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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Perillo Selected for Bobbitt Poetry Prize

By Jacqueline Trescott

"Inseminating the Elephant," the book of verse by Lucia Perillo, has been awarded the 2010 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry by the Library of Congress.

The work of Perillo has been praised by all quarters of the literary world. "Inseminating," published in 2009, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Billy Collins, a former U.S. Poet Laureate, said of the book: "It is a delight to wander with her into strange, imaginative territories. Always, I read her poems with surprise and (write it!) jealousy.

Perillo will read at the Library on Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. The event is free.

Perillo, a MacArthur Fellow in 2000, has won many poetry prizes for her volumes "Luck is Luck," "The Oldest Map with the Name America," "The Body Mutinies," and "Dangerous Life," which won a Pushcart Prize. Her memoir, "I've Heard the Vultures Singing: Field Notes on Poetry, Illness, and Nature" traces her life from a Park Ranger to writer confined to a wheelchair with multiple sclerosis.

The Bobbitt , the country's highest award for poetry, is a biennial prize which carries an award of $10,000.

And the backstory is a Washington original. The late Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt was President Lyndon Johnson's sister. She met her husband, O.P. Bobbitt in the 1930s while both were working at the Library of Congress.

By Jacqueline Trescott  | December 7, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Books, Jacqueline Trescott  | Tags:  Bobbitt Poetry Prize, Lucia Perillo, award-winning poetry, library of congress  
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