Crystal S. Gibbins

Crystal S. Gibbins (Poetry) | Lake Superior, WI

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Crystal S. Gibbins grew up on the islands of Lake of the Woods, MN/ON. She is the author of the full length poetry collection NOW/HERE (Holy Cow! Press) and two poetry chapbooks. Crystal is also the founder and editor of Split Rock Review and the recipient of fellowships from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Her work has been featured widely in literary journals, such as Prairie Schooner, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Minnesota Review, and Cincinnati Review. She serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth and lives on the south shore of Lake Superior in Wisconsin.


NOW/HERE (Holy Cow! Press, 2017). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

“Crystal Gibbins’ poignant and quietly intense poems give lie to ‘You can’t go home again.’ You can. It is changed, but you can go back. And we are changed, as readers, by these wildly articulate poems which speak like a woman, or a man, leaning towards you, across from you, with something urgent and true to say.”
—Thomas Lux, author of Child Made of Sand and To the Left of Time

“In her first full-length collection, Crystal Spring Gibbins celebrates ‘this wide open they call the heartland,/this place in the middle,’ yet the speaker in these poems is often standing on the edge of things: an island, a border, the banks of the Red River, the shores of her beloved Lake of the Woods, the fine line between memory and the here and now it has led her to. The poems dare to look into and beyond. They whisper and sing with a zen-like clarity that lives up to the author’s given name.”
—Grace Bauer, author of Nowhere All At Once and The Women At The Well

“If Mary Oliver and W.S. Merwin wandered the Minnesota-Canadian borderlands and waters, they would write poems that look and sound a lot like Crystal Gibbins’: spare, taut, meditative, and wise. In many ways, Gibbins has taken Oliver’s directive to heart: ‘Pay attention/Be astonished/Tell about it.’ Gibbins knows her territory: she knows its manners and mysteries, allowing us to see ‘the white/bloom of a wave break,’ the ‘barbs on the vane/of a pinion feather,’ and ‘cattails shattering into seed.’ There is a kind of Whitmanesque joy and celebration in her poems. I recommend that you allow Crystal Gibbins to be your travel guide. Follow and learn from her. You will be generously rewarded.”
—Thom Tammaro, author of 23 Poems, 31 Mornings in December, and Holding on for Dear Life

“These are poems of places and spaces deeply felt and fully lived in. From pine cones to mayflies to pin feathers, from boats on the lake to birds in the Minnesota sky, from the cookstove to the silent meal table, Crystal Gibbins transports us into the extraordinary interiors of things and selves with an assured touch that surprises us at every turn with the wonder of the commonplace turned magical, mystical and almost mythical, where everything becomes part of one grand and multifaceted natural history museum. These poems both meditate and mediate, conducting us into little moments of personal delight and private grief while drawing us irrevocably nearer one another. In reminding us that in one way or another we all share transactions like these, Gibbins reminds us, too, of just how narrow and fragile is the line that divides ecstasy from nothingness, flood from fallow. A stunning collection!”
—Stephen Behrendt, George Holmes Distinguished Professor of English, University of Nebraska, author of Refractions

“Crystal Gibbins’ gorgeous new book contains poems about poems and painting, bits of found poems, lists, and lovely lines. She writes in ways that exactly place humans in the natural world. The reader suddenly sees a ‘diaspora of pine cones’ or ‘wind mean as bleach,’ images that lap out endlessly until their ripples fill the pond. Crystal Gibbins is a stunning poet!”
—Fran Kaye, Professor of English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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