Lucia LoTempio
Lucia LoTempio

Hot with the
Bad Things

Forthcoming from Alice James Books in May 2020!

Lucia LoTempio’s Hot with the Bad Things is a book that thinks about and thinks about thinking about violence, patriarchy, memory, witnessing, and more in ways unlike anything I have ever read. It truly wonders about the ethical conundrums of the poet, the reporter, the watcher—anyone who wants to tell the story, as she writes, in ‘a way that isn’t obliteration.’ This book does beautiful, crucial, and difficult work.
— Ross Gay

Hot with the Bad Things is a lyric sequence of prose poems. The book interrogates violence against women, both physical and psychological, and how a woman lives within that violence. Told through a shifting voice and recollection, the speaker explores the intersection of fear and identity and the malleability of her own experiences of violence enacted on her by men, particularly a past partner. Imagistic and evocative, Hot with the Bad Things is concerned with what is and isn’t unsayable and what can and cannot be blotted out; how traumatic memory can be something we attempt and fail to pack away someplace to leave. 

It had previously been named a finalist for The National Poetry Series and for the YesYes Books Pamet River Prize. You can find excerpts in issue 40 of Passages North.

How we endure inside and outside of trauma is the question that haunts Lucia LoTempio’s sharply gutting Hot with the Bad Things. Here is a speaker who struggles to survive pain—but who also fights for pleasure. Here is the story of a town and of a body, of how a body is always inextricably tied to place. Hot with the Bad Things is a supremely smart book, and one whose wisdom, humanity, and power I very much needed.
— Lynn Melnick
Lucia LoTempio’s Hot with the Bad Things will hold you captive in its mesmerizing and enchanting poetic swirls and flourishes, its detours and narrow escapes from harm and the confines of language itself. She writes, “Listen: if nothing goes to plan, imagine it as bad as possible.” The small town turns horrific; the girl is murdered; the life one lives transforms into one’s bad dream. Escape before you’re obliterated, this work warns in its riveting Siren call. Listen: it wants to keep you alive. I am grateful for having heard this song, no matter how tragic and sorrowful. Hot with the Bad Things signals a new, daring, and beautiful voice in poetry and its vast imaginative forms.
— Jenny Boully

You can donate to Alice James Books as part of their summer campaign and support Lucia by “befriending” Hot with the Bad Things in July 2019.



Undone in Scarlet

A collaborative chapbook,
co-authored with Suzannah Russ Spaar

In 2019, Undone in Scarlet, a chapbook co-authored with Suzannah Russ Spaar was released from Tammy as part of their Chapbooks Series Three. Cue fireworks.

In 2015, I met the poet Suzannah Russ Spaar at Pitt. Not only did I gain a brilliant colleague, but she is an irreplaceable friend. Our writing together is a reflection our relationship: one of true dialogue, of collaborative support, and of a mutual reverence for partnership among women. Rooted in the mythology of Helen and Clytemnestra, we structured the chap with binding final and first lines, and thought of the back-and-forth as our speakers writing to each other.