DeMisty D. Bellinger hosted a SEAT Event (Social Justice, Equality, Accountability, and Transformation) Tuesday night Oct. 27 entitled “Poetry/Fiction Reading.” Dozens of Springfield students and faculty sat there intently listening to her eloquent words entrenched within her stanzas.
Bellinger is well faced in her field of writing; from her PHD in English, from the University of Nebraska to being a Professor at Fitchburg State University and a poetry editing job at Mularkey Books.
The arguments I have are rhythmic/ My stances stand/ in a song without music/ without sound/ without.
Bellinger read aloud from her verses of Protest Poems. The words are all too familiar to the listeners as they think about how these words relate to themselves amongst the country’s time of racial strife.
Fellow Springfield professor and Chair of the Department of Writing, Literature, and Journalism Paul Thifault commented on how “poignant and really beautiful” the poems were.
The majority of the event was Bellinger reading through a plurality of her many poems, anthologies, short stories, and pedagogies. The audience created an atmosphere not just like a classroom but almost like a tight-knit group listening gathered around a public speaker, as Bellinger provided the words similar to an oracle.
Poetry and Fiction writing can tell meaningful stories and in the shortest amount of words, allowing readers to take their own meaning on it.
One poem that was read that really stuck out was about Tituba, the slave of Reverend Samuel Parris or the Governor of Salem Massachusetts during the Salem Witch Trials. Tituba was the original “witch” as the hysteria carried out by the whole town fell onto the lone black citizen amongst them. Even though she was very clearly not practicing witchcraft, she was singled out due to her skin color and her native religion from her home country of Barbados that differed from the heavy Puritan society they lived in.
The mix of plight and determination held by Tituba while staring at certain persecution and execution was powerful. Bellinger hopes to continue to provoke thought and create conversation with her writing — it’s why she continues to do it.
During today’s time’s poetry and fiction, writing has come to the forefront as a medium of escapism and wisdom learning that is trying to be passed down to the next generation.
Photo: Office of Multicultural Affairs