Witch Wife

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Pub Date: 12/12/2017

Pages: 60

Publisher: Sarabande Books

Imprint: Sarabande Books

ISBN 13: 9781946448033

ISBN 10: 1946448036

Price: $16.95 / $23.50 CAN

Category: POETRY / American / African American

Witch Wife

By Kiki Petrosino

Price: $16.95



About the Book

"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.

About the Book

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


Petrosino (28) earned a master's degrees from the University of Chicago and Iowa Writer's Workshop. A young biracial poet of African- and Italian-American decent, she has been praised for her ability to write about race issues in an oblique and humorous fashion. Her work was featured in Best New Poets 2006.