© Marc Hauser.
Creatures of a Day
Louisiana State University Press
Our hunger feeds on witness'
says Reginald Gibbons in Creatures of a Day,
and his spacious, earnest poems are sinuously connected
to the world, meticulously sensitive to the lives of
others in the "long shadows of the Chicago mountains."
Layered, tonally subtle, conversant with the mysteries
of the social and the psychological, these poems tutor
us in a style of conscience that is fresh, brave and
humble, exactly suited to this moment in America.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and raised in Houston,
Texas, and now a long-time resident near Chicago, poet
and fiction writer Reginald Gibbons received his B.A.
in Spanish and Portuguese from Princeton University
in 1969, and his M.A. in English and creative writing
and Ph. D. in comparative literature from Stanford University
in 1971 and 1974, respectively. Gibbons is professor
of English, Classics, and Spanish and Portuguese at
Northwestern University, and also Co-Director of the
MA/MFA in Creative Writing and Director of the Center
for the Writing Arts. He was the editor of TriQuarterly
magazine from 1981 to 1997. He has also taught at Princeton,
Columbia, Rutgers, and the University of Chicago, and
since 1989 he has also been a member of the core faculty
of the low-residency MFA Program for Writers at Warren
Wilson College in North Carolina.
Gibbons is the author
of eight books of poetry, including It’s Time
(2002), Homage to Longshot O’Leary (1999),
and Sparrow: New and Selected Poems (1997);
of the novel Sweetbitter, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf
Book Award; and of other books. Gibbons’ translations
of Sophocles, Selected Poems: Odes and
Fragments, have just been published, following
his earlier translations of Antigone and
Euripides’ Bakkhai with the late
Charles Segal. Gibbons has received the Folger Shakespeare
Library’s O. B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize and
fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fulbright
Program, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His
work has been included in the prize anthologies
Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize.
THE BOOK(from the publisher)
In Creatures of a Day,
Reginald Gibbons presents intense encounters with
everyday people amidst the historical and social contexts
of everyday life. His poems are meditations on memory,
obligation, love, death, celebration, and sorrow. Some
of them show how the making of poetry itself seems inextricably
enmeshed with personal encounter and with history. This
new collection includes five odes woven from interactions
with others, thirteen shorter poems, and "Fern-Texts,"
a kind of biographical and autobiographical essay in
syllabic verse on the parallel decades of the English
1790s and the American 1960s. Using quotations from
the notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Fern-Texts"
interweaves the dilemmas of love, ethics, and political
engagement in Coleridge's life when he was in his twenties
and in the poet's own life when, at the same age, he
lived in California.