The Span of a Small Forever
by April Gibson
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Pub Date 02 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 28 May 2024
With echoes of Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals and Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor, an extraordinary debut collection from a prize-winning poet that chronicles a Black woman’s journey through disability, the byzantine healthcare system, life-giving, taking, and sacrifice.
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.