April Gibson: Chicago Poet’s New Book Talks Race, Motherhood and Mississippi

Poet, Mother, Educator, Author and South Sider April Gibson releases her new book, The Span of a Small Forever (Photo Provided).

This Mother’s Day weekend, the Chicago Defender celebrates dynamic Black women excelling in their careers while guiding and nurturing their families.

As Mother’s Day approaches, let’s take a moment to honor the extraordinary gift that is April Gibson. She is a mother, poet, writer, professor and the author of “The Span of A Small Forever.” A native of the South Side of Chicago, April Gibson fondly reminisces about her upbringing in the city and its impact on shaping her life. She also shares with her readers the rich fabric of her experiences, like her childhood visits to her grandparents’ home in Mississippi, which ingrained in her a deep sense of cultural fusion and warmth.

With a deep appreciation for the Great Migration, Gibson learned early on that “many Black folks from Chicago are from the South.” 

As a devoted mother of two boys, Gibson intimately understands the sacrifices required for perseverance, a theme eloquently woven throughout her book “The Span of A Small Forever.” In it, Gibson explores a plethora of subjects close to her heart, from the challenges of living with a chronic illness to reflections on politics, motherhood and her enduring love for her hometown.

Published by HarperCollins, this collection serves as a testament to the power of resilience and the pursuit of freedom. Through her words, Gibson bears witness to grief, courage and the unwavering spirit of resistance, urging readers to embrace healing at their own pace.

A labor of love a decade in the making, “The Span of A Small Forever” is more than just a book; it’s a beacon of hope, a testament to the transformative power of faith and a blueprint for those navigating life’s challenges. Gibson’s poetic lens offers readers a glimpse into the human experience, reminding us of our capacity to endure even in the face of adversity.

With a sincere appreciation for her literary influences, Gibson shares her admiration for Lucille Clifton and her iconic poem, “Won’t You Celebrate with Me,” emphasizing the importance of celebrating every triumph along life’s journey. Whether enjoying reading in print, electronically, or listening through Gibson’s voice in narration, “The Span of A Small Forever” transcends boundaries, speaking to readers from all walks of life.

April shares more about her journey and work in an exclusive interview with The Chicago Defender: 

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