Winner of the 2017 Miller Williams Poetry Prize, edited by Billy Collins
“Shows this exceptional poet at his rhyming best.”
Self-Portrait in a Door-Length Mirror presents the mirror that reflects not always what is, but what is desired, or not desired. In the opening poem, the speaker, Diane Arbus, looks at her very early pregnant self and asks, “Why would I bring you into this world?” This book answers that question, or tries to: the world is what it is as we try to live as our best selves in that world. But that knowledge of the world is hard and has consequences, and not in the abstract, as Gibson’s poetry dynamically shows.
Employing new formalism, Self-Portrait in a Door-Length Mirror examines historical, familial, and personal pasts as those pasts continue into the present, reminding us, as Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”