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Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I first heard of Ms. Gibson via Patti Digh's blog, 37 days. She had a video posted of Andrea performing her poem, "Say Yes". After hearing her, I trashed all of my ink pens and quit writing my pathetic little poems because she is that good.

I bought this book and two of her CD's (from [...]---the sweetest Internet company I've ever dealt with!) and picked my pens out of the trash can and wrote a poem for the first time in a long time. To say she's inspiring is like saying blood is red or the sky is blue or there's only one you. She's a force. She's a poem. She makes me happy to just be. Her poems are like the sun. Buy this book and be illuminated.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2008
Although Andrea Gibson is, undoubtedly, a slam poet; seeing her work in written form gives an insight to her poetry that one may not immediately find through her audio anthologies. Although I find the audio version of hew works slightly more compelling I recommend Gibson's work as that of one who is a strong and influential voice in modern poetry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2009
Andrea Gibson is a not known to many people. I only discovered her because I lived in Boulder, CO for undergrad. Boulder is kind of like a second home to Gibson. She is an amazing spoken word poet that delivers earth shattering phrases. I think of her as a "good cry" because she gives the same type of release when you hear her monotone voice deliver such powerful imagery and messages of love, injustice and self-destruction. I have seen her three times and left each one a little more at peace with the world. She has a huge gay following and I think that tends to keep some away who would otherwise really enjoy her work. However, as heterosexual female who has little interaction with the gay population, her poetry has given me great insight into the lives of many gay couples and the struggles that they endure. And for that I am eternally grateful to her. Her shows are not all gloom as well, she has a witty and quirky personality that comes through in some of her poetry and her "rants" in between her poems. This book is definitely worth the money. If you do buy this book please make an effort to either go see her perform or look her up on YouTube because it is one thing to read the words but it is a completely different thing to hear her read them.
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on May 9, 2015
If you haven't read, seen or heard Andrea do so! If you've seen or heard Andrea, get her book and support her! You won't regret it.

Photograph
“I wish I was a photograph
tucked into the corners of your wallet
I wish I was a photograph
you carried like a future in your pocket
I wish I was that face you show to strangers
when they ask you where you come from
I wish I was that someone that you come from
every time you get there
and when you get there
I wish I was that someone who got phone calls
and postcards saying
wish you were here

I wish you were here
autumn is the hardest season
the leaves are all falling
and they’re falling like they’re falling in love with the ground
and the trees are naked and lonely
I keep trying to tell them
new leaves will come around in the spring
but you can’t tell trees those things
they’re like me they just stand there
and don’t listen

I wish you were here
I’ve been missing you like crazy
I’ve been hazy eyed
staring at the bottom of my glass again
thinking of that time when it was so full
it was like we were tapping the moon for moonshine
or sticking straws into the center of the sun
and sipping like icarus would forever kiss
the bullets from our guns

I never meant to fire you know
I know you never meant to fire lover
I know we never meant to hurt each other
now the sky clicks from black to blue
and dusk looks like a bruise
I’ve been wrapping one night stands
around my body like wedding bands
but none of them fit in the morning
they just slip off my fingers and slip out the door
and all that lingers is the scent of you
I once swore if I threw that scent into a wishing well
all the wishes in the world would come true
do you remember

do you remember the night I told you
I’ve never seen anything more perfect than
than snow falling in the glow of a street light
electricity bowing to nature
mind bowing to heartbeat
this is gonna hurt bowing to I love you
I still love you like moons love the planets they circle around
like children love recess bells
I still hear the sound of you
and think of playgrounds
where outcasts who stutter
beneath braces and bruises and acne
are finally learning that their rich handsome bullies
are never gonna grow up to be happy
I think of happy when I think of you

so wherever you are I hope you’re happy
I really do
I hope the stars are kissing your cheeks tonight
I hope you finally found a way to quit smoking
I hope your lungs are open and breathing your life
I hope there’s a kite in your hand
that’s flying all the way up to orion
and you still got a thousand yards of string to let out
I hope you’re smiling
like god is pulling at the corners of your mouth
cause I might be naked and lonely
shaking branches for bones
but I’m still time zones away
from who I was the day before we met
you were the first mile
where my heart broke a sweat
and I wish you were here
I wish you’d never left
but mostly I wish you well
I wish you my very very best”
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2014
Reading Andrea Gibson's poetry is like re-breaking bones that have healed the wrong way: it is excruciatingly painful, but you're much better off afterwards. Reading these truths can be synonymous with healing trauma.
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on January 22, 2012
"Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns" was, not only, the first Write Bloody Publishing book I ever read, but also my first experience with poetry. If unregret was a verb, I would use it to describe how I feel about purchasing this book. Gibson stimulated my interest in writing by merely her heart on the page. Yet, when I saw her perform these words, I was compelled to unearth my own. Andrea was my original poetic muse. With poems "For Eli", "Swing-Set", "Photograph", "See Through", and the very famous gay rights poem "I Do", how could one not be inspired by "Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns"? I promise you this: You will unregret reading this book.
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on January 11, 2012
Andrea Gibson doesn't pull punches for anyone. This collection will smack you across the mouth with its honesty, yet something in Gibson's language leaves you feeling good about humanity. Perhaps it is the overwhelming desire to fold Gibson up in your arms after every poem, or the way they seem to cherish every memory in every line. I give it 4 stars only because, as an avid fan of Gibson's, I had already seen many of these poems in their early chapbooks. Despite that, this is one of the first books I hand to people when they tell me that they do not like poetry because Gibson is a champion, and they win over even the hardest hearts.
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on January 17, 2014
I am a huge fan of performance/slam poetry, so naturally I had heard a lot about Andrea Gibson, and have had the pleasure of seeing her perform. This collection is great for someone like me who has an appreciation for the genre. People who are more interested in page poetry may not enjoy this book as much, as many of the poems are a bit longer and may not read as well if not read aloud. Regardless, Gibson tackles some important issues over the course of this book, with everything from gender and sexuality to politics and race, plus some heartfelt poems about love and loss here and there.
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on February 19, 2012
I got Pole Dancing as a gift during my basketball team's holiday party. Opened to page one and read, "She pole-dances to gospel hymns" to my team.
Yes, it pulls you in. It pulled everyone in- set up a waiting list to read it that very night. I suggest these racy, truthful and beautiful words to anyone who wants to feel alive! It's a must read... over and over again.
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on June 2, 2012
I carry this book with me everywhere I go. I knew it was going to be good but I don't think I prepared myself for just how much I was going to fall in love with her words.
It never ceases to amazes me how words can move me, her words are raw and powerful.
There are no regrets for this purchase and it's certainly recommended.
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