In Memoriam: Lucia Perillo, 1958-2016

Lucia PerilloLucia Perillo, a highly regarded poet and former university professor, died on October 16 in Olympia, Washington. She was 58 years old and had suffered from multiple sclerosis.

A native of New York City, Perillo earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management at McGill University in Montreal, She worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge and developed an interest in poetry.

Perillo earned a master’s degree in English at Syracuse University and then taught at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington. She spent nine years on the faculty at Southern Illinois University.

In 2000, Perillo was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, commonly referred to as a “Genius Award.” In 2010 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her collection Inseminating the Elephant (Copper Canyon Press, 2009). Her latest book is Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones (Copper Canyon Press, 2016).

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