Megan Peak’s Girldom has won the 2018 John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters!
Here’s an excerpt from poet Bina Ruchi Perino’s heartfelt review from January 2019 of Megan Peak’s Girldom, which she was moved to write after hearing Megan read: “Poetry … doesn’t [always] whisper, we’re in this together. But Peak’s work did, to me. And I’m writing this, more or less, as a thank you to Peak and Perugia Press. Every time I open Girldom, I feel as if I’m pulled into a world of ice, tenderness, thorns, honey, and all of the messy work that healing is. All of the messy work that being a girl is.”
Here’s a feature on Editor/Director Rebecca Hart Olander in the September 7, 2018 “Art Maker” column of the Daily Hampshire Gazette. She speaks about her own writing process and supporting her student writers and the women poets of Perugia Press.
Here’s an excerpt from a beautiful review of the 2017 Perugia Press Prize winner, L. I. Henley’s Starshine Road, in RHINO Poetry’s September 2018 issue. Thanks to Sonja Johanson for her keen eye and careful reading: “Henley’s gaze is unshrinking; she directs our view to rust, junk, discarded shoes, flash floods, poverty and death. But Henley’s stark descriptors are not a denunciation. The thieving grackle is pearlescent, desert lilies bloom red, and a tooth-sized crystal shines in the dirt. These are love poems, but honest ones, written for a place and a life simultaneously hard and precious.”
Here’s a 2018 interview with 2015 Perugia Press Prize winner Jenifer Browne Lawrence, conducted by Jordan Hartt for Kahini. The poet has this to say about working with Perugia Press on Grayling: “I can’t praise Perugia Press highly enough … all the staff and my fellow Perugia poets feel like an extended family. They treated me and my work respectfully and intelligently—the whole process felt like the celebration of a birth—and I suppose it was.”
Here’s Emily Gwinn reading aloud 2009 Perugia Press Prize-winner Jennifer K. Sweeney’s poem “Weathering” for NPR Public Radio station Spokane Public Radio’s “Poetry Moment” on September 6, 2018. The poem comes from Sweeney’s Perugia collection How to Live on Bread and Music, which also won the 2009 James Laughlin Award for the Academy of American Poets.
Here’s a wonderful interview Mariano Zaro conducted with 2007 Perugia Press Prize winner Lynne Thompson, published on August 19, 2018 on YouTube for Poetry.LA. Thompson reads her poem “To Blackness” from Beg No Pardon, which begins at 10:45 in this terrific piece (though we suggest listening to the whole piece to hear Thompson’s thoughts on ancestors, memory, music, coming to poetry after practicing law, hearing from founding editor Susan Kan on winning post-publication awards for Beg No Pardon, breaking stereotypes of “the other” in her poetry, the new projects she has cooking, and even Beyonce’s Lemonade!).
Here’s a recent review of Diane Gilliam’s Kettle Bottom in Glass: A Journal of Poetry (March 2018, Ohio Poets Edition). Thanks to reviewer Karen J. Weyant for highlighting the timeless quality of Gilliam’s work: “For better or for worse, coal miners and the coal industry have recently been thrust into the limelight… I want to tell [readers] to forget the current politics. I want to tell them to forget what most contemporary media outlets are reporting. But what I really want to tell them is to read Kettle Bottom Diane Gilliam Fisher, perhaps one of the best poetry books ever written. Kettle Bottom, published by Perugia Press in 2004, examines the years of 1920-21 in West Virginia, a period of tension and unrest in coal country. Divided into three sections, Fisher’s collection intertwines a variety of voices, including wives, mine workers, and community children, all the while seeking to capture a time that is seemingly forgotten.”