Rickey Laurentiis


Rickey Laurentiis grew up in New Orleans and earned an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. They are the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press). Boy with Thorn also won the Levis Reading Prize, and was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and a Lambda Literary Award. A 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry fellow, they have also received awards from the Whiting Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  They are the inaugural fellow in creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for African American Poetry and Poetics. Source

Testament to the Agency of Man

On considering gender augmentation surgery


Do I change?

Do I go the—as you say—whole way?


The breast, a predicament of treatment:

Free Will,


It seems, be more than just the crow’s zigzag

In the wind,


But a thing like breasts, it hangs

There, even in the mind,


Behind the muscle’s freeze,

Homogenously patient for its sister—the breasts,


I mean; the Will, I was saying; but it seems I am

The crow, the same flying


Inside so many green and ruder choices.

Trans, a choice


Written on my body. And I’m allowed.

Trans, a fecund decision,


Androgynously made. No sin.

I pray to God I decide, Rickey.


Yes. I’ll go the whole way.

Let the scalpel in.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Body & Body Image

LGBTQ+ Experience

Literary Devices:


two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, that form a unit

Interrupted Clause

a word group (a statement, question, or exclamation) that interrupts the flow of a sentence and is usually set off by commas, dashes, or parentheses


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic

Transferred Epithet

When an adjective usually used to describe one thing is transferred to another.