Heading Home

“. . . Heading Home is a varied and fresh collection by a veteran North Carolina poet who handles memory delicately by representing internal and external landscapes. Gibson’s language is carefully wrought, her poems paced to effectively enact experiences of childhood, family, and love. Her nature poems are not like nature poems you’ve read before. . . . Gibson pushes beyond mere description, mining her imaginative material for deeper, unexpected resonances, as in “Summer Solstice in Pastels”:  “Fields of cows, field of the painting. / “Can we ever see anything as it is with the field always changing?”

Sarah Huener, North Carolina Literary Review

“The poems in Heading Home . . .  are as dimensional, as surprising, as holographs. She holds up to the light things we have seen all our lives and they shimmer and shape-shift into a wholly, often blinding, wildly imagined new world. . . . .  Gibson is a zealous poet—a contemplative, in truth—with an ear cocked to the earth, her seer’s eye fixed on the sky, the daily offices of life mythologized in stunning revelation.”

—Joseph Bathanti, Poet Laureate of North Carolina, 2012-2014

“Heading Home is erudite—without a bit of stuffiness. . . .  The ancient and the modern, the sacred and the profane commingle in the collection—sometimes in the same poem, as her funny, perceptive “Saint Paul at the Coin Laundry.” As at home writing about theology and philosophy as barbecue and blue damsons, Gibson is adept at form, draping lines so naturally over the underlying structure you don’t realize the form on first read. In the title poem that crowns the collection, Gibson revisits the Word-made-flesh talk of earlier poems, stands the trope on its head . . . . making the flesh of the fetus into the words of this stunning sonnet sequence that leaves you reconsidering your own place in this world, our home.”

—Celisa Steele, author of How Language Is Lost

“Becky Gould Gibson’s Heading Home is quite simply a virtuoso performance. She pulls out all the stops, uses all the instruments, shows in extraordinary ways what she can do with language. She honors Stevens and Swift and Yeats by writing not only about them but in their styles. I don’t think there is anything that Gibson can’t do. This is a book to read over and over.”

—Anthony S. Abbott, author of If Words Could Save Us

“Gibson’s poetry evinces a wide-ranging intellect and an even wider-ranging heart.”

Pat MacEnulty, The Pedestal Magazine


“Heading Home,” a sequence of fifteen sonnets, won the 2012 William Matthews Prize from Asheville Poetry Review.

Sonnets VII, VIII, IX, X


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