Remembering Lucia Perillo

Everyone at SAL is deeply saddened to hear the news that poet and essayist Lucia Perillo has passed away at the age of 58 in Olympia, Wash., a place she called home for many years.

A MacArthur fellow, Lucia authored seven collections of defiant and sharply humorous poetry, including Inseminating the Elephant in 2009, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the winner of the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress. Her most recent collection, Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones: Selected and New Poems, was published in February by Copper Canyon Press. She also wrote an essay collection, I’ve Heard the Vultures Singing (2007), and a short story collection, Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain (2012).

In celebration of her work, we’d like to share audio from the Seattle Arts & Lectures reading that she gave on January 20th, 2011, at Benaroya Hall:

 

 

As Rebecca Hoogs, SAL Associate Director, said in her introduction that night: “[Lucia’s] writing has consistently disoriented and delighted like a Puyallup Fair ride. Her poems take leaps like an upstream salmon giving it all it’s got. They twist and turn and surprise until they form an ox-bow on the landscape of the page. Lucia Perillo is a rare bird and we are lucky that she has landed here.”

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