Spokenword is not your grandpa’s poetry. This Thursday, as part of its celebration of National Poetry Month, USM will host a performance by nationally-renowned spokenword poet, Carlos Andrés Gómez.
Gómez is a celebrated poet, playwright and author from New York with an array of titles and awards, including being named New York’s Slam King in 2006, a two-time International Poetry Slam Champion and a Pushcart Prize nominee of 2010. A former social worker and public school teacher, Gómez’s poetry vocalizes often disregarded social issues with a raw intensity and honesty.
Gómez’s artistry is the voice of a new generation in poetry. It’s profoundly cadenced and rhythmic, empowering and captivating for listeners of all varieties. Gómez explained, “Basically, slam poetry gives folks who hate their grandpa’s poetry permission to go to a reading and stomp, cheer and be moved.”
Seeing a poet like Gómez offers audiences the rare opportunity to connect with the performer in a profound, intimate and almost spiritual way. This is Gómez’s philosophy as a performer and part of what makes him so compelling and engaging, and this particular performance will be a rare chance to connect with him in an unprecedentedly intimate setting.
“Poetry asks the most important questions, pushes, challenges, inspires and is a catalyst for the most profound social change: that which happens within,” said Gómez. “What excites me about poetry is connecting with people, whether seen or unseen, and sharing something deeply spiritual.”
Poet Martín Espada visited Gómez’s high school when Gómez was 17, inspiring him to pursue a life filled with poetry. Gómez also finds inspiration from poets Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, Mark Doty and Audre Lorde.
He plans to read his poems “Never Again” and “All We Have” at the Thursday performance in Gorham at the Brooks Student Center. The performance is from 9 to 11 p.m. and will be free for students.
Gómez is sure to succeed in bringing an uncommon energy and hint of controversy to his performance, as his art is in a way about giving a voice to those who are silent.
In honor of this National Poetry Month come to embrace one of the most incredible, yet frequently under-appreciated, art forms. Come to be inspired by one of the most talented and interesting poets of our time.