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Inseminating the Elephant (Paperback)
Lucia Perillo
$16.00 paperback
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Inseminating the Elephant (Paperback)
Lucia Perillo

In Inseminating the Elephant, MacArthur Fellow Lucia Perillo delivers hard-edged yet vulnerable poems that attempt to reconcile the comic impulse with the complications and tragedies of living in the actual, eating-and-breathing body—what she calls the "meat cage."

With deft precision, Perillo dissects human failings and sexuality, as well as the relentless collision of nature with the manufactured world. Whether recalling her training as a biologist who experimented on birds and coyotes, wondering at animal impulses, or simply watching birds from her wheelchair, she draws the reader into unforgettable poems rich in image and story.




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Inseminating the Elephant - Lucia Perillo

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Winner of the Library of Congress 2010 Bobbitt Prize for Poetry

Finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry

Washington State Book Award 2010

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For Inseminating the Elephant (Paperback), Lucia Perillo

"Inseminating the Elephant [is] a collection of poems, often laced with humor, that examines popular culture, the limits of the human body and the tragicomic aspects of everyday experience."—Pulitzer Prize finalist citation

"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, she pulls readers into the beat and whirl of her slyly devastating descriptions and observations before they can catch their breath... The fluid grace of Perillo's irresistible lines belies the tension inherent in their outlook, the resistance to easy emotion and obvious sentiment, the rejection of self-pity in favor of flinty humor and rigor. Sheer, shivery pleasure to read, Perillo's poems have extensive appeal."—Booklist

"The poems... are marked by hard-edged frankness and simultaneous vulnerability... But if her comic sensibility, particularly in her poetry, can seem dark... it's likely because Perillo has experienced her share of darkness, only to come back out into the light to describe to her readers the unlikely beauty she has seen there."—Poets & Writers

"Perillo is never uninteresting."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"... exceptional volume... These poems are tough and witty."—The New Yorker

"Whoever told you poetry isn't for everyone hasn't read Lucia Perillo. She writes accessible, often funny poems that border on the profane.... Perillo is always after something deeper than mere self-deprecation: if not transcendence, then a kind of knowledge that only comes the hard way... If you're seeking levity in the face of life's hardships, Perillo's poems can show you how to find it."—Time Out New York

"Inseminating the Elephant is a powerful, nervy, unflinching exploration of life's absurdity—from the silliness of Viagra commercials to the ambiguity-fraught relationships between humans and animals."—MPR News

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