Poet Kiki Petrosino was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of an African American mother and an Italian American father. She earned a BA from the University of Virginia, an MA in humanities from the University of Chicago, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of Fort Red Border (2009), Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013), and Witch Wife (2017).
Fort Red Border—the title is an anagram of “Robert Redford”—addresses love, intimacy, food, race, and contemporary culture. The first section of the book is a series of imaginative lyrics spoken by a woman engaged in a relationship with Robert Redford. In a Rain Taxi conversation, Haines Easton commented: “Petrosino’s speaker seeks to untangle sense, to make sense, to perceive and revel in sense—and seeks to do so free of the trappings of an at-large, hegemonic culture intent on bending her impulses to its will.”
Petrosino spent two years teaching English and Italian at a private school in Switzerland. She co-edits Transom and currently teaches at the University of Louisville.