White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia, Kiki Petrosino
Pre-order only. Available May 2020.
In her fourth full-length book, White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia, Kiki Petrosino turns her gaze to Virginia, where she digs into her genealogical and intellectual roots, while contemplating the knotty legacies of slavery and discrimination in the Upper South. From a stunning double crown sonnet, to erasure poetry contained within DNA testing results, the poems in this collection are as wide-ranging in form as they are bountiful in wordplay and truth. In her poem “The Shop at Monticello,” she writes: “I’m a black body in this Commonwealth, which turned black bodies/ into money. Now, I have money to spend on little trinkets to remind me/ of this fact. I’m a money machine & my body constitutes the common wealth.” Speaking to history, loss, and injustice with wisdom, innovation, and a scientific determination to find the poetic truth, White Blood plants Petrosino’s name ever more firmly in the contemporary canon.
Kiki Petrosino is the author of four books of poetry: White Blood (2020); Witch Wife (2017); Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013); and Fort Red Border (2009)—all from Sarabande Books. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Best American Poetry, The Nation, The New York Times, FENCE, Gulf Coast, Jubilat, Tin House, and online at Ploughshares. Previously Director of Creative Writing at the University of Louisville, she now teaches at the University of Virginia as a Professor of Poetry. Petrosino is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Fellowship in Creative Writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Al Smith Fellowship Award from the Kentucky Arts Council. She lives in Charlottesville.
PRAISE FOR WHITE BLOOD:
“Kiki Petrosino has been perfecting a form of weaponized valentine, a love poem armed with play and appraisal, ever since her amazing debut. Her poems charm and fillet. In White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia home is filled with history and possibility, ‘that twoness one ever feels’ in place and body. Both singular lyric poem and mercurial sequence featuring epistles, erasures, and sonnets, this book is wonderfully irreducible. It’s further evidence of Kiki Petrosino’s limitless, inimitable talent.” —Terrance Hayes, author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin and Lighthead
“Fueled by what it means to identify your own blood, White Blood is a masterful book of poems that excavates, resurrects, and stares clear-eyed into history. Petrosino's intricate attention to sound and the muscularity of the poetic line make these poems explode in both the ear and the heart. Here is a poet at her best.” —Ada Limón, author of The Carrying and Bright Dead Things
PAST PRAISE FOR KIKI PETROSINO:
"Petrosino is a canny, wide-ranging and formally nimble writer with a magician's command of atmosphere." —The New York Times, "The Best Poetry of 2017"
“[Kiki Petrosino’s poetry] is a vision of anger as fuel and fire, as a powerful inoculation against passivity, as strange but holy milk suckled from the wolf.” —Leslie Jamison, The New York Times
"Petrosino. . . crackles in her stunning third collection." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“In Petrosino’s singular world, the familiar becomes strange, and the strange, suddenly irresistible, settles deep in the bones. . . . Utterly spellbinding.” —Booklist
"Petrosino writes complicated, layered poems, rife with internal rhymes and echoes of assonance...A fine addition to large poetry collections." —Library Journal
"This stunning spellbook on love, being a woman in all phases of life, motherhood, and inhabiting the female body will cast a spell on you."
—Barnes & Noble
"Witch Wife offers that maybe all love stories are stories of bodies. We are within before we are without. Petrosino is a unique voice, churning a mixture of smirk and mirth. . . Witch Wife is a weird wonder, something altogether new in its combinations." —The Millions, "Must-Read Poetry: December 2017"