Lucia Perillo has published one previous collection, Dangerous Life, which received the Norma Farber award from the Poetry Society of America for the best first book of 1989. Her poems have appeared in such magazines as the Atlantic and the Kenyon Review and have been included in the Pushcart and the Best American Poetry anthologies. In 2000, she earned a MacArthur fellowship. A former park ranger and teacher at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, she now lives in Olympia, Washington.
Lucia Perillo's poems race flat out. Perillo knows where the
accelerator is and what it's for, and she stands on it, puts her whole weight
on it. These dazzling and powerful poems hold nothing back. The poet commits
herself wholeheartedly to the passions, pleasures, and griefs of a body that is
dying and subject to all the violations of a violent world. And when the poems
veer almost out of control, she knows how to steer 'into the fishtails' and she
knows that 'when everything goes to hell the worst you can do / is hit the
"[Perillo] presses humanity to its frontier and then
expresses it and expands it in her wry and subtle music."