Arts Preview: Andrea Gibson

Award winning poet Andrea Gibson is coming to Glasgow on May 20th for an unmissable poetry reading. In 2008 they were the first winner of the Women of the World Poetry Slam, in 2009 they published Pole Dancing To Gospel Hymns, and self published several more collections since then. Gibson identifies as queer and genderqueer, they go by both Andrea and Andrew, using gender neutral pronouns.

Gibson’s inspirations include the recently deceased Mary Oliver amongst other poets and spoken word artists including Sonya Renee, Rachel McKibbens, Derrick Brown, Anis Mojgani, and Patricia Smith. Gibson’s poetry deals often with the hurt and trauma of the LGBTQ+ community and turns it into something redemptive. Gibson doesn’t trivialise the pain but honours those we have lost including those murdered in the Orlando Pulse shooting in their collaborative work with Mary Lambert, and those burnt alive for daring to love who they love in the poem ‘Ashes’. Gibson’s poems are a resistance and protest against the pain felt by the LGBTQ+ community, they continually ask the world to dance even as it steps on them. Their work fiercely celebrates the joy in this life, and the friendships that provide support through coming to terms with sexuality and the bittersweet nature of first love. Their activism is rarely polite and always present in their work. Their latest collection Lord of the Butterflies continues to celebrate the queer art of survival, and is an angry call to arms against capitalism, the patriarchy and white supremacy.

Andrea Gibson will be performing in Glasgow at the Mackintosh Church on May 20th. You can find out more details about the tour on their website here.

[Rose Jackson]

[Image credit: Coco Aramaki]

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