Witch wife Poems

Kiki Petrosino, 1979-

Book - 2017

With wit, startling diction, and audacious manipulation of syntax and form, Witch Wife's incantatory poems bring forth wild, singular music.

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2nd Floor 811.6/Petrosino Checked In
Louisville, KY : Sarabande Books [2017]
Main Author
Kiki Petrosino, 1979- (author)
First edition
Physical Description
72 pages : illustration, portrait ; 21 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Long ago, I was a figlia with a fever, Petrosino (Hymn for the Black Terrific, 2013) writes in Scarlet. Petrosino's third collection does unfold much like a magic-tinged fever dream, traversing forests, fairy houses, and the war zone of the body to conjure up mothers and wives, daughters and ghosts. Delivering intoxicating variations on the sestina and villanelle, Petrosino employs repetition to spectacular effect. In Twenty-One, for example, Petrosino offers an echoing catalog of the carefree age: Olive orchard, sunflower farm. / Pastasciutta, freckled arms. In Political Poem, Petrosino revamps Martin Luther King Jr.'s revered take on the arc of the moral universe. So let my body move towards justice, the speaker commands. And in the breathtaking Prospera, the poet summons a lost daughter: Every third thought is my grave girl / waltzing in her wedding gown of wire. In Petrosino's singular world, the familiar becomes strange, and the strange, suddenly irresistible, settles deep in the bones. Sparkling with sly wordplay and fantastical imagery, these are not only masterful poems but mighty incantations. Utterly spellbinding.--Shemroske, Briana Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Petrosino (Hymn for the Black Terrific) crackles in her stunning third collection, as she dives deep into the ephemeral powers of the body, particularly those of black women. She examines the ways in which one's body plays a part in shaping personal identity and what it means to be a woman in modern society. In "Young," Petrosino reflects on being a teenager, lushly detailing how during that tumultuous period emotions can feel inescapable. She writes, "& I, in my runny custard body/ with its buried corkscrew of hate/ tell the tree my story-songs/ & think God can really hear." In other poems, such as "New South," she discusses how histories passed down from mother to daughter manifest in the physical body. She says, "am born/ light girl, light girl/ each step blessed but slant/ born in procession/ already my mother, her mother/ the same her mother, then/ her mother the same." Petrosino seems to speak of maternal history as something that is infused into a daughter at birth. A similar idea crops up in "Ghosts" and "Prospera," in which mothers and daughters maintain dependent relationships with deep roots. Cosmic images blend with the familiar and domestic to create an all-encompassing reading experience. Petrosino situates the body as a vessel for stories of both being and becoming. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

In her newest volume of poems, Petrosino (Hymn for the Black Terrific) employs formal techniques to craft tales and cast spells "in a language [she] drew from [her] own throat." Her use of villanelles, in particular, works well with the subject matter, the format's allowance for spins and twists mirrors the structure of most fairy tales and myths. Here, Petrosino writes complicated, layered poems, rife with internal rhymes and echoes of assonance. These are poems of the body, of ripeness and fullness, poems about what a woman could/should be: clever, charming, and sweet. But, as the poet demonstrates, readers should be careful. A woman might be at war with herself or at peace-what you want but not what you expect. "When I slither up from sleep,/ my regrets are shreds of pulp in my mouth./ It's true that I love & that I do not love. I fill myself with my regrets & begin to speak." VERDICT A fine addition to large poetry collections.-Karla Huston, Appleton, WI © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Little Gals   They come at night on membranous wings. I'm a soft deer browsing the woods with strands of willow in my pelt.   When they lean in to call me out I shiver & shine in my thicket of one.   Do they know about the botch in my belly? I think it's a gel where the white light rots.   One says You know it's past time you bred & opens her mouth full of egg teeth.                  You must have some kind of hatch for it says another Or hole says the third clicking.   All three hang in the night air identical silk faces identical jaw wires wanting to scoop me into their high humming.   I gallop deep in shade past grease-marked trees to the lake where March mud dashes up my burning legs.   But soon I feel them again at my belly spinning their round nymphal selves, pressing their hundred  eyes.   There is a red delight in the heat & snap of their pincers. They've made themselves so much finer this time new mouthparts new bodies burrowing all through my undercoat where I let them dig down into the dim places. Excerpted from Witch Wife by Kiki Petrosino All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.