Posted December 12, 2013 by Felix Chrome in Arts & Entertainment
 
 

Spoken Word, Silent Audience

AndreaGibson_forweb
AndreaGibson_forweb

By Blaine Ewig

On Wednesday Dec. 4, spoken word poet Andrea Gibson performed at the Longhouse. The show was put on by the Womyn’s Resource Center (WRC) and the Transgender Resources and Education Xtravaganza (T-REX). The Women’s World Poetry Slam winner delivered her lines with confidence and moxy while the audience listened intently.

With topics ranging from rape culture, sexuality, privilege, and her dog Squash, Gibson’s performance teetered between brutal truth and playful humor. Her body of work errs on the side of politics, but Gibson noted that for her, political poems and love poems are one in the same. With vivid imagery and spot on delivery, the poet succinctly verbalizes the feelings of confusion, exclusion, and belonging that so many struggle to articulate. The silent audience hung onto every last syllable Gibson spoke, cherishing every word.

With topics ranging from rape culture, sexuality, privilege, and her dog Squash, Gibson’s performance teetered between brutal truth and playful humor.

    As Gibson began her final poem, The Nutritionist, excited whispers surfaced in the audience. The poem’s tender and honest content about what it’s like to struggle with mental illness clearly resonated with the audience. Gibson wrote the poem as a response to the It Gets Better Project, an organization started by Dan Savage that aims to give hope to LGBT youth.

The poem repeated the phrase “stay here with me” several times. “Stay Here With Me” is also the name of a website started by Gibson and friend Kelsey Gibb. Gibson and Gibb briefly spoke about the online community, which serves as a forum for participants to share their stories of trauma, mental illness, and the things that keep them alive in an accepting environment that is free of judgment.