An ecstatic audience packed The Encore Tuesday night to see the internationally renowned poet Andrea Gibson perform. Her performance was a part of Pride Week at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Gibson is a renowned activist poet for queer issues.
“And she’s for more than just the queer community, she’s all for human acceptance,” said junior drama major Lindsay Paquette.
Gibson opened her set with the poem “I Sign the Body Electric, Especially When My Power’s Out” and from that poem on set a precedent for the mix of anger, and beauty that create her fearless poetry. Through her poems, Gibson hopes to spread a message of hope.
“The hope will come with what people do with it…the poem never ends,” Gibson said.
Throughout her performance, Gibson encouraged the audience to ask any questions they might have about her work. When asked what her process is like for writing a poem, Gibson said that she needed to be alone because she will “frantically pace and run around the room and yell at the wall.”
She will often speak her thoughts and focus on the way the words sound, and then piece them together like a puzzle “so it all matches up perfectly and emotionally, and then I will read it in my head for about ten days twenty days over and over and then I will read it on stage three or four times revising it.”
Each year the Gender and Sexuality Alliance hosts Pride Week, a week dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments, culture, and pride of those who identify themselves at LGBTQ or allies of those who do. Gibson’s poetry did just that.
“It’s important to her messages,” Paquette said. “because it’s one step closer to getting us all to love one another.”