Andrea Gibson

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Andrea Gibson
Born (1975-08-13) August 13, 1975 (age 47)
Other namesAndrew, Andy, Anderson, Dre, Gibby, Gib, Gibbs, Gibba, Sam, Faye, Pangee
Known forSpoken word poetry, activism
Notable workHey Galaxy, Lord of the Butterflies, Take Me With You
AwardsFour-time Denver Grand Slam Champion, Women of the World Poetry Slam champion 2008

Andrea Gibson (born August 13, 1975) is an American poet and activist from Calais, Maine, who has lived in Boulder, Colorado since 1999.[1] Gibson's poetry focuses on gender norms, politics, social reform, and LGBTQ topics.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Gibson grew up in Calais, Maine.[3] They have one sister, Laura, who is mentioned in a poem "The Moon Is a Kite".[4] Growing up in a Baptist home and attending local schools, they later attended Saint Joseph's College of Maine.[5][6]

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.[7] They went to their first open-mic in Denver, where Gibson was inspired to become a spoken word artist.[8]

Gibson uses gender-neutral pronouns, specifically they/them/theirs.[9] Many of their poems are about gender identity, such as "Swing Set" and "Andrew".[10] 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."[11] Regarding appellation, Gibson has expressed affinity for a variety of names, stating "The names my loved ones call me that I love being called: Andrea. Andrew. Andy. Anderson. Dre. Gibby. Gib. Gibbs. Gibba. Sam. Faye. Pangee."[1]

Gibson has been diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease. They have spoken openly about their experiences with CLD, physical suffering, and difficulty accessing care and treatment.[12] They have worked towards spreading awareness of CLD.[13]

They have undergone chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.[14] They announced being in remission March 3, 2023.[15]


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.[16][17] In 2008, Gibson became the first poet ever to win the Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWps) in Detroit.[18]

In 2008, Gibson published their first book, Pole Dancing To Gospel Hymns.[19] This was followed by The Madness Vase and Pansy, all published by Write Bloody Publishing.[20][21] Gibson has also written and published Take Me With You, a book of quotes and phrases. In 2018, they published Lord of the Butterflies.[22]

The album Yellowbird incorporates music with spoken word. Confronting fear was a theme in poems of the following album, Flower Boy. Gibson also released Truce in 2013, followed by Hey Galaxy in 2018.[22]

Gibson cites Sonya Renee Taylor, Derrick Brown, Anis Mojgani, Patricia Smith, and Mary Oliver as influences.[23] Throughout the year, Gibson tours universities and other venues across the country.[24]

Gibson often performs poems at Button Poetry.[25]


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.[26] For twenty years, Gibson performed with Vox Feminista, a "performance tribe of radical feminists bent on social change through cultural revolution."[11]

In 2013, alongside Kelsey Gibb, Gibson launched the website and support system, Stay Here With Me. The tumblr account 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."[27]


  • Bullets and Windchimes (2003)[28]
  • Swarm (2004)[29]
  • When the Bough Breaks (2006)[30]
  • Yellowbird (2009)[31]
  • Flower Boy (2011)[32]
  • Truce (2013)[33]
  • Hey Galaxy (2018)[34]


  • Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns (2008)[19]
  • The Madness Vase (2012)[20]
  • Pansy (2015)[21]
  • Take Me With You (2018)[35]
  • Lord of the Butterflies (2018)[36]
  • How Poetry Can Change Your Heart (2019)[37]
  • You Better Be Lightning (2021)[38]

Awards and honors[edit]

Gibson is a four-time Denver Grand Slam Champion.[39] They placed fourth in the 2004 National Poetry Slam and third in the 2006 and 2007 Individual World Poetry Slam.[40] Gibson was the first person to win the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2008.[41]


