Luck Is Luck by Lucia Perillo
Poems (Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award)

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From the snowy egret to a woman’s floating rib, nudism in America to Holy Communion, Simone de Beauvoir to Nathan’s hot dogs–the subjects in Lucia Perillo’s fourth collection of poetry lift off from surprising places and touch down on new ground. Hers is a vision like no other. In “To My Big Nose,” she muses: “hard to imagine what the world would have looked like / if not seen through your pink shadow. / You who are built from random parts / like a mythical creature–a gryphon or sphinx–.”

Fearless, focused, ironic, irreverent, truly and deeply felt, the poems in Luck Is Luck draw upon the circumstances of being a woman, the harsh realities of nature, the comfort of familiar things, and universally recognizable anxieties about faith and grief, love and desire. In “Languedoc,” she writes, “Long ago / I might have been attracted by your tights and pantaloons / but now they just look silly, ditto for your instrument / that looks like a gourd with strings attached / (the problem is always the strings attached).”

Perillo’s versions of nature are always unflinching: “Most days back then I would walk by the shrike tree, / a dead hawthorn at the base of a hill. / The shrike had pinned smaller birds on the tree’s black thorns / and the sun had stripped them of their feathers. / . . . well, hard luck is luck, nonetheless. / With a chunk of sky in each eye socket. / And the pierced heart strung up like a pearl.”

Down-to-earth, full of playful twists of language, and woven from grand themes in an accessible, appealing way, these poems pierce the heart and delight the mind. Not one word is wasted.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Lucia Perillo

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Lucia Perillo is the author of five books of poetry, one of which, Inseminating the Elephant, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She was also awarded a MacArthur genius grant. She lives in Olympia, Washington.
Published December 18, 2007 by Random House. 113 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Luck Is Luck

The New York Times

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Thus the aptly named ''Bulletin From Somewhere Up the Creek'' begins, ''Luckily, it's shallow enough that I can pole my rubber boat -- / don't ask what happened to the paddle,'' and continues, ''Ah, my friends, I could tell you my troubles / but is that why you came?'' Instead, the speaker concen...

Apr 10 2005 | Read Full Review of Luck Is Luck: Poems (Kingsley...

Publishers Weekly

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Recipient of a 2000 MacArthur Fellowship, Perillo has turned out a fourth collection of poems in her signature style: sassy, slangy and aggressively matter-of-fact: "So ta-dah ," she writes, "Here's the moment to which we've been brung" ("I'm not sure about brung, " she immediately notes).

Apr 04 2005 | Read Full Review of Luck Is Luck: Poems (Kingsley...

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