Photo Source // Amy Reglin
By Emily Lovell, Associate Editor
The Women’s and Gender Studies Department invited Andrea Gibson, a renowned queer poet that calls Boulder, CO home, to perform on campus on April 4, 2019. Their performance started at 8:00 pm in the Calver Recital Hall. Tickets were free for members of the Regis community.
Professor Alyse Knorr and junior Sam Yarnell provided the introduction and opening remarks for the event. They are both excellent poets themselves. Together, they welcomed Andrea Gibson to the stage for a powerful evening of vulnerability and beauty.
Gibson’s poems tackled issues such as the struggles that the LGBTQ community faces in today’s society, misogyny, and gun violence. Their poems especially focused on self-love regardless of who you love or what your identity is. A few of the poems that the audience was privileged to hear were “Your Life,” “First Love,” “Boomerang Valentine,” and “Living Proof.” Many of their poems were performed with musical accompaniment.
In between poems, Gibson revealed that one of their contemporaries once performed only poems focused on social justice issues even though the audience requested love poems. The other poet inspired Gibson, but then Gibson realized that their love poems are making a political statement. They then proceeded to perform a poem about one of their past loves and it was a heartbreakingly powerful moment.
At another point in the evening, Gibson said that they had once been told that “Self-hate is a way of trying to see the world as a safe, beautiful place.” They explained that when we experience awful things that are out of our control, we tend to blame ourselves in order to regain a sense of control. Gibson also told the audience that “the only thing you can control is where you put your attention.” Their overall message seemed to be to put your attention on making the world a safer, more beautiful place and on embracing who you are.
Gibson’s openness and passionate performance created an atmosphere of acceptance. Regis was lucky to have them come to campus to share their story. If you would like to read some of their poetry, check out their latest book called The Lord of the Butterflies.