Witch Wife (Hardcover)
Sarabande Books, 9781946448033, 60pp.
Publication Date: December 12, 2017
"Petrosino delights in unsettling the familiar with startling results, whether channeling Anne Sexton or William Blake. Her stylish innovation refashions traditional forms that insist on repetition." --Harryette Mullin
"Petrosino is at the forefront of a deeply heterogeneous, expansive poetic movement, one that is transforming traditional lyric subjectivity into a more inclusive, complex space." --Boston Review
The poems of Witch Wife are spells, obsessive incantations to exorcise or celebrate memory, to mourn the beloved dead, to conjure children or keep them at bay, to faithfully inhabit one's given body. They are also concerned with dismantling received ideas about contemporary American womanhood. What does it mean to be a wife or mother who feels ambivalent about motherhood? How are these roles further complicated for women of color in the United States? In sestinas, villanelles, hallucinogenic prose poems, and free verse, Kiki Petrosino summons history's ghosts--the ancestors that reside in her blood and craft--and sings them to life.
Kiki Petrosino is the author of two previous poetry collections: Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013) and Fort Red Border (2009), all from Sarabande Books. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her poems and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, FENCE, Gulf Coast, Tin House, and online at Ploughshares. She is founder and co-editor of the poetry journal Transom, and Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisville, where she directs the Creative Writing Program.