| words that get in your teeth

places I never want to see again

places book cover

An emotional and geographical journey through the memories of a now lost relationship, this poetry collection is bravely introspective and authentic. Incredibly relatable poems conjure dramatic snapshots of moments or months spent completely immersed in a love affair, with all its twists and turns through safety and warmth, enlightenment, passion, wild abandon, tragedy, insecurity, confusion, and grief. Brief glimpses of family members and odd acquaintances add texture to the melancholy love story. The locations are characters, in and of themselves, and add bright splashes of color to this collection.

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Here we are, so clearly, in the mind of someone who is navigating the lifecycle of a love that is complicated and compelling despite and because of the physical and emotional distance. Keriann Gilson takes us through lyrics, retellings, and rationalizations and we are there with her, recalling our own moments of silence within our own intimacies.

jo reyes-boitel, author of mouth (Neon Hemlock, 2021)

Gilson’s poignant chapbook narrates the life cycle of a relationship. Playing with the haibun form, the poet takes her readers on a journey that stretches from Alaska to Greece and places in between, as the speaker remembers these locations refracted through their emotional memories. By turns humorous and haunting, these poems show us how in spite of our best intentions we can sometimes “arrive, guideless, at the water’s edge.

Ray Ball, Associate Professor UAA and author of Lararium (Varian Lit, 2020)

In places I never want to see again, poet Keriann Gilson places haibun again on the road map. The poems collected here are part rambling road jaunts and parceled love, ache, and disappointment. Both excitement and sheer tension engage in tug of war love as relationships kindle, inch forward, start anew, and erode over eggs benedict and blueberry pancakes, marshmallows burnt over campfire, finding warmth in frigid winter tents, and while kayaking with orcas. These poems delight in strife and thrum with passion.

Kersten Christianson, author of Curating the House of Nostalgia and Something Yet to Be Named

Meet the Author

Keriann Gilson headshot

Keriann Gilson is a 4th generation Alaskan living out her dream teaching high school students. She holds a Master’s in Secondary Education from UAF and a Master’s in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry from UAA. Keriann had her first poem published in the Winter 2019/2020 edition of Alaska Women Speak. Her MFA manuscript, which housed the first drafts of the poems in this chapbook, received the Jason Wenger Award for Excellence in Creative Writing. This is her first chapbook to be published and she’s completely overjoyed. She currently teaches 10th and 12th grade English, Creative Writing, and Theatre in her hometown of Valdez, Alaska. 

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