“Do you want to hear the best story you’ve ever heard in your life?” Andrea Gibson asks into the microphone. The audience leans forward in silent anticipation. “So I met this woman and I went home to her house with her.” She pauses, “already a great story.” The audience erupts with laughter, a happy juxtaposition after being so quietly captivated. Smirking into the spotlight, Andrea continues, “…So we’re about to kiss for the very first time. And right before our lips touch, she jumps from the bed, runs to the closet and grabs a stethoscope, puts the ear thingies in my ears and slides the knob down her shirt onto her heart and says, ‘I want you to listen to my heart speed up when you kiss me.’ And I kissed her! And her heart got faster and faster y’all.” By this point the room itself almost feels like a stethoscope pumping with the galloping hearts of the fans. “Moral of the story, buy a stethoscope,” Gibson says, and there’s that laughter again, followed by music, and they launch into a love poem – with the members of the audience mouthing along.
You’re not alone if when you hear, “poetry show” and don’t envision a scene like this. But then chances are you’ve never seen Andrea Gibson perform live.
One of the most celebrated and successful poets in the field began their career in 1999 with a break-up poem at an open mic in Boulder, Colorado. Gibson then leaped into the forefront of spoken word poetry on the national scene in 2008 when they won the first ever Woman of the World Poetry Slam. Author of three collections of poetry and currently working on an illustrated collection of their most memorable quotes for Penguin (Winter 2018), Andrea (they/them/their) has also released seven (7) full-length albums.
The most recent album, HEY GALAXY (Fall 2017) was created in the midst of another project as a result of the current political upheaval in the United States. Gibson was working on an album entirely about love, accompanied by an orchestra, but after the 2016 presidential election they felt moved to put forth a more social justice-oriented project. “There’s a quote that says, ‘Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.’ I wanted to do that. I wanted to make something political and human and gutsy in its revolt. Something beautiful in its sweetness and rage and vulnerability. Something loud and tender at the same time.”
HEY GALAXY does just that. The sixteen poems on the album tell the story of our times. Whether it’s “Orlando,” which brutally relives the massacre at at LGBTQ nightclub and Gibson’s own struggles with coming out, or “A Letter to White Queers, A Letter to Myself,” which combats white privilege during the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Gibson’s poems awaken us with their urgency, honesty, and their lyrical meld of grit and beauty.
$1 per ticket will be donated to Black Lives Matter. Click Here to Donate