I've Heard the Vultures Singing
Field Notes on Poetry, Illness, and Nature
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Acclaimed poet and MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Lucia Perillo, a former park ranger who loved to hike the Cascade Mountains alone and prided herself on daring solo skis down the wild slopes of Mount Rainier, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was in her thirties. I've Heard the Vultures Singing is a clear-eyed and brazenly outspoken examination of her life as a person with disabilities. In unwavering and witty prose, and without a trace of self-pity, she contemplates the bitter ironies of being unable to walk, what it's like to experience eros as a sick person, how to lower one's expectations for a wilderness experience, and how to deal with the vagaries of a disease that has no predictable trajectory. Masterfully written, the essays resonate with lovers of literature and nature, and with anyone who has dealt with disadvantages of the body or the hard-luck limitations of ordinary life.
Trinity University Press, 9781595340580, 256pp.
Publication Date: August 25, 2009
About the Author
Lucia Perillo (1958-2016) is the author of many collections of poetry: Dangerous Life, which won the Norma Farber Award for best first book; The Body Mutinies, which received the PEN Revson Foundation Fellowship and the Kate Tufts Poetry Award; The Oldest Map with the Name America; Luck Is Luck, which won the Kingsley Tufts Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Inseminating the Elephant and On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths. Perillo's poetry, essays, and short fiction have appeared in the Paris Review, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and other magazines, and have been included in the Best American Poetry and Pushcart anthologies. She received a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 2000. She has taught at Syracuse University, Saint Martin's University, and Southern Illinois University.