Crystal Gibbins


Crystal Spring Gibbins is the founding editor of Split Rock Review, co-editor of Waters Deep: A Great Lakes Poetry Anthology, and author of NOW/HERE (Holy Cow! Press), which received the Honorable Mention prize for the 2017 Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers. Her work has been featured in numerous journals, such as Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, H_NGM_N, Minnesota Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Chequamegon Bay Arts Council, Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, University of Minnesota-Duluth, and Minnesota State Arts Board. She has taught creative writing, literature, and composition for nearly 15 years at several colleges and universities throughout the Midwest. Crystal holds a PhD in English with concentrations in Creative Writing, 20th and 21st Century Poetry, and North American Environmental Literature from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Currently, she writes and lives on the south shore of Lake Superior in Washburn, WI. For more information, visit

NOW/HERE (Holy Cow! Press)
SEA/WORDS (Dancing Girl Press)  


Driving North

You are drawn to the lake
as if it waited for you to return,

as if the continent leaned north itself
and you had no choice

but to follow the ruts and washboard road.
Now, in late August, somewhere

along the Canadian border trees grow
like hooks, the last dandelions molt,

wild asparagus waves its ferny head
to claim no one has travelled this far,

but you know what time and weather
will do with every leaf. The endless

rubbing of water on broken glass.
Every season has its cruelties,

yet traveling north makes you
forget the questions that weigh

upon you in your mind. How instantly
suffering stops—you don’t have time

for guilt, nor care to remember the way back
home, because there is always something

larger than you, liquid, unlived, the lake
wide spread, drifting away from shore.