Andrea Gibson calls hearts to action

Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez.

Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez.

Sometimes you hear a song, speech or poem that leaves you speechless, unable to put words to feelings. You are stunned speechless.

That’s how I feel about amazing spoken word. That’s how I felt when I first heard Andrea Gibson. Gibson has often been considered the poet of our generation, and considers herself an activist as well as an artist. She has been featured in various media outlets and has published two books: “Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns” and “The Madness Vase.”

Andrea Gibson differs from other spoken word poets that I’ve encountered because her words say, “Take what I’m saying, and run with it.” They are poems that refuse to sit stagnant in your heart. They are calls to action.

 

 

My favorite poem of hers is “Maybe I Need You,” and it’s also the first you discover if you search for her on YouTube. It’s about a breakup, which is always a great canvas to tug at everyone’s heartstrings. But it’s also so much more than that. Listening to her words, you are woven into the intense feeling of heartbreak.

I say woven because you start to feel a binding connection, even if you’ve never gone through what she is talking about. The references she makes in her poem conjure recognition, and suddenly you know exactly what she is saying.

If the tears didn’t start flowing when you heard the guitar strings, they will when she says, “I am saving your place.” Gibson possesses a gift of marvelous and immense imagery, and sprinkles her poems with undeniable quirkiness. I feel so lucky to have heard what she has to say.

It’s so difficult to put to words what I have witnessed in hearing Gibson’s poetry. The only word that can sum it all up is “beautiful.” Find more of Gibson’s work here.

You can reach the writer at arabusa@asu.edu or on Twitter @marie_eo.