The truth always manages to find a way to the surface. For Bowdoin students, the truth is coming in the form of slam poetry tonight when poet and activist Andrea Gibson makes her way to Brunswick.
Gibson, not known to be subtle about her truths, was the winner of the 2008 Women's World Poetry Slam and placed third in both the 2006 and 2007 Individual World Poetry Slam.
"In her poetry, Andrea enforces the idea that the personal is also global," said Annie Reis '14, who organized the event. "She talks about human justice on a larger scale that is inclusive of many identities, making her influential for a diverse crowd."
Gibson's poetry addresses themes such as gender norms, politics and sexual identity. Her poetry aims to raise awareness among the audience while also entertaining them.
"I want people to be moved in whatever ways they are moved," said Gibson.
Gibson is a DIY Poetry Book of the Year winner and a Pushcart Prize nominee for her first book "Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns." She has also been featured on Free Speech TV, BBC, CSPAN, NPR and the documentary "Slam Planet."
Gibson is a unique artist in that she writes and performs her poetry for the main purpose of getting a reaction out of her audience. The type of reaction does not concern her, as long as there is some sort of response.
"I want people to feel and wonder and disagree and question and laugh and jump around in their seats," said Gibson.
When writing, Gibson draws on many different sources of inspiration. She said that she finds that her art is most honest when it comes from within.
Gibson's poems come to life in her performances.
"She often reads pieces along with music in the background, which adds to the uniqueness of her performance," said Reis.
Gibson said that performing at Bowdoin will give her the opportunity to both share her ideas with students and learn from the experience.
"At Bowdoin...I have the opportunity to perform at yet another school I didn't get accepted to. And in general, performing for students is always exciting," said Gibson. "I always...leave the space having learned something I really needed to learn."
Gibson's performance is meant to inspire Bowdoin students to take an active role in stopping the injustices of the world.
"I'm so excited that she's coming," said Ouda Baxter '11. "I've never seen her perform in person before but I really love her stage presence and, of course, the message. Slam as a genre is also just great. [It's] very direct, very strong. It connects with the audience in a way the written word might not."
Before the performance, Gibson will lead a slam poetry workshop at 4:30 p.m. in Adams 208. The workshop is open to all Bowdoin students.
Gibson will perform tonight at 8 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.