Rorschach Art

“Each of these marvelous poems engages as instantly as a photograph: you read two or three words and you’re on the scene, recoiling in horror as Trotsky is murdered or twisting uncomfortably as your daughter buys her first bra. There’s no need to ‘develop’ Stephen Gibson’s pictures; they enter your mind so fast that you can’t help feeling that what’s happening on the page has already happened and that, very likely, you were there when it did. He’s a poet for other poets to learn from, for no one else writing today uses language as economically or to more immediate effect.”—David Kirby

“After years of reading Stephen Gibson’s poems in magazines ranging from the Paris Review and Poetry to Apalachee Quarterly and Epoch, what a pleasure it is at last to find them all together here in one extraordinary collection. Rorschach Art is a work of sometimes devastating power. Gibson’s relentless refusal to look away from the raw core of experience leads him to poems that burn with a fevered indignation at the cruelty of both nature and culture, as well as to poems of great tenderness and wonder. Here is a poet capable of shaping words into weapons against blindness and complacency—or despair. To read Rorschach Art is to see the world anew, illuminated by the fierce light of an immensely gifted poet.”—Edward Falco

“History, like art, collects around certain selected sets of events and images, depending on the designer. In Rorschach Art, Stephen Gibson interrogates the surfaces of art, history, literature and private lives; he incisively peers around the edges to reveal the often-overlooked oddities of circumstance—the missing coat, the unrun stockings on the recently murdered, the kissed toads, bizarre surprises of an extracted glass-eye. Gibson creates the junctures where the public and private meet and resonate: ‘in anything—photos, paintings—I find composites.’ In this manner, his poems shape powerful, three-dimensional complexities, a poignant rorschach of perception. This is a collection of masterful scope and depth.”—Katherine Soniat, author of Alluvial (Bucknell Un. Press)

Stephen Gibson

Publication Date: October 1, 2001

Genre/Imprint: Poetry, Red Hen Press

$9.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 1-888996-35-8