“Heather June Gibbons’s Her Mouth as Souvenir dazzles. The poems practically vibrate off the page as they push forward to the next observation, the next joke, the next loneliness. Gibbons examines and exploits the way language heightens and complicates perception in these poems: they are at once absurd yet grounded, sincere yet gritty…Her Mouth as Souvenir is one of those rare debut collections that asks more questions than it answers, opens more doors than it closes; heck, it’s inventing doors along the way.“
—Amie Whittemore, Southern Indiana Review
"Heather June Gibbons’ debut collection is the literary equivalent of a carnival ride: it jolts, thrills, dizzies: you’ll step off windblown, with a little midway grit in your eye...Gibbons' layered perceptions create a very particular and intriguing vision: restless, anxious but nevertheless engaged, wide-eyed, and honest."
—Amy Beeder, Tupelo Quarterly
"A breathtaking and lyrical debut collection...Gibbons’ voice is a strong one, as she leads the reader through well-crafted and captivatingly honest free verse....Pressingly urgent and timely, Her Mouth as Souvenir is a study of action in the face of anxiety."
— Caleigh Stephens, ZYZZYVA
“A study of distraction, mediated reality and our humdrum efforts to avoid reflection by filling our time with activity. Here is a poetry collection to read instead of reaching for your phone—however, it is also a poetry collection that will make you want to reach for your phone, as it reminds you quite eloquently of the fugue state of your mind as you caress your tiny screen. In either case, Her Mouth as Souvenir, out this month, precisely delineates the modern state of frayed nerves…Gibbons is a poet who can make words turn at their heels, so that the ordinary comes to wrestle with the routine terror of the ungraspable.”
—Ingrid Rojas Contreras, KQED Arts, The Spine
“‘Etched into each fallen leaf is a diagram of a bare tree.’ A line such as that, direct and new, sits me up—and Her Mouth as Souvenir is filled with similar precision…A little strange, a little surreal, these poems are moments of struggle.”
—Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions, Must-Read Poetry: June 2018
“Heather June Gibbons’ provocative new poetry collection is a literary punch to the face. Her Mouth As Souvenir…is a distinctly critical perspective on society, including our attempts to possess, poison, alter, control and falsely represent nature and women’s bodies…To imagine Gibbons’ mouth as a souvenir is to unleash a litany of terrifying consequences: wildfires, changes to migratory patterns, organ mutation, the hydrogen bomb."
—Ufouma Umusu, San Francisco State University’s College of Liberal & Creative Arts News