Stephen Gibson

Stephen Gibson was born and raised in New York City. He attended Syracuse University where he studied in the creative writing program with W.D. Snodgrass and Philip Booth. Gibson’s poetry and short fiction have appeared in such magazines as Poetry, the Paris Review, the Georgia Review, the Southern Review, and Five Points. In 1994–1995, he was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry by the Florida Arts Council, and in 2001–2002, he was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship in Fiction from the Florida Arts Council. Gibson teaches at Palm Beach Community College where he is an associate professor in English. Rorschach Art is his first full-length collection of poetry.

All Books

Rorschach Art Too

Stephen Gibson

Publication Date: July 13, 2021


“Stephen Gibson’s poems are the work of a serious, intent, often appalled tourist. The word might look like a putdown, but his subject is the glamour and horror of history, and when it comes to the past, attentive tourism is the best that any of us can hope for. This tourist’s gaze if focused and fascinated, his tone is even and intelligent (as he has it in one poem, “scared in the headlights, but the brain busy nonetheless”), and his technique is all but flawless (unobtrusively so, a true case of art hiding art). Together the gaze, the subjects on which it alights, and the poet’s superlative skill add up to poems of astute, moving observation and often overwhelming authority.”
– Dick Davis

Tradepaper: $20 / ISBN: 9781586543686
Casebound: $30 / ISBN: 9781586540043

Rorschach Art

Stephen Gibson

Publication Date: October 1, 2001

$9.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 1-888996-35-8


“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)