Claire Gibson is a writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her debut novel, Beyond the Point, was published by HarperCollins and selected as a Book of the Month pick for April 2019. Her writing has been published in The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Marie Claire, Garden & Gun Magazine, among others.
"My favorite review ever . . . said: 'This book would have been better if it was longer and more interesting.' I tried to get them to put that on the back of Dept. in the 'Previous praise for Jenny Offill' section, but wiser heads prevailed."
When we say a poem aloud, we recreate it with our bodies; it becomes part of us. And our bodies are sustained, both physically and otherwise, by living systems and landscapes. That many of those living systems are under deep threat—from climate crisis, development, overuse and underappreciation—makes it all the more important to let place into creative work, to acknowledge both a source and a debt.
But a reflection on the glass shone through the transparency of years—
a frosted flame of thought that took me back through the inactive pages of my life—
and I was humbled to recall my own student time—twenty-three in Ann Arbor,
fresh from Japan and my monastery year—sitting with Robert Hayden in his garden.