Perillo read for the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series on December 14, 2010 for the Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute.
Perillo's searing honesty combined with wit and gracious talent makes her work not only fun but also enlightening. Perillo has published five books of poetry, most recently Inseminating the Elephant, which was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, and Luck is Luck, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was included in the New York Public Library's "Books to Remember" for 2005. A book of her essays, I've Heard the Vultures Singing, was published in 2008. A former MacArthur fellow, she lives in Olympia, Washington.
Visit her Poetry Foundation page for more information.
From Number One
Animal attack is Number One in the list called
"Ways in Which I Do Not Want to Die" -
wait, Ben says knock it off with the death-talk;
you've already talked death to death.
But the Number Ones don't need our speech
to claim their cool dark storage place: my sister said
hers was falling down the stairs, after her husband left
and every riser turned into El Capitan.
From Inseminating the Elephant by Lucia Perill. Copyright 2009 by Lucia Perillo, published by Copper Canyon Press. Used with permission.