City of Midnight Skies

Our modern republic in its fading light. Tall buildings emptying out as the clouds glide by, the sun drops down, and the stars turn on. Cycles of movement among rhythms of earth. Goods transported, duties performed, transactions completed and the sights and journeys along the way. The workings of our urban machinery and the individual’s dreams and desires, the search for a life understood, a life imbued with meaning. What’s left behind, what’s left within, and what is remembered. Questions, Poems, Drawings.


“There is a lyrical, hypnotic purity in the poems of Stephen Gibson... Gibson has been a longtime student of the dilated moment between day and night, dream and wakefulness, fact and imagination. Very true to his surrealist lineage, Gibson’s specialty is the city noir... we glimpse the human heart, still alive and wonderfully strange. I go back to these poems for their haunting physical clarity; for the way they withhold answers in honor of mystery; for how they are both intimate and impersonal—noir, original, mysterious and lovely.”


Stevie and I met in 1994 at Penland when he took a respite from bike messengering in DC to turn some of his poems into a chapbook. After Penland he went back to work; back to writing and drawing. Our friendship grew over letters; his accompanied by new poems, and every year or two a request for a new sketchbook. All of the illustrations within City of Midnight Skies originated in these books.


Gibson’s poems have been published in literary journals such as Ploughshares, the Boston Review, and Gargoyle. He has read at a wide variety of venues including the Bumbershoot festival in Seattle, Sarah Lawrence College, the New York Public Library’s Writers at noon reading series, and the Blabbermouth reading Series (which he coordinated from 1994–2004). in 1996 he cofounded the arts magazine Mobile City, which has since been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, and on NPR’s Morning Edition. He has worked as a bicycle messenger, in bookstores, at Swobo (makers of fine wool cycling wear), and currently works as a projects manager in his native city of Washington D.C.

64 pages, 31 poems (prose and verse), 7 drawings, 3 comics, 2 photographs

Letterpress edition: Hand-printed (in several colors), hand-bound,
edition of 250, signed & numbered by the author, $50. Out of print.
(comes with a free copy of the trade edition to mail to a friend).

Trade edition: machine printed, perfect bound. $13 (still in print, comes with a free letterpress greeting card)