Lucia Perillo

Lucia Perillo

Past Event: Thursday, January 20, 2011

At Benaroya Hall — Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall

Poetry Icon

Poetry

Co-Presented by Copper Canyon Press.

Perillo says she finds inspiration in “the science section of the newspaper, for the pictures. An eleventh-century skull of a female vampire exhumed recently—we know she’s a vampire because someone wedged a brick in her mouth. We do not need more than that to get going.”

Raised in a small Hudson River town in New York during the 1960s, Lucia Perillo began her career working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 1979 with a degree in Wildlife Management. She went on to work as a park ranger at Mount Rainer National Park and as a naturalist at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her thirties. As working outdoors became increasingly difficult, Perillo decided to change careers. She completed her M.A. in English at Syracuse University in 1986 and dedicated her life to teaching and writing.

Her first book, The Body Mutinies (1996), won her the PEN/Revson foundation Poetry Fellowship while still in manuscript, and Dangerous Life (1989), received the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. The Oldest Map with the Name America(1999) won the praise of poet Billy Collins. “Born on the same day the Big Bopper perished—one of her poems tells us—Lucia Perillo is a poet of culture, high and low,” Collins extols. “I love the way she allows it all to flood into her work, how she welcomes Bart Simpson and Edward Hopper, Harrison Ford and Heraclitus, Pliny and Edith Piaf. These poems are lively, various, beautiful—some collected, most new, and all aimed precisely at the reader.” Her work to this point made her a 2000 MacArthur Fellow, otherwise known as the Genius Award.

In 2005 her book Luck is Luck (2005), was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize, was included in the New York Public Library’s “Books to Remember,” and won the Kingsley Tufts Prize from Claremont University. In the same year, she published a book of essays, I’ve Heard the Vultures Singing: Field Notes on Poetry, Illness, and Nature.

Last year, the Pulitzer committee, upon selecting her newest book Inseminating the Elephantas a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, praised her saying: “Lucia Perillo examines popular culture, the limits of the human body, and the tragicomic aspects of everyday experience.” Lucia Perillo has taught at Syracuse University, Saint Martin’s College, Warren Wilson, and Southern Illinois University. She lives with her husband, James Rudy, in Olympia, Washington.

Selected Work
Inseminating the Elephant (2009)
I’ve Heard the Vultures Singing: Field Notes on Poetry, Illness, and Nature (2007)
Luck Is Luck: Poems (2005)
The Oldest Map with the Name America (1999)
The Body Mutinies (1996)
Dangerous Life (1989)

Links
Listen to Lucia Perillo read her poem “The Second Slaughter”
The Poetry Foundation interviews Lucia Perillo (June 2009)
Poem: “This Red T-Shirt” in The New Yorker (May 2010)

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall. The Recital Hall is located on the upper level of Benaroya Hall, up the stairs to the left side of the Box Office. Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.


By Car

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Seneca Street exit and move into the left lane. Turn left onto First Avenue and proceed one block. Take the next right (at the Hammering Man sculpture) onto University Street. Continue up the hill two blocks to Third Avenue. Turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue to the next block and turn left onto Union Street. Make the next left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Southbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Denny Way/Downtown exit. Keep right and cross over Denny Way onto Wall Street. Proceed approximately five blocks and turn left onto Second Avenue. Continue south on Second Avenue approximately eight blocks. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Bus
Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by bus and light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

Parking
The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. The event rate is $16.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth Avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second Avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.

Accessibility

All of our venues have accessible seating and listening devices available. Click here for more information about accessibility and ADA services at Benaroya Hall.

Please contact us at sal@lectures.org or 206.621.2230 x10 for more details and to let us know you’re coming so we can better accommodate your needs.