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 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 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. HEY GALAXY was written in heartbreak, in heart-mend, in love, in trauma, and in healing.
“Gibson is among the nation’s most admired and emulated poets. [Their] verse is at once personal and political, feminist and universal, filled with incinerating verbs and metaphor, and delivered with gut punching urgency.”
“Andrea Gibson is a truly American poet, or rather, she represents the America I want to live in. Her work lights a candle to lead us where we need to go.”
— Cristin O’ Keefe Aptowicz
“ Andrea Gibson does not just show up to pluck your heart strings. She sticks around to tune them. If being floored is new to you, ya might want to grab a cushion. Whatever the opposite of fooling someone is, Andrea does that. Beware of the highway in her grace and the crowbar in her verse.”
— Buddy Wakefield-award winning poet
“Andrea Gibson’s work is at once deeply haunting and profoundly inspiring. Her words cut so sharply and completely they cannot be shaken. To call her one of the best poets is a gross understatement. She is a rare artist who forever changes those who experience her poems.”
— Carlos Andrés Gómez, author/actor
Andrea Gibson was born in Calais, Maine in 1975 and now resides in Boulder, Colorado.