: “Season of Renewal.”
Poetry, Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine, June 2015: selection of three haiku.
Poetry, Undertow Tanka Review, October 2014, Issue 2: collection of nine tanka.
Poetry, the Aurorean. Fall/Winter 2014 issue: “Answer the Door.” Spring/Summer 2013 issue:
“Empty Box” and “Faded Scar.” July 2013 Unrorean
Broadsheet: “Eyes of Verdigris.”
Prose, Solstice Literary Magazine. Spring 2014: “Before You Can Change Your Mind.”
Poetry, the Vault: Soul Fountain. Vol. 45, Spring 2013: “Religion Romanticized”; Vol. 46, Fall 2013: “Lost Chronicle: genX².”
Poetry, The Good
Stuff. Summer 2013: “Breasts, Orgasms, and Great
Poetry, Echo Cognitio. Winter 2013: “Alchemy: Insularity” and “Dusted Darkness.”
Prose, Rose Red Review. December 2012: “Tail of a Turtledove.”
Poetry, BAC Street Journal. Spring 2012 edition: “Enlightenment.” Fall 2010 edition: “Table for One.”
Spring 2010 edition: “Alone Space in this Cold Place.”
Editor & Publisher: Pink Panther Magazine, an international women’s online and print publication.
- September 2017, Volume 8, Number 2
- March 2016, Issue 24
- September 2015, Issue 23
- March 2015, Issue 22
- September 2014, Issue 21
- March 2014, Issue 20
- September 2013, Issue 19
- December 2012, Issue 18
- September 2012, Executive Editor, Issue 17
2012, Co-Editor, Issue 16
- February 2012, Co-Editor, Issue 15
- November 2011, Executive Editor, Issue 14
2011, Co-Editor, Issue 13
- April 2011, Poetry Editor, Issue 12
2011, Poetry Editor, Issue 11
Featured poetry and prose, Swallow the Moon. Spring 2012: “Beautiful Baptism” and “Where I’m From.”
Spring 2011: “Lover’s Notes . . . ,” “More than One Word Could Contain,” and “Slipping through the Cracks.”
Featured writing and art: Half Book, A Macomb Guild of Writers and Macomb Community College publication.
Works featured in Sticks and Stones, 2011; Everything but the Kitchen Sink, 2010; The House Was Haunted,2010; The Altered ‘Alf Book, 2010; Holiday Half Book, 2009; and The Haunted Half Book, 2009.