Poet and novelist Lucia Perillo dies aged 58

Perillo authored several collections of poetry, including "Inseminating the Elephant'' in 2009, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

By: AP | Olympia | Published:October 24, 2016 9:38 am

Lucia Perillo, an award-winning author and Pulitzer Prize finalist, has died at the age of 58. The publishing company Copper Canyon Press reported on Sunday that Perillo passed away Oct. 16 in Olympia. The cause of her death was not immediately known.

Perillo authored several collections of poetry, including “Inseminating the Elephant” in 2009, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress.

The MacArthur Genius Fellow was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1988 and published her first book a year later, entitled “Dangerous Life.”

Perillo was a professor at Syracuse University, where she received her master of arts in English. She also taught at Southern Illinois University, Saint Martin’s University, and in the Warren Wilson College master of fine arts program.