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Lucia Perillo

Her searing honesty combined with wit and gracious talent makes reading Lucia Perillo 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.

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.

Lucia Perillo

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