MacArthur Fellow Lucia Perillo was a fearless poet who, with characteristic humor and incisive irony, confronted the failings and wonder of nature, particularly the frail and resilient human body. This generous collection draws upon five previous volumes, including books selected as a New York Times “100 Notable Books of the Year” and as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
“Perillo’s poetic persona is funny, tough, bold, smart, and righteous. A spellbinding storyteller and a poet who makes the demands of the form seem as natural as a handshake.” —Booklist
“For a poet obsessed with the steady degradation of the body and looming of death, Lucia Perillo manages to be highly entertaining… Humor is actually the key to the power of her poems.” —Los Angeles Times
“The poems [are] taut, lucid, lyric, filled with complex emotional reflection while avoiding the usual difficulties of highbrow poetry.” —New York Times Book Review
”Lucia Perillo’s Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones: New and Selected Poems is a significant retrospective that includes work from her six previous books… Fans will recognize her signature style—accessible, attuned to the small dramas in people’s lives, and at times witheringly funny. They will also find familiar themes: the delights of nature, the frailty of the physical world and the many ways the human body lets people down. The book shows Perillo’s ability to balance the timely and the timeless, and to capture some of the struggles that all humans face, regardless of when or where they live.” —Washington Post
“Perillo writes skillfully of urban, suburban, and wild environments, but she’s nearly unparalleled when addressing the ‘meat cage,’ and its pain and mortality. Perillo’s poems move against the backdrop of her own struggle with multiple sclerosis: ‘If I sleep on my belly, pinning it down,/ my breasts start puling like baby pigs/ trapped under their slab of torpid mother.’ Yet these vivacious poems reveal humor, sexuality, and a sharp sense of images and turns of phrase… [a] marvelous collection.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review