  1. ^ a b Gibson, Andrea. "Instagram Post - @andrew_gibby". p. Comment section, reply to user @shewrotesomepoems | Comment section, reply to user @shewrotesomepoems. Archived from the original on 2021-12-25. Retrieved 2021-06-23.
  2. ^ "Andrea Gibson Learned Their Identity Through Writing". Seventeen. 2018-05-01. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  3. ^ Groat, Kylie. "Andrea Gibson reflects on growing up in Maine, waking up to classism, and the politics of beauty". The Portland Phoenix. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  4. ^ "Some of you know small bits about my little sister Laura through poems I've written over the years. For more than a decade I struggled to believe anyone could break the chains of an addiction such as hers". Twitter. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  5. ^ Sullivan, James. "Spoken-word artist Andrea Gibson is in the fight for hearts and minds - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  6. ^ "Women's Basketball Archive". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Heckel, Aimee (2018-09-04). "Up Close With Poet/Activist Andrea Gibson". Travel Boulder. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  8. ^ Peiken, Matt. "Andrea Gibson isn't in it to win Archived July 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine", Metaphor Magazine, April 30, 2007. Accessed February 10, 2008.
  9. ^ "Andrea Gibson: 'Genderqueer is a Constant Coming Out'". Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  10. ^ "AMA with Andrea Gibson", Reddit, 10 August 2014
  11. ^ a b Notaro, Tig (2015-04-22). "The Pioneering Poet". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  12. ^ "On Illness, Belief, and Saying Yes". Retrieved 2021-06-23.
  13. ^ Andrea Gibson on Facebook Watch, retrieved 2021-06-23
  14. ^ Andrea Gibson on Instagram, retrieved 2022-12-30
  15. ^ "". Twitter. Retrieved 2023-04-30. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)
  16. ^ International Poetry Slam Final Results Archived October 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. February 5, 2006
  17. ^ Ed Mabrey wins the Individual World Poetry Slam Archived October 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. February 3, 2007. Retrieved on 2012-05-28.
  18. ^ About the first WOWps slam; Detroit, Michigan, March 13–15 2008. Retrieved on 2012-05-28.
  19. ^ a b "9780981521305 Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns". Social Justice Books. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  20. ^ a b October 21, Robert T. Muller /; Arts, 2015 / Leave a comment /; Culture; Words (2015-10-21). "The Madness Vase / The Nutritionist". The Trauma & Mental Health Report. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  21. ^ a b "Pansy By Andrea Gibson - The". Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  22. ^ a b Gibson, Andrea. "Music & Books | Music & Books". Andrea Gibson. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  23. ^ "I am always in the process of becoming: Andrea Gibson In Conversation With Eyezine | EYEZINE". EYEZINE. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  24. ^ "Our Angel of the Get Through | An Interview with Andrea Gibson | The Wayfarer Magazine". Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  25. ^ "andrea gibson Archives". Button Poetry. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  26. ^ Staff, Daily Trojan (2014-03-07). "Students share stories about sexual assault". Daily Trojan. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  27. ^ "stayherewithme". Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  28. ^ roughcutpress (2020-03-01). "In Conversation with Andrea Gibson". Rough Cut Press. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  29. ^ "This Queer Slam Poet Fires Back at Binary Gender Norms". Them. 2018-01-11. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  30. ^ "Review: Andrea Gibson – When the Bough Breaks". BOUT DAT ONLINE!. 2022-12-15. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  31. ^ Vanessa (2013-04-03). "Poet and Activist, Andrea Gibson: The Autostraddle Interview". Autostraddle. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  32. ^ "National Poetry Month: Andrea Gibson - English | Colorado State University". English. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  33. ^ "Andrea Gibson's Truce never surrenders". The Pitch. 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  34. ^ Crowley, James P. (2018-01-26). "Andrea Gibson-Hey Galaxy". Burger-A-Day. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  35. ^ Higgs, Abby (2018-02-01). "Review of Andrea Gibson's Take Me With You". Queen Mob's Tea House. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  36. ^ "Lord of the Butterflies". The Headlight Review. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  37. ^ Richard, Cindy Adelle. "How Poetry Can Change Your Heart". Adelle Circa 1920. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  38. ^ "'You Better Be Lightning' Review: Andrea Gibson Explores Love in the Real World | Arts | The Harvard Crimson". Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  39. ^ Gibson, Andrea. "Op-Ed: When I Die, Scatter My Ashes at the Mercury Cafe". Westword. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  40. ^ Bierman | @KansanNews, Courtney. ""Fury and sweetness": A conversation with spoken word artist Andrea Gibson about slam poetry". The University Daily Kansan. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  41. ^ "National Poetry Month: Andrea Gibson - English | Colorado State University". Retrieved 2019-04-27.

External links[edit]