Slam Poet Andrea Gibson At UofR
On Sunday, slam poet Andrea Gibson tours the University of Richmond with her most recent collection Yellowbird.
She is acclaimed as a powerful live performer winning the 2008 Women’s World Poetry Slam and placing 3rd in world on two International Poetry Slam stages.
As an out lesbian, she intertwines her works with themes that deconstruct gender norms, sexuality, class, and patriarchal culture. GayRVA.com had a chance to interview Gibson about her poetry and upcoming performance.
GayRVA: Tell me about the creative process writing “Yellowbird”
Gibson: Well, there are a wide variety of tracks on that album. Love poems, Anti-war pieces- queer pieces. With each poem came a different energy and so the creative process of each was quite different. My writing process involves a lot of running around my back yard yelling at the creek and whispering to the bricks on my garage. The part that was quite new for me was collaborating with some of my favorite musicians to complete the tracks. It was a lot of fun.
What part does your sexuality play in your writing?
When I finally felt comfortable enough to come out at 20 years old it opened up my entire world. Things I had previously assumed to be fact I suddenly started to question. I questioned everything. I was no longer buying the propaganda i was being spoon fed daily through corporate media. I went searching for the truth beneath the stories I was being told. That searching led towards a real need to address political issues in my writing. So in sense, being queer sparked my almost all of my writing.
How did you get into spoken word?
I visited a poetry slam in Denver, colorado and immediately fell in love with spoken word. I loved that the performer wasn’t reading off paper. I loved that they were looking their audience in the eye. I loved the energy and the emotion and the fire in each voice. And the topics that were being discussed were a real education for me. Generally i was just blown away by the art and I thought “maybe i could do that.” Two weeks later i entered my first poetry slam.
What can people expect from one of your live performances?
They can expect that I’ll show up with all of my nervous energy and all of my stage fright and all of my bare bones and all of my giggle and anger and as much presence and integrity and truth as i can possibly pull out of my top hat.
Andrea Gibson appears at UofR’s Carol Weinstein International Commons on Sunday, February 27, 7-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Kevin Clay is the editor and publisher of GAYRVA.COM. He is a Richmond native, loves the city and knows it's on the edge of greatness. Don't hold back RVA. You can follow Kevin on GAYRVA's Twitter or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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