Andrea Gibson's "The Madness Vase"

Posted by Drake, March 06, 2014
Andrea Gibson speaks at last year's "Celebrating Women's Voices," in honour of International Womens' Day. (photo from girlabouttoronto.com)

Andrea Gibson speaks at last year's "Celebrating Women's Voices," in honour of International Womens' Day. (photo from girlabouttoronto.com)

"The trauma said, 'Don't write these poems. Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones.'"

You may have never read those words, but believe us, you should. Written by Andrea Gibson, a world-renowned, Boulder, Colorado-based spoken-word artist, it's an example of poetry evoking what the best poetry should. A sense of tormented beauty. Occasional discomfort. At times, there's a visceral, deep-seated agony that starkly spells out issues of trauma and angst—a heartbreaking, lyrical articulation that comes damn close to horrifying in the best possible way.

Which—at least in part, anyway—probably accounts for so much of the enthusiastic, awestruck buzz that followed Gibson's sold-out performance at The Underground last Sunday. Responses ranged from a slack-jawed "wow" to more fleshed-out, critical dissections of her performance, but there were a few Tweets that generally hit the nail on the head. One of them was from @WordSpellTO, whose response was an effusively simple, "It was such an honour to see @andreagibson last night @thedrakehotel. We hope her fans will support TO female poets!"

Bang on.

There's so much talent in our own back yard here in Toronto, so that's definitely the hope from us, too. With Toronto Poetry Slam continuing this Sunday, March 9th, we hope to see you there to rally around some of the grassroots, homegrown talent we're honoured to host. Consider it yet another reason why the intersection of community and culture is so important to us here at Drake. Doors open at 7pm, with a $5 cover.

In the meantime, check out this 2012 performance of Andrea Gibson's "The Madness Vase."

"My bones said 'write the poems.'"

Posted in: Art