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Launch for Heather June Gibbons / Her Mouth as Souvenir
July 18 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The Bindery hosts the launch event for Heather June Gibbons‘ Her Mouth as Souvenir, winner of the 2017 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize. More information to be announced soon, but please save the date and join us!
In a startling voice propelled by desire and desperation on the verge of laughter, these poems leap from the mundane to the sublime, from begging to bravado, from despair to reverie, revealing the power that comes from hanging on by a thread. Poet Heather June Gibbons conjures belief in the absence of faith, loneliness in the digital age, beauty in the face of absurdity —all through the cataract of her sunglasses’ cracked lens. In this debut collection, we are shown a world so turbulent, anxious, and beautiful, we know it must be ours. Under pressure, these poems sing. Includes a fore-word by Jericho Brown.
From the poem “Bobby Reads Chekhov”:
They say if you’re sad, you haven’t been
smiling enough. Want to make better decisions?
Eat more cheese. Perception is reality,
my horrible boss used to say when I’d try
to explain anything she couldn’t see,
though maybe she was right. Can we know
reality any other way? The painter saw
purple in the trees, so he painted them purple.
Leaving the gallery, we see purple everywhere.
Studies have shown meditation makes
brain waves akin to coma. Is that so,
you say, fingering your tiny screen.
“Not since Josh Bell’s No Planets Strike have I encountered an emerging poet’s book that took the top of my head off with as sure a slice as Heather June Gibbon’s Her Mouth as Souvenir. Her language is wicked, syncopated and full of canny stings, with a quality of idiosyncratic consciousness that’s ut-terly contemporary. This is a singular collection, serving notice that Gibbons is a force with whom poetry readers will be thrilled to reckon.” – Erin Belieu, author of Six Slant and Black Box
“Part garage-rock, part requiem, part power ballad, Gibbons’ book is a whirl-ing ‘study in loss.’ These pulsing poems sing, shout, and interrogate everything from desire to the digital age to a Mid-western waterpark, while luring us into their restless beauty, fervor and humor. Her Mouth as Souvenir is both torch and torch singer as it shines its light into our mouths, illuminating us.” – Simone Muench, author of Wolf Centos
Heather June Gibbons was born in Utah and grew up on an island in Washington state. She is the author of the poetry collection Her Mouth as Souvenir, winner of the 2017 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize and forthcoming from the University of Utah Press. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Sore Songs (Dancing Girl Press), and Flyover(Q Avenue Press). Her poems have appeared widely in literary journals, including Blackbird, Boston Review, Drunken Boat, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, jubilat, New American Writing, and West Branch. She received an MFA in Poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she held a Callen Graduate Scholarship, and she has been the recipient of a Full Fellowship Residency from the Vermont Studio Center, the Pavel Strut Poetry Fellowship from the Prague Summer Program, the Agha Shahid Ali Scholarship from the Fine Arts Work Center, and the Harold Taylor Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Heather teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University, and in the community as a Teaching Artist for Performing Arts Workshop, a youth education non-profit. She lives in San Francisco.
Please note: this event will be at The Bindery at 1727 Haight.
This is an all ages event. The bar opens at 7, event begins at 7:30pm.
RSVP appreciated but not required.