What am I reading? Fiction. Because I’ve never read it, as I have poetry, with the intention of figuring out how it works, how it carries on, what lies between the periods, between the paragraphs. I’ve reread Beloved and Jazz, by Morrison, because I think she’s right: some love is to die for. I’ve reread some lighter, though no less enthralling novels, like Tracy Chevalier’s A Girl with a Pearl Earring. I picked up The Waves by Woolf that, despite having read almost all her novels, I haven’t read yet. But I put it down, for about 20 pages in I realized this was going to be a book that’s going to change my entire life and I’m not so sure I’m ready for that. But soon. Of course, I can’t let my poetry go. Wounded in the House of a Friend, by [Sonia] Sanchez, is such a devastating title, devastating words. I’ve met [Terrance] Hayes’ Wind in a Box again as I have [Cornelius] Eady’s You Don’t Miss Your Water. And then there’s the world: aren’t you reading the world?
Rickey Laurentiis was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Collagist, Indiana Review, jubilat and other literary journals. In 2009, two of his poems were named first- and third-runner up in the International Reginald Shepherd Memorial Prize, sponsored by Knockout Literary Magazine, and he has received a Cave Canem Fellowship.