About Me

About Me


Leanna Petronella’s poetry appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, Third Coast, Birmingham Poetry Review, CutBank, Quarterly West, ElevenEleven, and other publications. Her fiction appears in Drunken Boat, and her nonfiction appears in Brevity.  She holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of Missouri, where she was Poetry Editor for the Missouri Review, and an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Her debut collection, The Imaginary Age, won the 2018 Pleiades Press Editors Prize, and will be forthcoming in October 2019. Learn more here.

© Kelly Zhu

Haunting the spheres of womb and bone and mother-longing, Leanna Petronella is so good! These are poems wet with blood and blooming with mystery, and we need them in our dry garden of a world.

—Melissa Broder, author of Last Sext


Like many of the best fairy tales, Leanna Petronella’s The Imaginary Age tells the story of a daughter trying to make her way through the world with one pocket stuffed with grief and the other full of memories for her lost mother. In a distinct voice that merges surrealist imagery and playful use of poetic forms, Petronella has created a collection of completely new and deeply satisfying myths for coming of age, sexual awakening, and living joyfully, meaningfully, authentically ever after.

—Kathryn Nuernberger, author of Rue


This is a book of transport that turns the imagination into a bathysphere, a spacecraft, a carousel. Petronella is not afraid to examine matters of sex, blood, private calamity with bold wit and verve. And while a whimsical intellect drives these poems through childhood closets and vivid menageries, the reader notes the signs of peril littering such a landscape: “unsepulchered girlish legs,” “wasps and teeth,” “pieces of beak.” Come ride this exquisite vessel of The Imaginary Age whose shadows leave a strange calligraphy on the ground.


—Carolina Ebeid, author of You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior


2019 Readings


October 15: Orr Street Studios, Columbia MO, 7:00pm

October 17: University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg MO, 4:00pm

October 18: The Writers Place, Kansas City MO, 7:00pm

November 1: Brazos Bookstore, Houston TX, 6:30pm

November 15: BookPeople, Austin TX, 7:00pm