Perugia Press is pleased to announce the publication of

Two Minutes of Light
Winner of the 2008 Perugia Press Prize
by Nancy K. Pearson

 A poet with a powerful hand and ear can use language to transform a grim life into art.  In Two Minutes of Light, Nancy K. Pearson writes about a descent into the madness of addiction, suicide attempts, and self-mutilation, and the foil to these destructive ways is art itself — the poet’s gift for finding small beauty in unlikely places and transforming it into poetry.  Kim Addonizio says, “This is a book fiercely in love with the world, which unflinchingly examines what can keep someone from inhabiting that world, whole.”

With stunning imagination, acute mindfulness, downright spunk, and not one ounce of sentimentality or gratuitousness, Pearson mines despair for its “minutes of light” that provide rungs toward a more livable life.  While immersed in the world of psychiatric wards, crack motels, selling drugs, even cutting off a finger, the poet, almost unnervingly, writes about sea grass, milkweed, ghost crabs, fruit seeds, and wild lilies.  “What’s extraordinary about this extraordinary book,” says Marie Howe, “is how that world has its saying and song too.” 

In “Jewelweed,” Pearson writes: “It was a Tuesday.  I was drinking vodka /before noon.  Outside the heat was a thorn, /the porch shade nervous, the remains of the lilies — /pitchforks.”  Pearson’s genius in tTwo Minutes of Light is her curiously ironic voice, the immediacy of her images, and her fearless attitude.

Nancy K. Pearson, originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, received her MFA from George Mason University.  Recently, she completed two seven-month poetry fellowships at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.  This is her first book

The Perugia Press Prize is a national poetry award for first or second books by women. Two Minutes of Light was chosen from several hundred submissions.

80 Pages.  $15.00.  ISBN: 978-0-9794582-0-0.
To order this book and all other Perugia Press books, visit


PERUGIA PRESS PRIZE – accepting submissions NOW!
for a First or Second Book of Poetry by a Woman

Prize: $1000 and publication

A prize of $1000 and publication by Perugia Press is given annually for a
first or second unpublished poetry collection by a woman.  Submit 48 to 72
pages with a $22 entry fee between August 1 and November 15.  Send an
e-mail, SASE, or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.

Susan Kan
Perugia Press – Celebrating a Decade of Poetry
P.O. Box 60364
Florence, MA  01062