Titles 1998-2018

Hymn for the Black Terrific, Kiki Petrosino


Petrosino offers us wildly inventive lyrics that take as launch pad allergenesis, the contents and significance of swamps, a revised notion of marriage, and ancestors—both actual and dreamed. The eponymous second section storms through Chinese delicacies, doubts, and confident proclamations from regions of an exploratory self. Hymn for the Black Terrific is a book of pure astonishment.

For a classroom-ready reader's guide written by the author herself, follow this link, and explore more titles with reader's guides in Sarabande in Education

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Kiki Petrosino was born in Baltimore and received her BA from the University of Virginia. She spent two years teaching English and Italian at a private school, after which she earned graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her debut collection, Fort Red Border (Sarabande, 2009) was praised by The Believer and shortlisted for the 2009 Foreword Book of the Year in Poetry. In 2011, her poem, "Allergenesis," was featured in the Op-Ed section of The New York Times. Other poems have appeared in Tin HouseFENCE, jubilat, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. Petrosino is the co-editor of Transom, an independent on-line poetry journal and she teaches creative writing at the University of Louisville.


“Kiki Petrosino’s new collection, Hymn For the Black Terrific, is the kind of book that makes readers of poetry ignite with joy and those who do not read poetry suddenly find themselves in love with verse. Petrosino’s hymn is a song for the human, for the animal we are and for the starlight we are. Cold, self-conscious, ironic poetry is out. Petrosino’s warm, intelligent, wild, blood-and-bone poetry is in. Thank god for that.”

—Matthew Dickman