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April R Gibson

Born: Chicago, Illinois
Connection to Illinois: Gibson is a native and current resident of the South Side of Chicago.

Biography: April Gibson is a poet, writer, and professor. Her work has been published in The Kenyon Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Rhino Poetry, and Prairie Schooner, among other journals and magazines. She is a recipient of The Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award (State of Illinois) and has been awarded grants, fellowships, or residencies from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the Poetry Foundation, and the Loft Literary Center among others. Her book of poetry highlights an experience of the Black body through disability, healthcare systems, and sociocultural norms. April teaches English at Malcolm X College in Chicago.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Poetry

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

The Span of a Small Forever: Poems
ISBN: 0063319179 OCLC: 1404058979

Amistad 2024

With breathtaking lyricism and a vulnerability that pierces the heart, April Gibson journeys through the emotional abysses, the daily pleasures, the frustrations, and the joys of being a Black woman living with chronic illness. Gibson offers a unique perspective on “the body,” viewing disability and healthcare through both feminist and socio-economic lenses filtered by race and faith. Through gorgeous sensory language that migrates memories, from carefree innocence to the ravages formed in its absence, Gibson bears witness to grief, courage, and resistance to redefine herself on her own terms. Gibson presents her body as a “looking glass” that re-envisions illness, womanhood, motherhood, religious relics and collective loss through her physicality, through her lamenting, through her unearthing, reckoning and rebirth. Not only do we see her, but see the “we” in her. The Span of a Small Forever is both testimony and transformation—heart-shattering in its honesty, it ultimately offers us transcendent beauty, nourishment, and the strength we need to go on in our lives.