KATY GIEBENHAIN edits the Poetry + Theology rubric for Seminary Ridge Review. She co-hosts a monthly reading series at the Ragged Edge Coffeehouse in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where she now lives after a stint in Germany. Her creative writing MPhil is from University of South Wales (Glamorgan). Poems have appeared in The London Magazine, Appalachian Journal, Tokens for the Foundlings, Spiritus, Water-Stone Review, The Lumière ReaderBetter Living through Beowulf and elsewhere.


Marlboro Country Remembered

Movie theatre advertisement, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

At the movies we sit clutching open beers
and sweet popcorn, stunned
by mountain profiles.
Out there it’s all campfires and rope tricks.
Space like that can make you dizzy
when your own horizon stops
at the concrete torso
of the building next door.

Like the steely shove
of a barn door my West rolls back
to the rodeo mamma next door:
homemade jeans, sunglasses raked
into her black roots –
a glass of wine in one hand,
a whip in the other.
My West comes back with the thwuhtt of spit
by the stock tank
and dogs trained to worry
steers’ heels on signal.

Then my head was packed
with big ideas –
thoughts wide as Paul Bunyan’s arm span.
Now they’re pigeonholed
to fit, and rusty
as the language I once spoke.

But here I am smoldering.
Here I am, lit.


Hunting Season

County roads churn with hooves
and haunches.
Deer throw themselves at cars
like sailors dizzy
from Lorelei song
as if these boulders lined
the river Rhine
and the siren trilled magic
from a bank barn.

This deer, tonight’s near-miss,
buffs the driver’s side
of a Subaru before springing
into the trees.
It’s an instant. A touching but
the sweep of a stranger’s knuckles
in the subway,
a shark’s shadow lanning the water,
too close, or the invisible fence
in a blizzard,
catching a lost body, saving
by a shoulder’s brush, tickle, grazing.

How startling it is when space
is not wholly yours
the way you thought it was.


Falling Asleep in a 300 Year-old Industrial Cottage in Derbyshire Surrounded by Star Wars Action Figures

Did you know a Storm Trooper Red Eye
has higher mechanical skills
than battle skills?

Did you know an Imperial Storm Trooper
has higher leadership skills
than intelligence?

Flanked by shelves of Jedi
a weekend houseguest
channels Joseph Campbell, says

out loud, in the snug dark
What about the Non-Hero’s journey?
Alongside the call to adventure
are the other calls.
And someone appears at the right time.
The enemy with a thousand faces.
The mentor with a thousand faces.
The waitress with a thousand faces.
The Hero doesn’t get
through anything alone.
All creators worth their salt know this.


If you wish to read the poems in page view, the following link will take you to a PDF – Katy Giebenhain Poems

All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet.


  1. […] If you have children, you probably know that today is the release of the new Star Wars movie. To mark the moment, here’s a poem by Katy Giebenhain, recently published in The Glasgow Review. […]

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The Glasgow Review of Books (ISSN 2053-0560) is an online journal which publishes critical reviews, essays and interviews as well as writing on translation. We accept work in any of the languages of Scotland – English, Gàidhlig and Scots.

We aim to be an accessible, non-partisan community platform for writers from Glasgow and elsewhere. We are interested in many different kinds of writing, though we tend to lean towards more marginal, peripheral or neglected writers and their work. 

Though, our main focus is to fill the gap for careful, considered critical writing, we also publish original creative work, mostly short fiction, poetry and hybrid/visual forms. 

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