From the Bauhan Publishing website:
OPINEL is the name of a workaday knife from the Haute-Savoie wielded by shepherds and farmers in the high pastures of the Alps when a tool for paring, shaping, cutting into, scraping out of, or freeing is useful. These poems likewise cleave away the false and deceptive to clarify and reveal a startling and unifying wonder. In language radiant, lovely, and disturbing, Rebecca Kaiser Gibson explores the linkages between the uncomfortable familiar and the curiously intimate strange, making unexpected connections between phenomena. Arranged by association rather than chronology and connected by a sensual intelligence, this collection wanders from Maryland and India to Boston, France, New Hampshire and Ireland—from Ezekiel’s Flight and the Book of Kells, to the Tamil goddess, Meenakshi.
Rebecca Kaiser Gibson grew up in Maryland, lives in Marlborough, New Hampshire, and teaches poetry at Tufts University. In 2008, she received the Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. A previous resident at the MacDowell Colony and The Heinrich Boll Cottage in Ireland, in 2011 she received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach poetry in Hyderabad, India. Her poems have been published in Agni, Antigonish, The Boston Phoenix, Field, The Greensboro Review, The Harvard Review, MARGIE, Mothering, Northwest Review, Pleiades, Salamander, Slate, The Adroit Journal, 236 Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Tupelo’s 30/30 project, the Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, reprinted in an anthology called Cadence of Hooves, and featured on Verse Daily. She has previously published two chapbooks—Admit the Peacock and Inside the Exhibition.
Praise for Opinel
Alternating between conversational and ornate diction, Gibson observes the quotidian and draws moments of clarity from cacophonous swirls of sensuous and penetrating language.
— Publishers Weekly September 2015
I take it as a sign of ordinary/unknowns, says the speaker in Rebecca Kaiser Gibson’s poem “On the Connecticut”. That’s the feel of her poems. Hard-edged and edgy, they look hard at the ordinary – a narcissistic mother, rhododendron buds, mushroom spores, suburban life in the fifties – and crack scenes into shards of new understanding.
— Rosanna Warren, author of Ghost in a Red Hat (W.W. Norton)
With an incisive eye for the minute and the mystifying, Rebecca Kaiser Gibson offers us an elegant book dedicated to extreme attention.
— Ada Limón, author of Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions)
Rebecca Kaiser Gibson’s poetry reminds us what we treasure in a mature voice: the extraordinary patience, the quiet resignations, an all-right-then-I’ll-show-you kind of intimacy, and a deep, reassuring sense of what matters and why.
— Jeffrey Levine, Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press
Sharply observed, intensely felt and alive with crisp images and surprising diction, the poems in Opinel … peel back the surfaces, restlessly hoping that a revelation might be here, vivid and real, in what she holds in her hands.
— Fred Marchant, author of Said Not Said (Graywolf Press)
Where to buy:
The Grolier Poetry Bookshop
6 Plympton Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Porter Square Books
25 White Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
The Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446
MacIntyre & Moore Booksellers
255 Elm Street, Davis Square
The Toadstool Bookshop
12 Depot Square
Peterborough, NH 03458
130 E. Napa Street
Sonoma, California 95476
on line orders: email@example.com
What others say:
“[She is] the mistress of endings! I so admire [her] ability to finish a poem with a surprising but perfect line. What a pleasure.”
“What highly accomplished, crafted, beautiful, mysterious, witty and mesmerizing poems. [Gibson] does something with language like no one else, startling images, sensuous and humorous and fresh, and the way the poems often end on a line that’s luminous with despair and laughter. … I am just rereading Inside the Exhibition for the sheer pleasure it gives me - wonderful. The poems are so crisp, economical and mysterious. I love them and have taken the liberty of translating some into German.”
- Eva Bourke