“Inseminating the Elephant” (Copper Canyon Press), even from the very first poem, is unafraid to take risks that snap readers awake. Lucia Perillo’s subject matter ranges from becoming handicapped to listing the great men in history who had wives and children “they needed to ditch.” Even with more difficult topics, such as becoming handicapped, Perillo takes interesting and unexpected angles that never fail to provoke thought, and often laughter. Booklist says:
Balancing on the axis between the absurd and the transcendent, MacArthur fellow Perillo counters the clinical extremes of science with earthy irreverence in her latest collection of wry, over-the-speed-limit poems. With forays into wildlife management and medical time served, what with her multiple sclerosis, Perillo writes with empathy and sneaky wit about the sacrificial animals in lab studies. Facing gore and death without puking is a rite of passage, but a steady forensic gaze does not preclude compassion or wild humor.
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