Visiting Poets

Kiki Petrosino


The title of Kiki Petrosino’s new book, Bright, refers to a slang term used for lightskinned people of interracial ancestry. From this central idea, Petrosino’s lyric memoir unfurls across personal and family histories, explorations of Jefferson and Shakespeare, and rewritings of fairy tales. Over the course of the narrative the possibilities of “Brightness” expand into “a place to enter,” an inhabitant of the body, a close friend, a source of joy and strength. Petrosino is also the author of four highly acclaimed books of poetry, most recently White Blood: a Lyric of Virginia (Sarabande, 2020), which was awarded the 2021 Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace & Justice in Literature. Her other honors include a Pushcart Prize, the UNT Rilke Prize, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she now directs the University of Virginia’s Creative Writing program. 

Kiki Petrosino will read on November 15, 2022 at 7 p.m. in Leo Weinstein Auditorium. Livestreams of this reading will be found on Facebook and YouTube. Co-sponsored by the Cromwell Day Committee.

Featured Poems by Kiki Petrosino:

Two Poems from White Blood

Poetry Center Reading

Fall 2022