published books

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Little Red (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2019)

Little Red explores stories of girls born into a world of wolves, both wild and predatory. Gilbert’s poems are stickpins that dissect the motives of those who warp innocence into objects and who shine ‘a lamp on their spread bodies.’ Gilbert writes with sharp tweezers, the better to see.”

-Cornelia Hoogland, author of Trailer Park Elegy

“Enter the world of captivating Little Red, where we encounter a nuanced journey, where beauty co-exists with violence; where the up-ending of expectation merges with truth, all delivered in exquisite lines, and haunting refrains.”

-Renee Sarojini Saklikar, author of Listening to the Bees with Dr. Mark Winston

“Little Red’s siren call of contemporary warnings and lessons make it seem like Little Red Riding Hood had it easy. Today’s children navigate the danger of wolves, as well as ticks, wildfires, flashers, and graphic news reports. Gilbert’s poems let us know that happily-ever-after may never have been the ideal, and that, more importantly, we must somehow satisfy our other hunger–to find safety in this world.”

-Jay Ruzesky, author of The Wolsenburg Clock

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Tight Wire (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2016)

“Delivered in crisp, edgy prose verse reminiscent of Ondaatje in The Collected Works of Billy The Kid or Coming Through Slaughter, and envisioning a grotesqueness like Su Croll’s in Worlda Mirth, Kerry Gilbert’s Tight Wire unravels a circus-bestiary of “women on display,” of women struggling with “amateur heart” and “new skin.” Gilbert envisions a new kind of ‘June Cleaver’ here, a woman, a mother, a lover just as restricted as her famous, mid-50s North American prototype, but also strangely new and appalling in a different way, too, and strong and frightening as well. A visceral, wonderful read.”–John Lent 

“The “tight wire” is where the feminine is performed within the callousness of the culture’s expectations.  Gilbert provokes the reader to imagine the violence, vulnerability, and grief that can attend the female experience of marriage, birth, and motherhood.”–Sharon Thesen

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(Kerplnk): a verse novel of development (Kalamalka Press, 2005)

“Love Ondaatje style, and a space for all within! From the gestalt of any single page through the palimpsest of the whole, the verse novel is exquisitely crafted. External/internal menace, brutalities and imprints, public/private joy, celebrations and rebellions…delicate ironies of the human spirit that thrive under her deft touch” –Alison Walker

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