Andrea Gibson (born August 13, 1975) is an award-winning American poet and activist from Calais, Maine, who has lived in Boulder, Colorado since 1999. Gibson's poetry focuses on gender norms, politics, social reform and the struggles LGBTQ people face in today's society.
Gibson grew up in Calais, Maine. A child of Mark and Shirley Gibson, Gibson has one sister, Laura, who is mentioned in a poem "Titanic." Growing up in a Baptist home and attending local schools, Gibson later attended Saint Joseph's College of Maine.
Moving with a girlfriend, Gibson lived for a time in New Orleans, and later the two moved in 1999 to Boulder, Colorado, where they settled. They went to their first open-mic in Denver, where Gibson was inspired to become a spoken word artist.
Gibson also goes by Andrew and uses gender-neutral pronouns. Many poems are about gender identity, such as "Swing set" and "Andrew". Gibson has said, regarding gender, "I don't necessarily identify within a gender binary. I've never in my life really felt like a woman and I've certainly never felt like a man. I look at gender on a spectrum and I feel somewhere on that spectrum that's not landing on either side of that."
A four-time Denver Grand Slam Champion, Gibson finished fourth at the 2004 National Poetry Slam, and third at both the 2006 and 2007 Individual World Poetry Slam. In 2008, Gibson became the first poet ever to win the Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWps) in Detroit.
In 2009, Gibson published Pole Dancing To Gospel Hymns. Gibson has also self-published four books: Trees that Grow in Cemeteries, Yellow Bird, What the Yarn Knows of Sweaters, Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns," and "Pansy". In 2011, Write Bloody Publishing published The Madness Vase, the sixth book attributed to Andrea Gibson.
The album Yellowbird incorporates music with the spoken word. Gibson says the writing practice is to music, so it seemed natural to collaborate with a musician. This album was also an effort to write about risky topics that carried a threat. Confronting fear was a theme in poems of the following album, Flower Boy. Most recently, Gibson released Truce in 2013.
Gibson cites Sonya Renee, Rachel McKibbens, Derrick Brown, Anis Mojgani, Patricia Smith, and Mary Oliver as influences. Throughout the year, Gibson tours universities and other venues across the country.
In addition to using poetry to provide social and political commentary on gender and LGBTQ issues, Gibson is involved with many activist groups, and also performs at Take Back the Night events, LGBTQ events, pride events, trans events, anti-war rallies, peace rallies, organizations against the occupation of Palestine, and groups focused on examining the wrongs of capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy. For twenty years, Gibson performed with Vox Feminista, a "performance tribe of radical feminists bent on social change through cultural revolution."
In 2013, alongside Kelsey Gibb, Gibson launched the website and support system, Stay Here With Me. The tumblr for Stay Here With Me presents it as "an interactive, safe space offering collective support while encouraging individual healing to keep those who visit alive today, and wanting to stay alive until tomorrow."
- Bullets and Windchimes (2003)
- Swarm (2004)
- When the Bough Breaks (2006)
- Yellowbird (2009)
- Flower Boy (2011)
- Truce (2013)
- Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns (2006)
- The Madness Vase (2012)
- Pansy (2015)