Hymn for the Black Terrific


The poems in this, Kiki Petrosino's second collection, fulfill the promise of her debut effort, "Fort Red Border," and further extend the terms of our expectations for this extraordinary young poet. The book is in two sections, the first a focused collection of wildly inventive lyrics that take as launch pad such far flung subjects as allergenesis, the contents and significance of swamps, a revised notion of marriage, and ancestors—both actual and dreamed. The eponymous second section is a cogent series, or long poem, based on a persona named "the eater," who, along with the poems themselves, storms voraciously through tablefuls of Chinese delicacies (each poem in the series takes its titles from an actual Chinese dish), as well as through doubts and confident proclamations from regions of an exploratory self. "Hymn for the Black Terrific" has Falstaffian panache; it is a book of pure astonishment.
Kiki Petrosino is the author of "Fort Red Border" (Sarabande, 2009) and the co-editor of "Transom," an independent on-line poetry journal. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her poems have appeared in "Tin House, FENCE, Jubilat, Gulf Coast," and "The New York Times." Petrosino teaches creative writing at the University of Louisville.

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